Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let Them Go

I sat down as they were singing in church as I had so many thoughts whirling through my mind. I've been working with God on a lot of things within myself lately. Nothing bad, but just realizing certain things about myself. I'd been analyzing these dreams I had with people from the past that hurt me badly. It hit me suddenly... I had not forgiven them. It's so easy to forgive those that are friends that hurt us. I forgave a guy that broke my heart and we are friends. It took me two years to truly forgive a friend that betrayed me... and guess what... I don't dream about it anymore. I realized I hadn't forgiven a coach that tried to ruin my life in high school... a boss that ripped my spirit to shreds... and then I wondered if I forgave them would it make it okay to treat people in that way? If I didn't forgive them would they forever be in my nightmares making me sit on the bench or yelling at me? No matter how many years pass and we all try to move on with our lives... That hurt never leaves somewhere inside of us until we can forgive.

I often speak of my nightmares. I spoke with Nick about it recently just needing someone to understand or tell me what to do... He told me to LET THEM GO. I've been to probably 15 funerals in my life... yet, I only dream about Mom and Sarah. I can understand dreaming about Mom because she was Mom... I don't understand the dreams at times or why she is angry with me in the dreams at times... I am guessing it is because subconsciously I am angry with myself for never showing my love enough for her. With Sarah it's so hard. I fear now that when I lose another friend they will join her in the dreams. Can I not get close to people because they may leave? A friend at work told me that it must be hard knowing so many people because there is so much pain always happening... with someone. I know I don't grieve correctly... I laugh through it all. I don't dream about friends I lost to death and I wonder if it's because I have total closure or I wonder if it's because Sarah was one of my very best friends? Granny Jac and Grandaddy... I don't dream about them and I loved them dearly. Or is it because I feel guilt? Could I have somehow helped Sarah? Why didn't I answer when she called me? That wouldn't have mattered because she passed away the next day... so why do I selfishly think talking to her would change whatever stopped her heart? See, in my dreams my Mom is usually back from dying and/or is sick... I understand that for some reason. Mom never blames it on me. Sarah in dreams has faked her death and never went away in the first place. I think once I get to go to Big Spring and get to visit her grave I will have some closure... because maybe to my mind it is still a dream?

Now we talk about faith. Because Nick says all of this is about faith. God knows what is right. God knows. Not us. My friend, Lindsey has Stage 3 advanced breast cancer. They told her last week that treatment is not working in her body due to genetically mutated cells... She is only 26... Still a newlywed in a sense... yet, she gives it all to God. On one hand I am juggling the fact that since she is so faithful it shines light on God instead of medicine. On the other hand I am just plain confused as to WHY WHY WHY? She keeps reminding us that in adversity it is all about praising God because He is smarter than medicine and He has a plan. She does not falter in her faith at all. Me... I seem to run and hide because I'm scared to death of God. I love Him and know He is my Savior, but I'm plain scared at times. When I think of the things most of us face and the things we worry about... I remember Lindsey and just think of all she is facing, but she is not running. She said to BRING IT ON.

So this week it is about letting go. Flying. God is always working in my life... I know that. Bitter or Better. It's all about one letter.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

28 Candles

I'm actually 28. I never imagined being 28. It seems like life flies by in a flash and I am left just scurrying trying to remember yesterday. I pulled out my old VCR and VCR tapes yesterday and watched my 10 year old birthday party. It snowed us out that year from skating and somehow luckily all my friends still came to the house. It made me smile to see Lauren, Chandra, Stephanie... all my good friends to this day. It made me smile even more to hear my mother's voice behind the camera. I was upset with myself as I knew I was somewhat of a brat, but just watching me made me want to hit Little Julie. So unappreciative and just such a little kid... maybe that's how they all are? I was cute and funny and sarcastic... Where was Sweet Julie? I wonder if she ever existed?! It was also neat to see the camera follow me around the house on a scavenger hunt. All of the memories of that house just made me smile. To be ten again... We were playing a board game on the floor laughing... Gosh...

This picture is from that birthday... You can see Lauren two people down from me on the left, Chandra behind me in glasses, Kristi on my right... I'm still friends with the others as well...

We had a birthday party for all of us from Big Spring with birthdays in January so we would not have to go to six separate birthday parties. Lauren, Tara, Hamilton, James, Me and Lance... We went to this karaoke place in the Korean district called Zeller Zone. It was the MOST fun. We had a room that could fit 25 people filled with couches, two microphones and a huge movie screen. They fed us weird Korean snacks. We had such a blast in that tiny room. We all sang and danced and just enjoyed it. I didn't get as many photos on my camera as I would like so I am still awaiting others to upload. Blair got all of us Align Centercupcakes with candles, but I don't have a good one of that one!!! Nick even got up to sing with Lauren and then with Lance! Lance and I were born next door to one another at the hospital even.

