A year! Wow. A lot can happen in a year. Good, bad, ugly--it all makes up a year. The amazing thing about a year, is that it happens a day at a time.

I heard a story once about a woman that could remember every day of her life. I can't imagine the weight of having all those memories stuck in my head. I believe that forgetting some things is a way God helps us stay sane. Our brains get to sift through the dross and find the precious metals of good memories.

I'm not trying to imply that all memories are good. Some are bad, but there is purpose in those memories as well. Those memories can help shape the decisions we make in the future. There is always hope for the future.

I am so glad that none of us are able to see ahead. It might be too much for us to comprehend how to either make that future we see happen or not happen. It's comforting to know that the past is the past, and that now is now, and that the future is full of infinite possibilities. With God, all things are possible.

Thank you, God, for a blessed year! Thank you for special visits with friends!

I am going to say something sad in a bizarre way, because I don't like saying it the normal way because it is painful.

My dear friend-like-a-brother, Brandon, turned in his earthsuit last Saturday. The news broke my heart. I don't think I've heard news quite that bad in awhile. Grief isn't something one wants to be good at, but I guess if we live long enough, we will experience it. This was my first (in the words of Anne of Green Gables) bosom friend to die.

I loved my friend. If I hadn't loved him, it probably wouldn't hurt as bad. That's another thing about life. Loving someone is a precious thing, but when you lose them, it is very painful. It's most always worth the cost. Loving Brandon was worth any pain I may feel now not having him around.

When someone is gone, memories flood your mind. You remember things that had been covered over with tax due dates, grocery lists, events, laundry, work, email, and all the other things which clutter the mind. The memories are good and can bring joy, but also can bring pain from again facing the fact that your loved one is gone.

My sweet friend was the first friend that I was able to share my faith. I met him in middle school because of his crush on my good friend, so he used me as an informant--like only savvy middle school boys do. And then we bonded because of our imaginations and life and carpe diem. As we grew older and went on to high school, more life issues seemed to be after us, so we'd talk about God, and how God carries us through circumstances. Because of those early talks, our conversations always seemed to flow back to spiritual check-ups. It was a blessing to me to hear his heart.

He was so talented. When I was younger, I thought maybe I just hadn't heard a lot of guitar players, but I couldn't figure out how he made one guitar sound like two--or three. Later I realized, it was because he was amazingly talented. When he finally was brave enough to add his voice to be a companion to the guitar, it was unbelievable.

We lost constant contact in our early twenties, but we reconnected a few years ago. He wrote me a card telling me I was still the same. He must've figured out that I still adored him. I have read that card over and over many times. I laugh every time I read the part where he mentions he couldn't stop eating chips while writing so there are food stains on the card (another reason we were friends--very similar to me).

I feel weird now, because the ache that I had for years in my heart for a reminder to pray for him and to love him, is gone. It's like God ended that season, because Brandon is free. It's going to take the rest of me a little while to catch up with that closure of duty, but I know God will heal the broken places.

My prayers at this time are for his beautiful sisters and family and many friends that are grieving for him. I pray that the God of all comfort will bring peace. And then eventually joy.

Thank you, sweet Jesus, for giving me the privilege to love this friend for so many years. And to be loved by him. We had so much fun. I miss his smile. I miss his amazing mind. And his curly hair. And whatever stories he had to share that I never heard. Heal us, Lord. amen.

A few weeks ago, I decided to embark on a journey. A 13.1 mile journey. I frequently keep up with my friend, Abby's blog, and she mentioned that she was training for a half-marathon, but then almost gave up. Then her father helped her realize that she could complete the journey even by walking, if needed. [Abby, forgive me if I am telling the tale wrong!]

After reading that Abby was going to run/walk the marathon, I realized that it was something I might want to try one day. Then, after blog stalking a couple that are friends of friends, I learned about a trip they went on with Living Water International. I checked out the site (I have been a fan for awhile) and found out that there was a Half Marathon fundraising team.

Because the Houston Marathon gets sold out so quickly, I assumed there would be no chance of me getting a spot on the LWI team, which is a huge reason it was so easy to email them about joining--because I thought it was a fat chance! Little did I know, there was a spot for me! So...hence the journey of training for a half-marathon!

This is something that I have been praying about, because I know that only God can give me the physical and mental strength needed for the journey. There are millions of references in the bible to running and endurance, so it's become a spiritual experience as well.

I am also humbled everytime I think about my love of water and almost unaware dependence of it since clean water is something I really don't have to think about. It's a given. I can't imagine this being a daily struggle. Without water, we die. With dirty water, we die. But there is also a water that once we drink, we never thirst. I am so excited to run this race on behalf of Living Water International.

Please donate, if you can! If not, say a prayer for my run, but also for those who need living water.

I've gained ten pounds this year. It was composed of cupcakes, lattes, pizza, and whatever else entered my piehole. I've been running and working out like normal, but the weight still has decided to camp out on my body.

I think every person in the world that has tried to lose a pound, has had the trying experience of getting one little number to change on the scale, and finally seeing it move, and then after eating an extra fry, ta-da! It's back!

Weightloss seems simple. Eat less. Move more. Get skinny. But it excludes things like break-ups, make-ups, job functions, birthday parties, holidays, emergency fast-food, red cups, movies, gelato, aging, etc. Food is fun and tasty. I don't want to not enjoy life, but I also miss my pants fitting.

Since my Roku arrived, I have added being a TV junkie to my list of reasons why pounds seem to be clinging right now. I can't stop watching episodes of 30 Rock. I literally say to myself, "Okay...just one more hit..." I have an addiction.

In the second season, Jenna, one of the show's stars, gained a large amount of weight over the summer. She debates plastic surgery, until she realizes that her accidental quote of the phrase, "Me want food!" makes her a media maven. She realizes that she has to stay fat in order to capitalize on the new found fame. People love her fat.

Since watching that show, I've decided to embrace a chunkier me for awhile. I even quoted, "Me want food!" to myself once today. But this is also a plea of help out there to any local peeps who see me growing too quickly before their eyes. If I get to the point I need an intervention, I give you the right to make it happen.

Perhaps God is wanting me to hear a message. Or wants me to live out or absorb a story. In the last two months, I've heard the same biblical story at a retreat, a training session, a podcast, and now will hear a sermon series, all on the same story.

Maybe you need to hear the story, too, so I'm posting below. I'll try to remember to do a follow-up to things God has put on my heart through this story. I know one main lesson is to be purposeful with conversations and being aware of people that God places around me.

My pastor once mentioned that people are either seen as ministry, machinery, or ministry. I love that statement, because it hits my heart. It wakes me up to realizing how sometimes I become so "me" focused, I forget the other living and breathing souls in my midst. And their need for Jesus--and living water.

John 4(New International Version)
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

I've been thinking about the things that come out of my mouth. Do good, encouraging things come out of me? Or do I whine and complain and tell stories--although entertaining--that I probably should not? I'm trying to let God work on this in me. It's been difficult. I've never been a cusser, but I would assume it's like trying to stop cussing.

I kind of wish my body could be wired that when I said a sweet thing, I had a sweet taste in my mouth. And when I said bad things, a bad taste would form--like charcoal or something. It could be like a training tool until I just was sweet automatically.

But honestly, I really don't need a training tool, since the after effects are there. I feel so much better when I'm in a positive flow. I don't really need to berate that crazy lady honking at me at the light. Or comment about how someone else was rude--because then I am rude. After a day of dealing with things like that, I feel weighted down.

