Monday, January 31, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 17

Day 17: A book you've read that changed your views on something.

I wish that this "view" that was changed was something profound like my political or religious views, but in all actuality, the book that changed my views the most was during my senior year when I read Tuesdays with Morrie.

I absolutely loved this book. As I read it, I didn't fully understand the way it would change my views, but now that I have been out of school for five years (eesh), I realize that it has changed my view on how much we should value the elderly generations.

I'm not saying that I treat them like crap, I just think that more people my age should take the time to sit down and speak with them. Speak with them about everything! From the travelling they did, the things they did for fun, their favorite part of being in their 20s, ANYTHING. This is one thing I wish I had done while my great-grandpa Jesse was alive and coherent, but I don't even know if I was old enough to ask him questions like this before he went senile.

If you haven't read Tuesdays with Morrie, I suggest you try to read it as soon as possible. I really need to read it again because it has been too long since I've read it. The book even made me cry (back before I was as big of a sap as I am now)!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 16

Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without

This one has two possibilities, so I think I want to write about both. The first one won't take long, so I promise you won't be bored!

Negativity. No one needs this. It only brings me down. When I am around people that are constantly negative, I do a lot of self-talk to remember that they only say things like this because that is how they are, and that I cannot let it affect me. "Come on Mal, you know you are a happy person. Remember, things could ALWAYS be worse. Think of how much you love (insert name here) and how much (he/she) means to you. That is something to be happy about."

Jealousy. I hate being human and feeling this terrible emotion. I try not to, and still self-talk me out of the emotion, but sometimes it just takes over and I have to completely distance myself from the situation so that I don't say something I regret. This ugly green monster comes up in a variety of ways:

  • friends who have money, and don't understand what it's like to struggle financially
  • how pretty some people are
  • how no matter what some people do, they seem to have everything together
  • how talented people are
  • how loved some people seem
it's ugly, and I hate it, but I'm human. And I'm sure if you are one of my friends, I've most likely felt jealous of you before too. Please don't think any less of me because of it. It doesn't make me love you any less, and I really wish I didn't feel that way about you.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 15

Day 15: Something or someone you couldn't live without, because you tried living without it.

This one is probably one of the most difficult to be completely honest about. There are many "someones," and I don't know that I could write about just one someone.

My thought process on something that I tried living without has taken much time. I think that is probably why I stopped on this day. But THANKFULLY, I have come to the conclusion that the thing I can't live without (because I have tried) is two very related things:


I know, completely ridiculous. When I was being recruited in high school, I thought I would be done playing sports, I thought I was going to be glad to be rid of the long practices followed by losing games. I have never been more wrong in my life.

I immediately begin to play intramurals once I went to college, and I have even found myself playing in leagues during the summer for volleyball. I didn't even play volleyball in high school.

Then my family and I play various sports on the holidays. Typically, we play football on Thanksgiving and kickball on the fourth of July. The sports are some of the things that I love most about the holidays :)

And then, then, I don't know what caused me to decide that I wanted to pick up running. It was always the punishment for both softball and basketball in high school, but one day I decided I would give it a try as a sport itself.

I ran a couple 5Ks at school. I liked the challenge of the race, but didn't really care if I finished first or last. Just wanted to finish. Then my friend Sam at Love Never Fails finished a FULL marathon just about 4 years after an accident that broke her pelvis and resulted in the doctors telling her that she would be lucky if she ever ran again. If someone who had the possibility of not running again could finish a full, why couldn't I take on the challenge of distance running? So I challenged myself. In March of 2010, I ran my first 10K through my major's club at school. I was exhilarated at my finish/finish time. I didn't think I could do it. Naturally, my next challenge was to become a finisher of a half marathon.