Lance, Me, Brittany... I got them together in the fifth grade. They went on to be the Quarterback and Head Cheerleader and have now been married two years. I should be a professional matchmaker.

This is my guy friend in the entire world, Cody. I have no idea why he is trying to drink a bottle of wine?

Lauren, James, Lance, Me, Tara

I think Lauren and I were trying to sing?

Lauren, Blair, Me, Nick

Cody & Kelly

Lauren & Nick singing

On my actual birthday I had the day off so I totally enjoyed it. I had a manicure then went to get my car washed and all cleaned out and worked out. Andrea put together a dinner for a few of us at Uncle Julios. It was nothing big, but I just wanted a few close friends there. Sarah, Andrea and her boyfriend, Nick, Geoff & Tony... There were a few that couldn't make it. We had such a nice time just talking and hanging out. I did have a wonderful birthday mainly thanks to my amazing friends leaving me comments and calling me and texting me. It is so funny how in today's age of technology you don't get many birthday "calls" anymore... It's all about the texts and comments! My actual calls began at 6 AM from Nick's mom... then Grandmommy, Brenda, Dad, Nick's Dad, Chandra, Tiffany Nolder Williams, Paige Hundemer and my stepsister, Alyssa... It really made me feel very special. I felt so loved all day and that truly makes a birthday special.
Sarah & Andrea

Andrea... We were laughing because we couldn't find a pose we liked!!!

I was also off today so I lounged and just made it a day to do what I want. Nick didn't have many clients today so I spent most of the day with him at his parents house as they were out of town and we were taking care of the dogs. It was fun to play "house"... sort of! We ate lunch, took the dogs for walks, played with the dogs in the yard, played on the computer, read the newspaper, watched TV... my dream life... seriously... It sounds so simple, but it was joyful.

My dad told me he was so proud I am his daughter and proud of who I am. That is the most special gift of the day turning 28. To make my parents proud... no matter what age. At 28 years old I have been through so much and I may not ever be through the fire, but thank God He is always molding me and guiding me. I say Mom had accomplished much more than me at my age by being married, owning a home, beginning the Big Spring woman's tennis team, but I think she would be proud to see who I have become and fight to be and she would know in a sense I am just as successful as she was at this young age in a different way.

Here's to another year...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Almost 28

Somehow life gets away and I don't write. Somehow I am turning 28 next week. It's been about the birthday month already... I'll explain... First off, things have been different as I started working with another property within my same company in Las Colinas this week. It's always hard to be the new kid and learn everything new and meet everyone new, but it's also an honor to be moved around as they see you as a benefit. I just do my job and work hard and enjoy it each day.

Turning 28 has been scaring me... a lot. I don't remember ever wondering what I would be like at this age. I know we find out more and more about ourselves as we mature. I know I'm always evolving and learning more about God and learning more about my family and my friends and what I want in life. But, I don't have so many of the answers. I'm blessed beyond measure and I never, ever take things for granted. I do know I don't want to be the 40 year old with wrinkles... I want the Botox and the spray tan and the abs... yep, I do know that! I feel weird looking in the mirror and wondering if I look "old." Is 28 old? I don't think so... but, society seems to think so at times.

So the celebrations started tonight as Nick's mother cooked me a gourmet feast. I got to choose my own menu. I wanted green chile chicken, homeade mac & cheese, Granny's rolls and chocolate cake! It was so yummy! Nick and his parents both got me plates & bowls... a set of red and a set of white. I wanted just classic, beautiful plates. I gave mine to charity last week... believe me, they were not me because they had ducks upon them. I like pigs, not ducks! I inherited them from Vicki's mother when she passed away somehow. I felt so loved. My dad and Brenda cannot come down because with this changing schedule I am working four weekends in a row while I help with two properties until the beginning of February... I know my dad wishes with all of his heart he could cook for me and be here for me. We will get to celebrate the next weekend I have off and they can come this way. I always miss my Mom on my birthday, too. It's nice to have both my Dad, Brenda and the Gray family to love me so much on my day.

This upcoming Saturday Blair put together a "Big Spring" birthday party! There are seven of us from my hometown that celebrate in January (Hamilton, Emily, Lance, Lauren, Me, James & Tara)... Blair and Lauren decided they didn't want to go to seven different parties so we are having a joint party! He rented out the room for only 25 which is basically Big Spring folk and their significant other, but we are doing Korean Karaoke!!! Sooo much fun!

I told Andrea I didn't want to have a big celebration because last year was too much. I invited the world and it's hard when a lot of different groups get together. I felt like I was trying to host everything instead of just enjoy. So Andrea got a little dinner together at Uncle Julio's for next Tuesday with just Nick and I's closest couple friends. I think that will make the day just perfect. Last year Nick planned me a romantic dinner and it was so great... I'm off that day so I told him he can just entertain me all day instead of paying for a big dinner for just us!