The correct flow is this: healed heart sealed by God flows thoughts to the mind which then produce words from the mouth. Somewhere in that process I get a kink from time to time, and have to ask God to do a maintenance check.

I am a work in progress.

Psalm 119:103 (New International Version) 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

It's almost been a year since Mickey made the journey to Kentucky to her new home. There, she met Paws, who had become King of the Yard and spent his days sleeping on the front porch protecting the family from predators. Paws wasn't super excited about having Mickey around at first. She's what you call--a bit excited at times--or maybe just overly-loving. Paws was a bit annoyed.

Since the two have spent a year together, including a big snowy winter and a hot, dry summer--they've bonded. Together, they guard the yard, kills snakes, greet guests, and frighten delivery men.

Mickey is still working on learning what can and cannot be eaten around the yard. Baseball gloves, FedEx packages, decorated pumpkins, and telephone books have been placed on her do-not-eat list. She's still learning.

It's good to see Mickey happy with my nieces. She was a fun companion for me, but a lot of work to keep exercised in my apartment. She's been much healthier--and living a better dog's life in Kentucky.

Marissa & Mickey

Emily & Mickey

Emily & Paws

I did a 48 hour tour of Kentucky this weekend. I haven't been to my home state in several months and needed to touch base with home. Airfare has been really high lately, but I'm usually able to find a last minute special with Continental (so sad about the merger with United). So, this past weekend, a special was advertised with round trip access to Lexington, so I jumped on it. I rented a car and began my whirlwind trip.

In the little time I had, here's what I did:
-Took in the beautiful colors of fall on the Bluegrass Parkway
-Made friends with a Kroger Starbucks barista and encouraged her to make Rice Crispie Treats that night
-Drove past the original "My Old Kentucky Home" and through historic Bardstown
-Marveled at the beauty and elegance of the horse farms
-Prayed that a forest fire wouldn't overtake my sister's home
-Visited with Mickey the Dog and her adopted brother-dog, Paws
-Hugged my ever-changing red-headed nieces and compared shades of red
-Watched the documentary Babies with my nieces and got educated on a baby's life that's born out in the bush
-Relived memories on my nieces as babies while watching our family videos
-Got a whole case of Larabars from my sister (25 cents each!)
-Took fall pics of the girls & sis & bro-in-law for my mom's collection
-Drove to my mom's house
-Went to my home church
-Visited with a sweet friend at her beautiful farmhouse
-Scarfed down BW3 wings with my brother, sister-in-law, nieces, & mom
-Played the restaurant trivia game & lost
-Treated the family to Starbucks
-Took pictures of my nephew for my mom's "Grandchild Wall of Fame"
-Went to Wal-Mart to develop pictures
-Helped Mom flip a mattress
-Visited with a neighbor
-Hightailed it back to Lexington to catch my flight

...and believe it or not, it was restful!

I had forgotten how amazing the season Fall can be. Everyone said the colors weren't as brilliant this year, but when it's been several years since you've witnessed an orange, red, or yellow tree, it takes your breath away. I had also forgotten what the falling objects were that were gently floating onto the highway as I sailed down the parkway--they were leaves. One of my favorite moments was catching a little whirlwind pick up about 50 or so leaves, spin them around, and then lightly lay them back down.

Kentucky, you are a beautiful state.

I went to the dentist today. It was a bit painful. I have "mild gingivitis" which means "painful gums" in layman's terms. On a day to day basis my gums don't hurt, but when they are probed with a tiny metal hook, they ache. I hadn't kept my normal flossing routine over the last week or so, and the results showed today.

I endured the pain from the cleaning because I want good teeth. I want a sparkly smile. I've been working on it since I was five and got the magic red tablets and crocodile toothbrush from a kindergarten presentation. The tablets (which tasted awful) would uncover areas that needed to be brushed. My dad also had false teeth, and those teeth--or the absence of his real teeth--were a highly motivating factor of my own dental care. Teeth are preferably in the mouth, and not on the corner of a sink to soak at night--so I faithfully and fearfully brush.

I've been drinking more coffee over the last year, so now I have something I never had in the past: coffee stains. At first, I didn't know what was wrong. I thought I had some weird, translucent and mildly brown tooth problem. It was just the stains.

This weekend, I want my teeth to be exceptionally bright and white to show off a happy smile at the weddings I'm going to be attending. I have the whole scenario planned out with my teeth being the star (well, besides the bride).

I will be in the single lady lineup (which I normally detest) for the bouquet toss. Since I've been working on my vertical jump, I will easily claim the prize. And then after my great catch, I will flash my wedding white smile (brought to you by Crest White Strips and my dental cleaning), and a handsome groomsmen will have to shield his eyes with his wedding ringless left hand as the photographer's camera flash reflects off my smile. That groomsmen will at once be smitten. And the rest is history.

But that means, in the next few days, I've got to work extra hard at keeping my pearly whites pearly and not gnarly with more stains. It's almost gametime. So, Starbucks, we are officially on a coffee break...unless you promise that if I drink with a straw I won't have teeth stains.

I came, I saw, I ran. I did two races in two weekends. The races were only 5Ks, but if you add both together, you get a 10K. I could do another one in a few weeks which would mean I would accomplish a 5K Triple Crown of sorts. But I think I'm ready to get back to some old routine workouts.

Running can be physically exhausting. And it tricks me into thinking I can consume thousands of calories because I'm burning them off. Mentally, I know my burned calorie to consumed calories ratio has been a bit off, but my hunger monster prefers to ignore scientific facts. And because running is not a natural gift, I have to work pretty hard to reach goals, and working out has more of an emphasis on "work" than I would like it to. But, since I have worked so hard to be able to run an easy 3.2, I'm hoping to keep up my stamina and toned legs.

I've noticed that runners can develop a type of pride over their abilities. Perhaps it goes back to old days when good runners initiated and lived out "survival of the fittest." So maybe runners have the right to brag about their miles logged and PRs. If dinosaurs come back Jurassic Park style, they can put that talk into a walk--or, uh, run.

Sometimes I have thoughts flash through my mind when I'm in a parking lot thinking about me outrunning a purse snatcher or something. This is with the assumption that the purse snatcher is not a good runner. Or then I think the purse snatcher may have good speed, but perhaps I could beat him in distance. I better start practicing in heels for more real-world training.

So, I suppose I'll keep up my running. And maybe figure out what my next goal is--time or distance. I might go for time. It's a good feeling zipping by people.

I like things. But most of the time, they don't rule me. Sometimes, I am drawn to something overly sparkley or get the fever for a new trend, but I am not obsessed.

Recently, I was trained by the lady at the Sunglass Hut about the wonders of the sunglass brand, Maui Jim. Prior to this training, I was completely unaware that such sunglasses existed, much less the power of polarized glasses. When sunglasses are polarized, glare from bright lights is completely muted. You could probably view a solar eclipse if you felt like it with no retina damage (not an official claim by Maui Jim).

One small detail about these glasses that the lady left out was the price. Maui Jim's cost around $300. With $300, I could buy 30 pair of the sunglasses I currently wear. But who can put a price on good vision, right?

I later found out that lots of sunglasses that costs a lot less are polarized. When I went to a discount store, I decided to see if they had polarized glasses for a cheaper price. I found several styles that looked decent, and most were designer brands from department stores.

I noticed one pair I put on appeared to be polarized. I tried them on--no glare. Then, I examined the glasses. There were a few stratches, but most of the discounted glasses appeared this way.