On November 21, 2010, I completed that goal. Training never went as well as I had hoped it would, but I finished. I finished. I finished. I didn't necessarily have the best time in the world, but I finished. During the race, I wanted to give up. I wanted to let my calves cramp and have them take me off. I wanted to shoot myself in the foot for registering for the race. But then I would think of what finishing meant to me, and think about everyone that was my inspiration for doing it, and I pushed on.
(Inspiration: of course Sam, Mimi, my 4 cousins, my brothers, my mom, my big)

I want to run more. It's kind of an addicting task, to complete a half marathon. I know it's weird, but I will most likely never run a full. My field of study in school is Health and Exercise Sciences, and many, many times we have gone over how the human body is not made to complete that many miles in one sitting. I know, I know that so many people have done that (and so much more), but I feel like that with my knowledge of the HUGE risks that come along with running 26.2 miles at once, I don't think I could go against my learning.

So, thank you for learning what it is I can't live without. I've tried to keep playing and running out of my life, but it won't go away! I guess it's a good thing though, running and playing sports are what keeps me healthy. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm baaaaaaaack!

Hello friends,

I know I posted a couple days ago about how I promise that I am reading your comments and stuff, but I had fallen behind in reading your posts. sad face. So, now that it is 10 a.m. on Friday morning and I have been up for about an hour and a half, I am completely caught up with all of your posts! yay!

You guys have been having some amazing adventures while I have been M.I.A. I've gotten to enjoy some beautiful slide show videos, some posts that have made me giggle out loud (causing people to think I'm somewhat crazy), some posts that have made my heart hurt for you, and posts that still inspire me to be better.

I hope you have enjoyed my 30 Days of Truth posts, and I can't believe that I'm already on Day 14! And today's was also the last post that I had scheduled, meaning I am going to have to start writing them again! I only like to write/schedule a few at a time because how I feel about things seem to change a little bit from day to day, and who I want to write to changes a little bit too.
This has been an excellent project for me, as I am doing a lot of soul searching for this activity.

I am, however, looking forward to posting again more on my day-to-day life, and maybe even try to find something new to post weekly. I've been looking around a lot of blogs and it seems that almost everyone I enjoy has one day a week where they post the same thing. I'm not entirely creative, but I'm going to keep brainstorming and hopefully come up with something cool that will have you wanting to see it every week and maybe participate as well.

I started a new officiating job! I very much enjoyed being an official for football for the intramural department at OU for the past two years, and I decided that I wanted to try my hand at basketball this season. I have been doing training for that this past Mon-Wed, and got to officiate my first THREE games last night! I had so much fun doing it, but man am I out of shape! I've got four games coming up this Saturday too, so I'm very excited :)

Today is Fab Friends Friday at For the Love of Blogs, and today I wanted to tell of a Fab Friend of mine who is new to the blogging world. One of my best friends has been reading and following along on my blog, and she just recently made her own blogging world over at A Thousand Different Pieces. She's not quite consistent on posting just yet, but I love reading all the updates she posts! I also love that we share the same Girl Crush with Natalie Portman :) She and I are very similar in many ways, but different enough that it makes for us being the best of friends, and she is completely supportive of me and I her.

Oh, and she also happened to be the person I spent two weeks in Arizona with while I was there over Christmas break.

So go check out Erika's blog at A Thousand Different Pieces and show her some love.

Who's your Fab Friend today?

30 Days of Truth: Day 14

Day 14: A Hero That Has Let You Down. (Letter)

This one is kind of difficult. One, I don't have many "heroes." Two, those heroes I do have our people I actually know. So the recipient of this letter is going to remain anonymous, just because I do not want that person to stumble across this and be upset about me putting all the things between us out on the kitchen table.

Dear Person Whom I Love,

I don't know what has gone wrong with our relationship in the past 5 years. In all the time I knew you while growing up, you were completely supportive of me, rejoiced with me in my accomplishments, and shared my happiness as well as my sorrows. But somewhere along the way, things changed. It seems as if you began to stop caring as much about me, and became more and more selfish.

I'm not trying to put all the blame on you. I do know that at one point I began pushing you away. Part of that was because you weren't there for me at one of my hardest moments in my life, a moment when I needed you the most. I just wanted you to ask me about the guy who was my boyfriend at the time, ask me what was wrong, but instead you were too wrapped up in your significant other to even realize I was broken.