Nick and I planned us some vacations and I'm very thrilled... We are going skiing with Tony & Katie in February in Ruidoso if all goes as planned with my schedule. They have gotten so much snow. Not cool for me because I don't get as many excuses... my knees plain "suck." I don't know if Katie skis well... I hope not! Tony and Nick can leave us and we'll enjoy hot cocoa at the lodge while they ski the blacks! And Brenda and Dad helped find Nick and I a trip to Florida in May... It's at a beautiful resort; one where Brenda has a timeshare. I'm so excited because it will be relaxing to just enjoy the beach. I can go and just stare at the water and be happy. I had a plane ticket with Southwest I could fly anywhere for free because of my mileage...I pondered it for days. My favorite place is New York... but, once you get there the shows and the entertainment and the cabs add up in money! I also didn't think Nick would enjoy Broadway? We almost went to San Diego or around there in California, but Florida just became the final choice after studying places. There are so many places I would like to go sometime... I've never been to LA... or Seattle... but, it's nice to have those vacations planned and looking towards the paradise of it all.

That's all for now. As an almost 28 year old I am going to go get my laundry out and put my new dishes in the cabinets... Man oh man... what a crazy life I lead!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hen in 10

There are many cliches of a way to start a new year. New year, new you. Losing ten pounds. Running a marathon. Learning a language. My new year has been in progress for a while now. I've been calling it Hen in 10. Basically becoming an old hen of a sort... Making myself learn to be more domesticated by cooking more, organizing more and just being a grown up. I've hung up new art in my bedroom and taken down old photos and made my kitchen more efficient. It's always a work in progress just like any home. I think as we grow as people we are always learning and growing to find out more about ourselves. It's a good thing, but it can also be tough at times. I'm almost 28 and I thought at this age you were married and had kids and owned your own home. At this time that isn't my journey so I'm following God's lead this way. I enjoy life and I love living the way I do, but I do stand back and evaluate certain things about myself at times. I think we all do. I don't have all the answers and I'm not sure when I will... so for now... Hen in 10 is my thinking as I pounce forward and learn to do more things in my own home... but, sewing... I don't think we've made it that far yet!!!

Last night was New Years Eve and we were quite calm. Nick and I went to by his brother's house as he was having a little gathering, but we didn't stay long there. We went out to Carrollton to Matt & Keilly's house to celebrate with them and another couple, Blake & Kelsey... Now, they just got engaged... the coolest thing - I set them all up - ON ACCIDENT. Matt found Keilly who is my sorority sister on my Facebook and e-mailed her out of the blue leading to text messages which leads us to their upcoming nuptials on May 1st! Kelsey is Keilly's sister and Blake is Matt's best friend... so they were all visiting one weekend and decided they just might like one another which leads to their nuptials next year!!! They are all so much fun and made me laugh the entire night. First off Nick and I show up all dressed up... complete both of us with our cool new shirts... they are all dressed in PJs... sooo we gladly jumped into our PJs!!!

It began somber as their youngest sister at fifteen years of age is awaiting the plug to be pulled as she contracted meningitis after being diagnosed with lupus. The meningitis has caused her brain to swell to the point of irreversible brain damage and no brain activity. The girls had been at the hospital to say their goodbyes and said they wanted to be surrounded with love instead of sadness all night. It sickens me for their entire family... Our prayers be with them...

We followed their wishes and had a ball. We played an exciting board game for hours called Loaded Questions. Matt, Blake & Nick are so off the wall that they kept us rolling with their answers all night. Before we knew it... midnight was about to hit! We loaded our champagne glasses ... (I DON'T like champagne!)... and counted down! Midnight came and went... so we all huddled in front of this insanely large 50- something inch HDTV and watched "Monsters, Inc." Yes... we are all 10 years old... Seriously, we did! We talked throughout the whole thing, but we watched it! After that the boys went downstairs to play in the Man Cave and Keilly & I hit the hay! We sat in her bed talking for a long time about her sister and old college days and eventually fell asleep. I guess the boys went to bed in Matt's Man Cave. Boys don't care where they sleep... Julie likes pillows and blankets.

Keilly says I am houseparty in their wedding... That same day I am houseparty in Paige Hundemer's wedding. Uh Oh. Two weddings... two hours apart... in Southlake and FlowerMound... hmmm... I hope I can pull this one off!

So today Nick and I have just enjoyed ourselves. We have literally been bums. We watched football, watched other TV, ate a lot... and that's about it... yep. I like it.

I pray 2010 is a wonderful year filled with blessings.