The inside label said, "maui" so I thought they must be knock-offs. When I looked at the front of the glasses, in nice cursive writing was, "Maui Jim." I was in disbelief. I found a pair of Maui Jims on the rack! A few weeks ago, I would have had no clue what treasure I had found. The only problem was that there wasn't a price on the glasses.

And then I noticed, the Maui Jims looked pretty worn. Then, I realized, these glasses were probably left by mistake. For a moment a thought flashed, "So...if they aren't the property of the store, and somebody left them, finders-keepers losers-weepers?"

I decided I didn't want to go to the slammer for sunglasses. I carried them to the front of the store to see if by chance, they were for sale. That was a fat chance, and they were not for sale. So, I left the store, glasses free. But honest.

My caramel macchiato wasn't what I wanted it to be today. It was free, because I took a special survey, so I tried to get something fancier than my normal drink by adding soy and getting a larger size. But the sweetness that I prefer just wasn't there.

Over the last few days, I've had some conversations with friends and family that have dealt with some heavy matters including death and divorce. It can be hard to hear about hurt and pain. But a positive thing that can result is that matters such as the sweetness of my coffee seem to get shuffled back to its proper positioning in my mind--the bottom. And hopefully what will rise to the top is a desire to lift this heaviness up to my Heavenly Father to intercede for these friends.

I love it that there is always hope. I love it that God uses messes and makes them beautiful. And I love it that he blesses us by getting to be his hands, feet, and ears. I am thankful for the people who have been in my life who have been those hands, feet, and ears to me. And I am thankful for the times I get to experience being the giver.

Thank you, God, for friends that share their hearts! And thank you, God, for free coffee!

I have been invited to two weddings on the same day. One is at 4:00 p.m. The other is at 6:00 p.m. I am going to both.

I was so enamoured by the calligraphy on one invitation that I had to examine it again this morning. I also decided to trek over to the Y early to get my run out of the way.

I started disliking my walk to the Y since the local middle school is back in session and middle schoolers are everywhere. I feel okay saying that middle schoolers get on my nerves, because middle schoolers are even bothered by themselves.

Anyway, this morning, I'm standing on the median of the street with three boys about a foot shorter than my 5'3" self, while a crossing guard keeps hooting on his whistle. All around us are what seems like hundreds of parent cars waiting to drop off their kids. At this point, I'm really missing my evening Y time, when all of this chaos seems like a dim memory. I could moonwalk across the street at that time if I felt like it.

I look down at my hands. And I'm holding my iphone--and a wedding invitation--complete with the transparent paper insert, return envelope, etc. I try to act normal hoping that the three middle school boys don't notice that I'm holding a wedding invitation. Finally the whistle-happy guard points at us and then the place we should walk, and I cross trying to somehow make it seem normal that I am carrying a wedding invitation to the Y.

I decide to make the best of my brain being asleep and think that maybe I could ask around at the Y (after some observation) and see if anyone there would like to be my guest. Then, I decide against that.

So, I prop my invitation up on the treadmill, do my workout, and then walk it back home. There had been an accident at the crossing, so the whistle blower was occupied with the tow truck and driver. He let me cross without even one whistle puff.

Now that I think about it, maybe I missed out on an opportunity. I should have asked the crossing guard if he was busy the day of the weddings. And then my next question would have been, "On dates, do you keep that whistle at home?"

"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:26

This verse has been rotating in my mind over and over. No matter what situation in my life, I apply to it, the answer is always the same. Is anything in my life too hard for God? No.

It's knowing power beyond a Magic 8 Ball. It's power beyond whatever poll I take among my friends. It's power that extends beyond my imagination. And it's the greatest comfort.

God sees. God knows. Thank you, God.

My hair is too long. I never thought I would ever utter that statement, but it really is true. For years, I was a girl with a bob, then I decided to grow it out since Carrot Top had pretty much the same hair style. And now, my other ginger brother, Shawn White, is torturing me with his long, auburn locks which resemble mine. But with those redheaded nemeses to the side, my personal hair has reached a length where it has lost its luster.

To remedy this situation, I am visiting Giovanni next week. I love my visits with Giovanni. I wish I could afford just to get him to style my hair any time I felt like it, because a trip to the salon feels like being slightly tickled with feathers and then floating on a cloud. For the rest of the day, I feel have a new bounce in my step.

Giovanni is always amusing. His stories--which sometimes border on their level of appropriateness--bond us. We're going on an over two year relationship--which is my longest hairdresser relationship. I sit in the chair, and sometimes give him some guidelines like "bangs" or "no bangs." And then he works the magic.

He always has the coolest clothes. Sometimes his own hair is wavy and dark, and other times, it's shaved close to his scalp. And he always has his ever-romantic Italian accent. Most of the stories he tells me (I have a weakness for good stories) are about when he grew up in Italy and his family.

Since most of my good friends also go to Giovanni, we catch up on everyone. "How is so-and-so's house build? And how is so-and-so since she had the baby? And what about so-and-so that moved to New York?" Then, he spins me around to let me examine the back of my head with a mirror, and then we hug and I leave until my next visit.

For years, I never had a constant stylist. I had a few from Toni&Guy that were pretty good, but I didn't connect with anyone before. As a kid, one of my mom's friends would drive for hours after she moved for an appointment with her stylist. I have become that woman. But the great thing about this man (unlike other men in my life), is that I want to share him! If you want his number, let me know!

For about two months, a song has been stuck in my head. I know one of the first times it stuck with me was when I saw it on a commercial. I may have heard it in earlier years when I was in my 70s rock phase. I think I used to have a Janis Joplin Greatest Hits tape.

I frequently find myself in the car, and suddenly the tune starts flowing from somewhere in my subconscious--and I must finish the song.

"Oh, Lord, won't you buy me, a Mercedes Benz...my friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends, Oh Lord, won't you buy me, a Mercedes Benz..."

I pray a lot while driving in my car. I pray for friends. I pray for random people I see. I'm hoping that this song is not confusing God because it does sound like a prayer. And I think the Mercedes is a nice car, but I don't really want one. It's definitely not something I would pray for. I'm not sure God should use his money to buy me a Mercedes. But, God's ways are higher than my own. Maybe I'm supposed to be driving a Mercedes for Jesus.

We'll see.

I've gotten back on the running wagon. I wouldn't say I'm an avid runner, but more of a casual runner. Right now, I'm training for a few 5Ks, and possible a 10K. I was all set for 10K training, but I found out about a 5K in Charlotte that might involve more hills and terrain than I'm used to, so I need to train a little bit differently than I would for Texas.

I love reading about running (sometimes more than running), and sort of wish I could be a trainer, like on the Rocky movies. I could get an old bike with a basket and put on a skull cap and yell, "Datta boy, Rock!"

But back to me and running...
I've been running mainly on a treadmill which actually serves a good purpose. When I am not on the treadmill and running outside, I appreciate the outdoors so much more. I also read about a marathon runner from Alaska that had to do all her training on a treadmill. She qualified for the Olympics. So, who knows what this treadmill training may bring?!

I did get out and about on for a run on Sunday, but it's a bit of a crazy thing to do in Houston during the summer. It's dangerous to walk around in the heat, much less, run. When I'm out doing my little jog and see men that don't appear to be in optimum health running around with me, I have flashbacks to the video I saw when I had Red Cross CPR training. I think happy thoughts like this when I'm running.

