Thursday, July 16, 2009

Taking Chance

I watched a great movie tonight, Taking Chance. It was one of those which makes you proud to be an American. It's based on a true story about a Lt. Col. who volunteers for escort duty, accompanying the remains Pfc. Chance Phelps, killed at 19. I'm an Air Force "brat" myself, so I already have exceeding respect when it comes to men and women who serve their country in the military.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this HBO original film. (I got it on Netflix more than a week ago, but the time never seemed right to watch it.) Finally tonight I was able to devote the necessary energy to watch a movie like that. Whew. I literally cried my way through the movie; not because it was sad, necessarily. But each time the Marines/civilians would salute the fallen hero, my eyes welled up with tears.

There's a scene where they are traveling from the airport to the funeral home. When the people on the road realize who's in the hearse, they all slow down, turn their lights on and accompany them for as long as their trip allowed. For some reason, that really touched me. I think we get so wrapped up in the completely unimportant details of our everyday lives, that we forget what others are doing for our freedom. I'm not writing this to debate whether we should be over there or not, I merely wanted to express my gratitude for those who are.

I watched all the behind the scenes footage of Pfc. Chance Phelps' family and platoon members. Although I've never met him, I don't think I'll forget him. That must seem really strange to say? I was just... deeply and profoundly touched by the story of his man... this hero. He died saving many others.

If you get the opportunity to watch this movie, I highly recommend you doing so.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Goodbye, 31... Hello, 32!

On the last day of my 31st year, I feel the need to write. Actually, I always feel the need to write, this is just a really good excuse. :) I feel more introspective than usual. Maybe it's because I just finished a really good book, "Wrapped in Rain" by Charles Martin. I'm always a little sad when I finish a book; which I suppose is why I reread my library continuously. One of my absolute favorites, "With New Eyes" by Margaret Becker, I reread at least once a year. It's funny, each time I devour it, God teaches me something new. You'd think after the 10th or 11th time through, there wouldn't be any surprises. But when I least expect it, this little tiny air bubble pops up on the surface and with amazement, He gives me fresh vision. I don't pretend to understand the methods God uses gets my attension; but they work.

My family went on countless roadtrips during my childhood. To and from Grandparents for summer and Christmas vacations. We have a tradition, everytime we cross a state line, we say goodbye to the previous state and hello to the new one. It doesn't matter what's going on in the car before the event, everyone stops what they are doing/saying/playing/reading and we all sing together, "Goodbye, Alabama! Hellooooo, Florida!" In that moment, nothing else matters. There's focus, clarity and excitement for the future. I feel like that's where I am today, "Goodbye, 31! Hellooooo, 32!"

This has been a really good year (July 08-July 09). I feel like I've come into my own more than any other time in my life. It's as though I'm finally figuring me out; what makes me tick and how to make myself happy. You'd think that would be a given, right? I mean, I'm the one who's with me all the time. But that doesn't mean I know myself. I know, it sounds crazy. But hear me out. For the first part of our lives, the people who influence us the most is probably our parents and teachers at school. In college, most start thinking for themselves more and figuring out who they really are. But in your 30's all that gets semi thrown out the windows. Sure, there are aspects of myself from over the years, but in a sense, I feel like a different person. I am a different person. I've found grace and confidence which I never knew existed.

I've been a self-proclaimed tom-boy all my life, but suddenly, there's a girly girl in me which is bursting at the seams! I care what I wear and look like. I buy clothes which fit me, instead of trying to cover me. I paint my finger/toe nails. I've even considered wearing make-up. (Seriously, that's huge!) I work hard at the gym for me and no one else. When I'm in my last minute, dripping in sweat, knowing relief is around the corner, instead of slowing down, I speed up and just laugh! God has given me the ability to use my muscles and limbs, so why not do it for His glory; even at the Y?

At the core, I'm still me. I'm still goofy and random, but how can I explain this so you'll understand. Imagine sliding your hand into a vat of melted wax. The wax covers every nook and cranny of every part of your hand, fingerprints and all. When you pull your hand out, it's still your hand... but completely different. Covered and changed, wrapped within a new 'skin'. A new confidence, if you will.