I also noticed that I have trained myself to be a hip-hop runner. My body won't move as well or as fast without a hip-hop beat.

My goals are to:
a) run without passing out
b) get my times down by 30 seconds per minute
c) not eat too much during the training phase and therefore gain weight although exercising like a banshee
d) run inclines
e) get some new running shorts
f) get some earbuds that don't fall out
g) learn how to run with a buddy

It's a bit odd that I have to take sabbaticals from social media, but I do. For this sabbatical, I started with removing Facebook and Twitter from my iPhone. Before the sabbatical, I had almost developed a "media twitch" when I didn't check one media outlet for a few hours.

I also noticed that for days after decided not to Twitter for awhile, I was still thinking of clever statement that were 120 character or less. I would find myself having moments of "Oh! Oh! This is something I need to tell the world!"...but then the feeling would pass.

I miss not keeping up with Matt Chandler's progress through his chemo treatments, and I miss not knowing what strange website Alyssa Milano is promoting, but it's good to start having thoughts beyond 120 characters again.

As I write this, I'm reminded that some casual web surfers of the internet might not be that familar with Twitter. And have wondered what in the world is going on with Twitter.

In layman's terms, Twitter is a mini-blog. Twitter can hosts links to websites or pictures. It's been utilized by many of Hollywood's finest to help keep buzz going on their personal lives and thoughts. For general folks, I suppose we do the same, but it's just not usually published in magazines or announced on T.V.

Cupcake, cupcake, you are so sweet.
You are probably not the best breakfast treat.

I love to see you iced on top.
When I take a bite, I can't stop.

You're covered in a paper wrapper.
It makes you look very dapper.

Cupcake, cupcake, you are too sweet.
You are delightful and fun to eat.


If one would look into my closet, one would see some "new" items. I haven't been shopping, but I have been the recipient of some choice hand-me-downs. What can I say? I have generous friends! They've blessed me with some cool Anthropologie duds, some fancy leather purses, highfalutin high-heels, and lots of jewelry.

So, just in case, I ever have any male suitors that mistake me for "one of those girls"--and by that I mean someone that is a shopaholic and must where only the finer things of life--that's not me. But if you think I have friends that spoil me, that is me!

Sometimes I have a tough time during communion at church because I have lots of memories of my dad, who was a deacon at our church, standing in front of the church going through the Lord's Supper. And also, I'm thinking of Jesus and what that means in my life and the amazing gift of grace.

Yesterday, after we took the bread element, I prepared to take the wine element (or in Baptist world, grape juice), and fumbled on the play--which resulted in experiencing the elements on my dress.

So now, in addtion to thinking about my dad and Jesus during communion, I'm also going to be concentrating on no spillage.

I was going to hide it.

On Sunday afternoon, I snuck over to the nearest red box rental and scoped through the selections. There it was--the movie I had tried to avoid watching for its cheesiness...but nobody would have to know I watched it...that is, of course, unless I published the fact on the internet like I'm about to do!

Okay! Okay! I watched the second Twilight movie! And it wasn't too terribly bad, but I can't stop the spoofs that keep forming in my head. I also can't stop toying with some evaluations on the relationships displayed in the movie--which apparently is the whole purpose of romantic "literature" anyway.

[warning spoilers to follow]

Bella is faced with two suitors: a werewolf and a vampire. Boy, do I understand where this girl is coming from! I have been in her shoes too many times!

Basically, Bella must choose her true, deep, and first love of Edward, the vampire who broke up with her and left her in a deep depression, and the new love she found with Jacob, her friend turned love interest who also happens to have secretly completed the P90X workout because his abs ripple like the Colorado River.

It's a difficult decision. Both are striking creations of inner depth and outward beauty. But both have a dark side.

If Bella chooses Edward, she must die to life as a human, and I guess give her soul to the devil or evil--and become a vampire for eternity. If she chooses Jacob, she risks living with an angry wolfman that could rip her face off if his uncontrollable temper flares (it's a wolf thing). They both love her deeply. Her heart wants to choose both of them, but that is not an option.

A different choice that was not really pursued was a third gentlemen caller in the movie. I can't even remember his name, because the depth of his character was skimmed over. But I think he would be the best selection for Bella. I will call him "Movie Nerd" for lack of a better description.

Movie Nerd asked Bella on a date after he found out she and Edward were splitsville. When Movie Nerd went to meet Bella, she had brought Jacob along to be a third wheel. Bella insisted on watching a disgusting movie because she didn't want to think about romance since her heart was still broken over Edward. Movie Nerd was so grossed out by the movie, that he had to go throw up. Bella and Jacob laughed at him, and he left the movie feeling a bit like, well, a nerd.

As a 20 year veteran of the dating world, my advice to Bella is to go for the Movie Nerd! He has a lot going for him. For starters, he's human. He won't make you sell your soul to be with him, nor will he rip your face off if he gets irritated. Both of those are major selling points! Also, if he threw up at the gross movie, he might be sensitive. Another good thing that represents his human emotions.

I also thought it would be cool if the movie could have Jesus show up. Perhaps Movie Nerd could know Jesus! And then, Movie Nerd, although on the outside displaying weakness, would have the spirit of the Lord inside on him and he could call out those demons and send them where they belong! Because the power of Jesus far outweighs any mind reading or shape shifting that those imaginary powers of vampires and werewolves have.

Adios to Team Edward and Team Jacob, and hola, Team Jesus!

...and if Entertainment Tonight calls for more movie reviews, feel free to give them my number.

We had an amazing time. There were some difficult things--like the hike up the mountain that seemed to never end--but it was an amazing time.

This was probably one of my favorite trips to camp. And it could have been because on the ropes course, I finally caught the hanging bar on my leap off the platform (it's usually my tradition to miss it). It seemed like a miracle. But beyond the physical miracles that I may have experienced, the spiritual miracles are the ones that take my breath away.

It is a huge blessing to see teenagers awaking to the love of Christ. Thank you, Jesus.

For some reason, I pretended I am a travel agent, and I booked myself a
bizarre travel schedule. I'm visiting family, going to camp, and
hitching rides. This morning, I brought out my prayer journal and
presented my requests to God for His wisdom and direction in all those
steps and leaps and bounds.

I'm so excited to go to Colorado and feel small. There's something about viewing big scenery that makes me ooh and ahh at the wonder of God's creation. I can visualize his finger tip molding the mountains ever so delicately almost like needle gliding over the
ridges of an LP...and with that same touch, he made me. Little,itty, bitty, Beth. I love him so.

Thank you, God, for forming me with red hair and skin that doesn't tan
(forgive me when I whine or spray my body colors trying to overcome my
lack of melanin). Thank you for fashioning my own fingerprints--and for also fashioning my soul. You are an amazing God.

Summer is coming. Even though I am far away from the school system, I still feel affected by the freedom of summer. I don't have too many definite plans this summer except for Young Life camp, but I might throw some other possibilities into the mix just for fun.

I had a dear friend who lost her husband this past spring, and she mentioned to me that she might put together a backpacking trip in California. The thought of spending time with my dear friend in such amazing surroundings made my heart leap. I haven't had my heart leap at a trip in a long time.

I used to argue with my best friend over the phone on whether I would be a city person or a country person when I grew up. He always insisted I would live in the city. And I would argue back that I would live in the country. Due to my current circumstances, I am glad we didn't place a bet on that argument.

It's kind of a war that still goes on within my inner self--wanting to be where the action is and people and places---and then wanting to be where I can here the grass and leaves rustle when the wind sneaks by. So, as a bonafide city girl in my present circumstances, I relish retreats to places where God's creation is more evident than man's. It refreshes me to realize that God made those amazing things--and little me, as well. He's big and the CREATOR. And can do amazing things.

In conclusion of my thoughts on my summer plans since I did get slightly off-topic as usual, I am looking forward to:

-Lemonade (from my new favorite place Tiny Boxwoods--crisp! with a hint of mint!)
-a possible visit from my sister and her family (I tried to lure them with the Y's pool)
-a trip to California either with Peggy and/or Leslee to view something beautiful and document it Ansel Adams style
-Seeing alligators at Brazos Bend--if I live in Gatorland, I may as well embrace them!
-Running and making sure I am in good enough shape to sign up for any little 5K I feel like.
-Cooking Class--I've been putting that off way too long.
-Painting my toenails--after a brief period of abscence (I suppose to the market), my toenail is back in action so I'm showing it off painting them in fancy colors.


One of my favorite things to do in Kentucky was to get out and walk and explore back roads and the woods. Sometimes, I would come across a deer eating in a field or catch some other creature just living life. Those memories are precious and peaceful snapshots in my mind. It's a neat feeling being a witness to something in its natural habitat.

Last night, I walked around the dead-end block near my home, and happened upon a mystical creature in its natural habitat--a man in his man cave. I heard music from a guitar, but didn't know where it was flowing from at first. Then, I saw garage doors opened letting light flood the street, and positioned near the table saw, behind the Accord and the Minivan, was the man of the house and his make-shift man cave. He was strumming his guitar playing no song in particular. No kids or wife were in sight. I glanced and smiled to myself, but paid careful attention not to disturb his peace. And kept the event as another snapshot in my mind.

I refuse to spend money on cable. I got cable a year or so ago when my mom came to visit because she has an addiction to HGTV. It was a three month special, and then the price jumped up to over $50 a month. Forget that.

I sometimes pretend I'm more of a reader than a watcher, but then I have to get back to reality that sometimes I do just want to be a couch potato and curl up with a blankie and a movie. I'm been researching some alternatives, and my main favorite option is utilizing Netflix to stream movies.

The Netflix option will require some money being spent which makes my pocketbook say, "ouch." I find it bizarre in the budget that lives in my mind that I can easily spend and justify $80 for shoes, but it is painful spending that much money on electronic equipment. Althought those moments do help to secure me in my womanhood.

I don't have any of the equipment necessary for streaming the movies right now. I do have home internet, but I don't have a wireless router ($50-$70). Before I move forward with additional options, I have to have the wireless router as my starting block.

From that point, I have additional choices:
-Buy a Wii ($199, which I've wanted to buy anyway)
-Buy HDTV with internet apps ($250, I can settle for a 22", I don't need a movie screen)
-Buy a Roku device ($79.99, the most cost effective option, but maybe not the most fun)

This is what is swirling through my brain at the minute. The least amount I would spend (wireless router + Roku) would be about $130. To help my brain and my pocketbook to communicate, I have to translate that amount with some fancy figures (see below).

Wireless Router + Roku = $130
Ralph Lauren Shoes + belt = $130
Leather bag + 3 lipglosses = $130
Perfume + lip plumper = $130
D'Marco's meal + Target dress + Target sweater = $130
Sports bra + new running shoes = $130

...Decisions. Decisions.

Last week, my eyelids flaked off. Gross, yes, and do I know why? No.

I am a pro-makeup woman. I like to be easy, breezy, and beautiful. One of my concerns is that my flakey eyelids might have been due to eyeshadow. I bought some new make-up, but I haven't tried eyeshadow again. I need to be bold and just do it, but I also am in fear that my eyelids will swell, turn red, and then get flakey--which is neither easy, breezy, nor beautiful.

If you have any tips, advice, or connections, please let me know.

Today makes two years at my current company. My "career path" has been a bit crazy, but I'm happy where I landed. I don't think it really matters much what I'm doing, as long as I'm able to afford food, shelter, clothing, and shoes, and having good conversations (only during breaks of course) with those around me.

I love people, and I have a tendency to maybe dig too deep into their lives--like I did a few weeks ago as I asked Dr. Oz's wife her age, how she met Mehmet, and probably something else that I wished I had filtered. Saying that, I just want to reiterate, connections with people are my thing. It's partly a family trait and partly a hobby. I am completely a sanguine.

Now I'm bored, so I'll be done typing (sorry, it's the sanguine talking).

Needs and wants sometimes get confusing. When planning shopping lists, I usually have a list of needs, but are they more like wants? Can I live without them?

Maybe I should apply the vitamin principle as the answer. Yes, I can live without vitamins, but I would live better with them.

So, in conclusion, I have wants, but if I would live better with the want, then it can be identified as a need. I suppose. I'm still confused.

I am in the cleaning mood with no time to clean. That can be a tough thing.

But I'm also in a movie watching mood. Cleaning moods and movie watching moods don't correspond. Especially when your movie mood involves a theater.

Sometimes life gives us dilemmas like this.

I acquired some new items recently from a recently deceased relative's relative of a friend's husband. Yes, confusing. And yes, a bit strange. The recent widower had too many things left from his wife and wanted to see if someone could use them, so my friend and I sorted through some of the items. I picked out some earrings, shoes, a few jackets, a purse, and some shoes.

It does feel a bit bizarre that I never met this woman while she was living. And it does make me think about the things I buy--and realize that they are just temporary things.

Sometimes when I shop, I try to get a bit mathematical. I use an intrinsic formula to figure up wear time of a item compared with actual cost. Sometimes I also throw in factors like the importance of the occasion.

Once, I accidentally sent someone a text message that I loved them, and the person was of the opposite gender of myself. The original text was intended for my best friend to just state to her that I loved this person, but then somehow in the process of working so hard to spell this person's name correctly, I sent the text to that individual. I tried a post text to cover it up, but knew that it was probably not successful.

I knew the next time I saw this person, I needed to look very good, so it was no holds barred for shopping that time. Luckily, the skirt I bought turned out to be one of my top favorite clothing items of all time.

Sometimes, you get lucky with what could be a once-in-a-lifetime outfit--and it becomes the outfit of a lifetime. Too bad that's not true about bridesmaid dresses. The cost/wear time never balances out correctly for those.

The other night, I was watching a friend's cable and discovered a show that I had heard about, but never seen: Hoarders. The show scared the eebie jeebies out of me.

I prefer to call my own issues by a less obtrusive name: Pack Rat--or collector. I have had the problem since I was a child--or my mother said it was a problem. I never had any issues with it. I just liked to collect things. I had a seashell collection and a sticker collection. And of course, an array of Barbies.

After visiting Africa, I was struck by how the people there had relatively no possessions, and I had an overabundance of them. But what do we do with all our junk? Throw it out? Label it? Store it? Save it for a rainy day for our future children? I don't know.

The show has put me in a mood of bulldozing through my belongings. I am weeding the important from the unimportant. I want to live leaner. I want to be honorable with what God has blessed me with and not hold too tightly to things that don't have lasting value.

...I just did a quick google search of the word "storehouse" and there's several scriptures talking about God's storehouses and storing grain and those good things. I guess the problem with hoarding is that there could be a greed element involved or an overfocus on things providing solutions to problems. I'm not pointing fingers at any hoarders, because there would be nine pointing right back at me that have been painted with one of my 10 bottles of the perfect pink fingernail polish.