Like many of my single friends, life hasn't exactly gone as we thought it would. There's such a stigmatism in culture and media today that if you're not married within your 20's, then there must be something wrong with you. Far too quickly, I started believing the lies Satan was feeding me. On a whim, I joined eHarmony. I decided to take my destiny into my own hands. If the guys around here don't see what a gem I am, then maybe I can find someone myself who would. What I didn't realize then, that I know now, I'd taken my focus completely off God. I got so wrapped up in what could happen, instead of what is happening.. or what wasn't happening. While I think that site could work for others, it's not for me. Within days, I cancelled my membership. I'm still "live" for a few more weeks, but I'm through attempting to play God. That's not my place. Thank goodness.

It maybe considered old fashioned, but I want to be pursued and romanced. If that's to happen, I can't be in control. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations and have my standards too high, but frankly, I refuse to settle. So, hold on boys, if you're ready for a challege, step right up. I'm like a wild mustang; hard to wrangle, but worth the effort! (Did I really just compare myself to a mustang? I think I've watched "Flicka" a few times too many!)

I'm entering into my 32nd year with great expectation of "whatcha gonna do next, God?" I've found some balance, but now I need to rearrange priorities a bit and leap out of my comfort zone a bit more. I would love it if God gave me the opportunity to write another book, though I haven no idea what it would be about. I just need to do more creative things. I feel closest to my Creator when I'm using the gifts and talents He's given me.

OK, I need to stop and go get ready for a three-way birthday party tonight! (Two other friends and I all have birthday's within days of one another. Why not throw one huge party?!) Pictures to follow, I'm sure.

Goodbye, 31! Hellooooo, 32!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

tiny VENT!

I'm a little annoyed right now. Why do service-orientated people think the world revolves around them and they can just show up or call at any old time, regardless of the time they previously said they'd show up/call?!?!?

I rearranged my schedule tonight just so I could talk with Merrill Lynch tonight. I asked the Rep what was a good time for HIM to call and I arranged my schedule accordingly. However, that meant I wasn't able to go to the Y tonight; which was my first annoyance. And now, he's nearly 30 minutes late for his phone call. IF he calls, I'm not answering. It's his fault for not calling on time. Am I being completely irrational?!?

On the flip side, I have GREAT news!!! I got a raise today after only being at my new job for four months!!! Isn't that amazing?!! My boss said, "I'm just tickled by your progress and wanted to thank you for your hard work!" Working for SuperMagnetMan has been such a blessing in my life! How great is it to work for someone who appreciates hard work and rewards you accordingly?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Completely Random

I may love to sing, but I refuse to "tweet". Am I honestly missing out on anything? I think not.

My internet was down for a week and I felt completely out of touch with reality. I sadly had Facebook withdrawls. Luckily, I recovered quickly. I got a lot more accomplished. I started reading again... "Wrapped in Rain" by Charles Martin is my book of choice. I love Charles Martin! If you've never read anything by him before, start with "When Crickets Cry". I wrote my penpals back. Read magazines. Watched a lot of movies. And for the most part, went to bed on time. Hmm. Let this be a lesson to me.

I love summer. I love most everything about it, except the heat. I love how it stays light later. I saw my first lightning bug the other night and just smiled. I remember collecting those when I was a kid. Good times.

I just wrote this huge long introspective paragraph about how I'm feeling... then deleted it.

I washed and scrubbed my car clean on Saturday. It rained Sunday.

I've been pushing myself to new levels when working out. I make it as hard as I can for myself, then work as hard as I can to see what I'm capable of. I'm "running" about a 10:30 mile. What I find to be more impressive, is that my second mile is usually around the same time frame too! My stamina has definitely increased! I'm very proud of myself.

I went with my friend to see "The Proposal" the other night. HILARIOUS! I laughed so hard, I cried. I cracked up during the forrest dance. If you've seen it, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't, then when you do, you'll crack up as well! Grab a friend and go watch this movie!

I'm turning 32 on Sunday!!

My mom asked me to create a website for her; a place for all her famous recipes. It's not much yet, but stay tuned. You're going to find recipes which you'll be using and passing down to your family as well. Go to:

I've been trying to teach Grant to tell me he loves me for a while now. I made a tiny breakthrough on Saturday. I said, "Tootie Rudy [that's one of my nicknames for him], do you love me?" He said, "Yes." The day that kid says, "I love you, Aunt Mer." I'm going to be one big puddle. I heart my Toot.

I'm sure I have tons of other things to say... but I really must get to bed. Happy trails, all!