I came this close: _ (that close)-- to having a MacBook. My co-worker was selling one for his wife, but she changed her mind. Honestly, it's probably good not to get it right now, since my main goal is to try to have freedom from credit card debt. If I get out of that hump, I can afford to buy a MacBook whenever.

I had big plans for the MacBook like garage banding, doing cool edits of photos, and finally writing the book of all books. But I figure, I can take my creativity and manufacture it the old fashioned way--a girl with a guitar and some pen and paper. It won't kill me. It's a bit more romantic (although less hip) than the Mac way, no matter what Apple marketing tries to tell me.

I did my taxes last night. It takes about fifteen minutes. I put in my W-2 info, add in some charitable deductions, and presto! I have completed the return.

Deductions are a bit addictive. One of my goals in life is to be a better giver (and still be cheerful about it), and I felt really encouraged about giving to 501(c)3s since they are tax deductible. What a perk!

I have friends that keep every receipt throughout the year to get a salestax deduction, but I don't have the patience for that. And I also do not have the patience to keep up with medical deductions since I would be nickel-diming counting my costs for cold meds or something else mundane.

But I do have deductions that, if I am elected your government official on a single-lady platform, I would see enacted as standard single-woman deductions:

1. Shoes and Handbags
2. Ice Cream
3. Make-up
4. Hair products
5. Bathing suits
6. Haircutting services
7. Hair removal services
8. Wedding and Baby Shower Gifts
9. Bridesmaid dresses

I consider myself pretty conservative with shopping and all the above, but I guesstimate I could have about a $2,000 deduction, if it was adopted by the government. I can't wait to have a woman president!

Psalm 84:11 (New International Version)

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

I love God.

I'm not getting an iPad. I don't even want one. And I've even seen them. It's pretty cool, but I like my iPhone enough, I don't see how an iPad would completely change my life--and for the money, it should at least provide something meaningful in my life!

I am considering buying a used MacBook. A co-worker, that just bought his wife an iPad, is selling a MacBook, so I might use my tax refund money (after I finally file) to purchase his old one. I keep telling myself that the reason why I've never started writing my book or making movies is because I don't have a good personal computer. Right now, I have a work laptop and a friend's old Mac G4 that is difficult to use sometimes.

When I get the MacBook, my creative juices will flow and my book will almost just magically write itself. I can't wait!

My belly is full. I filled it with a chicken pot pit minus the chicken, which I guess makes it a vegetable pot pie. Then, I added to my belly a few bites of watermelon goodness, some water, and then some bites of a delicious vegan oatcake. The water caused the oats and everything else in my belly to expand and now a feeling of fullness has resulted. Thank goodness I have a dress on.

Men are really missing out by not wearing dresses. They are great.

Restore me, O God; make your face shine upon me. Psalm 80:3

I love the Psalms. I love reading them and relating with them and crying over them--and rejoicing over them.

We've had some beautiful days in Houston lately, and I've tried to let the sun shine on my face while I remember that God's face is shining upon me--even on the cloudy days.

I've had a hard week. I got some sad news last week, and it made my birthday weekend a bit of a bummer. It would have made any weekend a bit of a bummer. All I can say is: ow.

I've had lots and lots of advice given to me, but I felt like God put one woman on my heart to reach out to. I sent her an e-mail, and she wrote me back, and gave me some very Godly, scripture-based wisdom. I am so grateful for it. I haven't talked to her in years, so I felt a bit guilty for pimping her for advice, but it was the best I've been given.

Mid-week, I had a moment when I wanted to shout (and did in the car), "Will people stop telling me their opinion on my life?!" I realized at that point, I might be in the angry stage of grieving.

All I really wanted was prayer. We all hurt at sometime or another. And God knows the remedy for those hurts. But the hard part about dealing with hurt is that you still have to live life around people that want to be help you find solutions to stop hurting--about 98% of those solutions would have not been solutions.

As humans, we hate to see others hurt (or we should!). God made us that way. It's part of what makes us a unique species. I hate to see myself hurt! But I trust, that God has purpose in it. I trust that God will use this pain for his glory. I trust that eventually I will be able to fully trust--because it's difficult!

The eyes see nothing, the heart is crying, and the situation looks hopeless--perfect scenario for God to show up! He has shown up so many times, I don't know why I let myself get so downcast, but I did. And I'm still aching some. But I feel like the initial wound has sweet meds to heal it. And those sweet meds are the prescription from The Great Physician--that's the only cure for the heart.

I will pray. I will hope. And I will trust.

Today is my birthday. The big 3 with a 5 after it.

I got cupcakes coming out my ears. I have flowers from a friend that wanted to make sure my day had some cheer. And I have planned a walk around the park to celebrate the walk around this year of 34 and newness of 35.

I got scared a minute ago that I am middle-aged now. Maybe I am, but if I am, Fergie is, too. Her birthday is in 5 days. And Reese Witherspoon is a year behind me.

God cares for me even when my little self is feeling down. God is good. All the time.

On the very beginning of What Not to Wear, a street sign flashes that reads "No miniskirts after 35." I'll be turning 35 on Monday, and I'm wondering what "after 35" means. Would after 35 be 36? Or after 35 be one day after turning 35? I want to know if I can wear miniskirts during the year of 35 and still not be a fashion rule breaker.

While in Target today, I noticed an elderly lady that seemed to be with her 30-something granddaughter. We wound up exiting the store at the same time, and I noticed that the two were having a discussion, and I thought I heard the words, "Ask her!" I also noticed that it appeared that the "her" was me.

I made eye-contact and said, "Yes?"

The two fumbled a bit and then the mid-80s granny sporting her white sweat pants yelled over to my parking lot row, "Where did ya get your jeans?"

My brain and mouth responded instantly, "Banana Republic...or I guess the Banana Republic Factory Store...it's a been a few years."

The granddaughter had to relay the message because the granny couldn't hear me.

The granny said, "Oh, well I like them!"

I realized I was in the wrong lane to find my car, so I crossed behind the two and could hear the granny saying, "...and I like the zippers on the side.."

I am not quite sure what she meant about the zippers on the side. My Guess jeans from 1987 had zippers on the side, but these do not.

Then the realization that an 80ish woman liked my clothes hit me. Had I suddenly passed over into another age group of dressing where now my clothes were hip to the seniors? I can't stop picturing that granny wearing my jeans.

I should have told her I got them at Forever 81, but my mind wasn't that sharp. See?! Again! This aging thing better be nice to me!

Since I had my phone stolen and the numbers were not backed up (it's a long story), then I have been re-entering numbers into my new phone by hand. I got tired at the Cs, so I still have D-Z to go.

It's been like a game when I receive text messages. I have to figure out who the person might be based on area code and subject. I suppose I should just text, "I lost my phone. Who is this?" But that seems so impersonal.

The other night, a friend was having a birthday party that I could not attend, but I got a text message from another party attender asking me my friend's wife's phone number for some extra party details. I assumed that the person typing the response was my friend, Erin.

There was a birthday dinner two days later for the same person that I was invited to, but could also not attend, and I received another text message from "Erin" asking me if I was going. I explained no, and then somehow got onto my favorite subject: my new boyfriend. I was using the text as a means to gush over him and basically give some girl talk to Erin on my new man. Then it hit me, I don't think this is Erin. A few text to another friend to confirm Erin's number confirmed my suspicions.

I didn't write him back to explain. I thought it might be worse to text back that I thought he was a girl.

It would probably be good to buy Starbucks stock the week before the early time change day, because I know for certain, sales would be up the week after.

I don't like waking up in the dark. I'm not living in Alaska. --And that's why I fell back to sleep after turning off the alarm. I had a good excuse!

I can't believe I had the willpower to do it, but I did it. I deactivated my Facebook account.

With a deactivation, to restart the account, I just login. I can still receive invites and fun stuff, so it's still up to my willpower to ignore it, but it already feels very freeing. I read Amanda's post and felt that confirmed that I needed to opt out of it for awhile. I have a specific account for Young Life that I have access to, so I will still get to post pics from Young Life, and that's really all I need Facebook for anyway.

I have plenty of cyber-ties: e-mail, texting, twittering, and a blog. It's nice to have one less--especially being someone with little self-control and an always connected iPhone.

So, Happy Little Trees, it's more attention to you, again!

Dear iPhone Stealer,

I am assuming that I left my car unlocked unless you used a cool gadget where you were able to duplicate my car's code...or maybe I just forgot to press the lock button before I went into Buffalo Grille. Whatever the case, you got into my car.

I first noticed you had been in my car when I noticed my car charger and three foot USB cord were missing, along with the phone out of my bag.

I don't know why you took my iPhone. As far as iPhone's go, mine was a bit ghetto. I had a really ugly pink case on it that had what I assume to be my dead skin trapped in between the case and the phone. I also had dropped it a few times. Are you going to use those skin cells to clone me?

Also, please just delete my personal info and use it for your own private use. And if you think my calendar of baby showers and weddings looks fun, if you come to the events, please bring a gift and feel free to attend in my place, but be nice.

iPhone stealer, I feel a bit violated. I had lots of pictures on my phone of my dog, my Young Life kids, and things I liked. You took that. You took my Scramble 2 level. You took my Pandora account. You took my Beth Moore reading of Get Out of the Pit--which you should listen to, because if you are stealing iPhones, you've got to be in some kind of pit.

You took my first text messages from my new boyfriend that I read over and over. And my text messages with Leslee which make me laugh--you're not going to get our inside jokes!

I am praying for you, iPhone stealer. I pray that you get what you need with a stolen iPhone, but most importantly, I pray God gets ahold of you--not to spank you silly, but to shake a bit of reality into your life so you can wake-up and know that life is so much more than iPhone stealing. God has a plan for you beyond a plan with unlimited text messaging and internet browsing.

Also, I have a new iPhone. It can make videos, and it's white. And this time, I won't leave it in my car, so tough turkey!


I became a Facebook user a few years ago after visiting some old friends from Camp Hollymont. We had a big camp reunion and most of the girls who had been my pre-teen campers were college and graduate school graduates that were big supporters of staying connected via Facebook. My personal rule was going to be not to have any local Houston friends, because why would I need to connect with them online since distance wasn't an issue?

But I caved. Severely.

I am not very selective with my acceptance of Facebook friends. I have Facebook friend guilt in the worst way. I figure if somebody wanted to be my friend, I shouldn't deny them--despite the fact that I might not even remember how we were connected and if they were standing in front of my face I would have to say, "Now who are you?"

Since joining, I have collected quite a large number of "friends." In real life, I do have a quite a large amount of friends. I have been blessed. And I've lived in four corners of the US and in the middle, and I've worked with large numbers of children that are now adults. I also come from a large extended family. My grandmother had 15 brothers and sisters. One of her brothers had 11 children. And they all multiplied, hence, I have a non-manageable amount of Facebook friends.

It can seem like a parttime job at times. And sometimes it can be the place where I go to escape and view someone else's world for awhile. I can find pictures of friend's spouses and children and current friends. It's like going to my 20th reunion without having to worry about weightgain or wrinkles. It's all just out there in cyber reunion world.

Sometimes I think I'm done with it. I get tired of having another e-mail account to check. Or reading inappropriate things that are posted by teenagers I know that forget the WORLD has access to their writings. And I really hate the games alerts and quiz alerts. Those drive me crazy.

I noticed that in real life, there are some friends I don't call anymore. Because I can follow them on Facebook. But I miss our conversations, and realized that the life I'm following is just cyber life, and it leaves me feeling more disconnected than connected.

I'm debating closing my account. I think it would give me more time to have real connections again. And take away the Facebook tick I've developed from constantly checking the page when I'm bored.

Facebook is kind of like being my own papparazi--with my friends being fans--but is that healthy? Probably not.

I have a cool mousepad with my company's name on it. It connects to my workstation via a USB port and glows blue. It's kind of fun. My co-worker asked me if I had ever read the directions to the mousepad, which I had not. She said the directions had some issues in translation. So, I read them.

Excerpt from the instructions:
"Welcome to use aurora player's evil spirit cushion, please read a manual carefully, in order to understand in an all-round way and use a product correctly."

My other favorite:
"Open the top cover, remove the sponge hands and hold the organism both sides, there should not be damaging. Scratch to check the evil spirit cushion, otherwise should get in touch with local distributor."

I am a bit nervous that my mouse pad is an evil spirit cushion, but nothing bizarre has happened yet.

I am taking a spin class today.

The creator of spinning was a guy named Johnny G. I really don't know how facts like that get in my brain. Maybe from reading magazines, or perhaps Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.

Whatever the case, I will be spinning. I kind of wish that the spinning class could be linked to a spinning wheel, and after all the hard work, each class member would get a bit a spun yarn to take home. It might be a neat twist on things.

...Or maybe the bikes could be hooked up to generators, and the electricity for the music and lights would be supplied based on amount of effort exerted by the class.

For now, I will just settle for calorie burn and wait for the freshly spun yarn and the generators.

Friday is here once again. I'm not the type of person that lives for Fridays, because there are so many other days in between. If I just lived for
Fridays, that would be cutting back my lifespan by a lot.

I enjoy Fridays, because it's sweet anticipation for rest, relaxation, and usually some fun. I've got some plans to visit a friend, workout, maybe watch some movies, eat, go to church, do some laundry, and just chill. Life really is so much like a box of chocolates.

Life has been on a roll. My sickness has finally passed. All the tissues have been taking out with the trash. And I finally started back on my workout schedule. ...And I also had a Valentine! And, I got to celebrate President's Day with a day off from work for the first time in a few years! I feel very blessed.

I have two dear friends that are both getting married this spring. I'm in both weddings and they are a week apart. Due to a lack of extra funds after the holiday season, I waited awhile before I purchased the bridesmaid dress for the April wedding.

Okay, honestly, I was dreading it. Being a bridesmaid is something I do out of love for my friends, and I will leave my comments at that. But the procedure of buying a dress did not go as easily as I had thought. I've bought bridesmaid dresses before, so I didn't think it would be a bad experience.

I stopped by the dress store after celebrating President's Day with a massage, and walked in thinking I would say, "Size 0 for me!" [note: sizes have been changed to protect all parties involved] and then I would leave with maybe a dress in hand or order one. After being called, "sweet girl," "baby girl," and "sweet baby," while standing at the counter, finally the sales rep took care of my case.

"Okay, sweet baby, your dress is espresso [brown], and it's a number 7230, ohhhh! and the wedding is April, yeah, we're gonna need a rush order. It will be a $15 fee." said the lovely sales rep.

"A $15 fee?" said me.

"Oh, no, we better use the $30 fee!" said the not as lovely sales rep.

"A $30 fee?!" said me.

"Oh yes, you waited too long. What size are you?" said the not near as lovely sales rep.

Then, the next thing that made me not-so-happy was the dress size issue. Sizes are a sensitive issue with women. I have lost some pounds within the last year, and felt pretty confident with the size that I am. So, I said, "I need a '0'." I tried it on, and then decided, "ummm...I need the '2'." I wanted to be able to eat at the wedding.

The now evil sales rep came in my dressing room and said, "Okay, take the dress off and then I will come in and measure you."

WHAT? I am a bit of a modest person and generally prefer privacy when in my skivvies in a dressing room. I did not feel a bond with this woman and want her to see my in a personal way. But she came in the room and did my measurements. Thank goodness I have on decent underwear--not my best, but not embarrassing. I have a high waist, but she measured low and the results were pretty much what I thought since I do keep track of things like this.

I rejoined her at the counter, and she then gave me her results using a chart, "Here's where your measurements fall, "You're a 0 for the hips, a 2 for the bust, and an 4 for the waist. You'll probably be best with a 2." Exactly what I told her in the beginning before the strip session!

I was struck by a memory of my pastor telling a story about how his impatience at a store didn't appear to be very Christlike. So, I said a prayer for a rework of my attitude and bought the bigger dress and paid the bigger fee, and did all of it in the name of love for my sweet friend's wedding.

I forget about the poor. Sometimes I get a little too focused on my own needs and wants to remember them.

I read something in the bible today, and it's fuzzy in my mind. It was about the poor. It was about helping the poor, but I can't remember the exact reference or the rest of the story. I need to have my bible to check for book marks or other things on the page to jog my memory. I'm a bit upset with myself for not focusing on it more, because it would have given me some wisdom I needed.

I know some people who are dealing with being poor today, and I'm trying to put myself in a bit of a more uncomfortable position and help them in the way God leads me. The hardest thing about helping the poor is realizing that just because you help them doesn't cure their poverty, but I guess it's about one cup of cold water at a time.

After this crazy lingering sickness, which I have declared a mild version of some type of flu, I am still feeling a bit run down. Each day, I get a little better, but I know that I'm not at 100% quite yet. It's discouraging that all my New Year's fitness goals are laying on the shelf collecting dust while I try to collect energy.

At first I thought, I needed to press through the tiredness, but now I think I need to give myself a little more time before I start back up my relationship with gym equipment. I miss exercising. It's good for a person with ADD tendencies. And, the Y has free cable! Although sometimes I spend the entire time on the eliptical flipping through the stations.

Okay, posting this has worn me out. I'll save the rest for another day.

Tomorrow is haircut day. I like haircut day. I usually have the best hair before haircut day which always makes me nervous about getting a haircut. It's like my hair wants to play a trick on me that day by saying, "See how great I look? You don't need a haircut!"

Since I have a committed relationship with my hairdresser (as in, he is my main squeeze hairdresser), it's become a more pleasant experience. I trust him and his abilities. We can chat. He knows where my gray hairs hide. We can hug at the end of the cut and still be friends.

But the last time I saw him, he asked me about my move. I was a bit confused. Because I didn't move. Then, we both realized he had me confused with my sweet friend, Lisa, that also gets her hair cut there, and did indeed move. I accepted the confusion, because Lisa is beautiful and wonderful, so in his mind, we can be one and the same.

I went to Target yesterday for toothpaste, Q-tips, and hair gel. I was on the phone with my friend, Amber, while I walked into the store.

Me: Oh! This purse is so cute! But it's hot pink...do I need a hot pink purse?
Amber: I thought you were buying toothpaste?
Me: Oh, yeah...toothpaste...
Amber: Why are you in the purses??
Me: I don't know! They are right by the entrance...I just automatically go here...

I bet there are more people than me that go in Target for toothpaste, Q-tips, and hair gel and wind up in the Bermuda Triangle of Purses and Accessories, too.

This weekend, I will be traveling to a small little town in Texas for some "camping" with some teenagers. Part of me is excited, but another part of me is nervous that things that I covet will be interrupted: like sleep.

Last night, I was such a lazy bones and could not peel myself off the couch. I watched my Max Headroom-style HD converted TV as it stuttered its way through an epidsode of 30 Rock (by the way, that show makes me laugh), and then debated on if I should drag myself over to the YMCA to watch the rest of the show while burning calories. Before I knew it, I was asleep on the couch. Falling asleep on the couch happens quite frequently since I've hit my 30s. I remember my parents used to do that a lot.

I finally made it up to bed and dropped like a light. The next thing I remember is that it was 3:00 a.m., and I was awake ready to go. I tried going back to sleep, but in the interim, I entertained myself by watching Dave Barnes YouTube videos. If the X in me never met the other X, but instead met a Y, I wish I could be just like Dave Barnes. He is funny to the bunny.

So, perhaps with or without teenagers in my life, I don't always sleep well, so I will no longer fear the aspect of not having sleep this weekend.

Over the holiday, I paid a visit to Wal-Mart. In my home county in Kentucky, visiting Wal-Mart can be the major event of the day. While there, you run into old friends and can explore shiny new products. It can be fun.

But during this past visit, I was overwhelmed (and maybe because of the recent popularity of the site "People of Wal-Mart") by the fashion of my native people.

Now, I'm not claiming to be a hot commodity of fashion. I am a bit of a trend seeker, so I can hit some fashion whammies from time to time, but I have watched enough What Not to Wear to get by in life without being embarrassed most of the time.

But fot my native people, because I care about you and say this in love, here's some fashion rules delineated by the three major faux pas I noticed at Wal-Mart: Camouflage, Cats, and Carhartt.

Only wear camouflage during hunting season.

There is an exception to the rule above if you really love camouflage. In that case, wear only one camouflage item. Mix and match it with another solid, but avoid a solid from the other two categories represented in this guide.


By Cats, I'm referring to our beloved Kentucky Wildcats. If it's game day, go for it! Deck out! For a trip to Wal-Mart, a Wildcat shirt is okay, but Cat wear should not be worn on a date, for work, church, funerals, weddings, or for dinner.

A t-shirt sporting your college team can be cute for running around town, but again, be sure to pair it with another non-college item.


Carhartt is a great jacket and they make great overalls. Remember, these garments are made for work, not play. If you are a farmer, please use your Carhartt to protect you from the elements. If you are not a farmer, please do not wear Carhartt overalls as your daily wear.

The irony is that I rarely ever see the true 3% of the population of the county that are truly still farmers not following this rule.

The jacket can serve a purpose of finding that inner country-boy look, but do not pair it with the camouflage or the Cat-wear. Those items should not mix for outings beyond the woodline.

I realize it can be tough not to disobey the guide above, because everybody else it doing it, right? But I encourage you, to be bold, be brave, and wear something a bit more flattering. It will instantly make you appear dapper, take the look of ten pounds off your body, and ten years off your appearance. I promise.

I'm cold fighting today. I think I might actually have a mini-strain of the flu. I had chills and body aches last week, so I am left now with a very stuffy head.

I am taking lots of homeopathic stuff, and just heard about another something or other that Dr. Oz recommends, so I will pay my homage to Whole Foods, and see if I can feel a bit better.

Once I'm better, watch out! I am all ready to go full force with the "Beth Gets in Shape" plan. It's going to consist of my old favorites: interval running, free weights and machines. And maybe I'll add in some new weird YMCA class. Those are always highly entertaining. If I could find my DVD remote, I would include workout DVDs, but for now, I can only play the introduction since I need the remote to get to the other playlists.