I went through a lot of shit after him. I wasn't the same person anymore, and I began to hate you. I didn't like that I hated you, so I sought counseling. It didn't help that much when I first began because I was in denial. Then when I started opening up more and more to DeAnn, it began helping. I begin to substitute her for you. Do you know how awful that felt, knowing that I confided more in a complete stranger rather than you? It wasn't supposed to be that way.

I've always admired you and your character, and the love you've shown to those closest to you, but this was awful. I had never been so disappointed in my life.

Right now, we're trying to work through things, but circumstances are not making it easy. It's almost to the point that I wonder if you are willing to work everything out or not. Either way, let me know. I'm always here.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 13

Day 13: A Band or Artist that has Gotten You Through Some Tough Ass Days (Write a Letter.)

Dear Kelly Clarkson,

I fell in love with your music when you won American Idol. Even though I never watched your season (or really, any season since), your voice was one of my favorite new sounds back in 2002. I truly believe there is a reason you were the first American Idol. I loved that the girl who won wasn't a cookie-cutter of the current pop stars. You demanded attention on stage, and I loved that I could relate to your lyrics.

I bought your first album, but I must confess that I only listened to the songs I knew (shame on me). But then, in 2004, you released Breakaway. I was hooked. The songs on this album seemed to be a little deeper, and I couldn't help but sing my heart out to "Since U Been Gone." Breakaway helped me through my senior year when I was giving up on the hope of having friends, saw me through the nervousness of attending college, and then the heartbreak of trying to distance myself from my very beloved high school sweetheart. I wish I knew what it was about your lyrics and voice that made me fall in love with your music, but I seriously love ALL of it.

And, I kind of adopted "Beautiful Disaster" (from Breakaway) as my theme song (only changing a little bit of it to say that I am a beautiful disaster).

But no, you weren't done yet. With My December came girl anger, and a calming song that I still am obsessed with to this day, "Sober." Here is where you let your soul show through your music and reminded me that everything is going to be okay. I'm very sad to tell you that this is the only CD of yours that I do not own, but I have heard all the tracks and love it just as much, if not more than your first two.

So when you came out with All I Ever Wanted in 2009, there was no question as to if I was buying it. And can I just say, I think this one may be the one that impresses me most. You have such variety in all of your songs throughout the entire album! I loved singing and dancing to the first two singles you released :) They were the perfect pop songs I was looking for. But then you slow it down with "Already Gone," and I felt like you took the words right out of myself.

But my favorite? You showing that pop girls can rap with "Whyyawannabringmedown." OB-freaking-SESSED. I find myself jamming to it all the time.

Please continue to make music that I love and speaks to me. Without some of your lyrics, I would have never gotten out of bed on some days. Some of your lyrics remind me that "it's gonna be alright."

Mallori, forever in your debt for the songs you produce.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I promise I'm still here!

My Dear Friends and Readers:

I know that it seems that I have kind of been M.I.A. for about a week, but I promise I am reading all of your comments and things and will respond to them soon! I have a bunch of my 30 Days of Truth posts scheduled, so they automatically show up. Right now, I'm still working on getting into the routine of school and whatnot.

I am starting a new refereeing job (basketball) in the next couple weeks, so I have been doing training for that since Monday. Tonight concludes our training, but I really think I will be busy until around 10:00 tonight. Tomorrow is 500 kinds of busy as well, and then I am driving home for basketball homecoming tomorrow night. HOPEFULLY, with the little bit of free time I should have on Friday morning/afternoon, I'll be able to respond to all of your comments!

I promise I am reading all of them and I love it when you take time out of your day to read and comment on my posts! I really do appreciate it!

I will talk to you all soon!

p.s. Did you see I figured out how to add a signature? I'm slowly learning :)

30 Days of Truth: Day 12

Day 12: Something You Never Get Compliments on.

Like Day 11's Truth, I had to get help for this one too. I'm not big on fishing for compliments, but I do appreciate the ones I get. There are probably other things that I never get compliments on, but this particular thing is something I love about myself.

Courtesy of Google Images
Like I said in Day 02's Truth, I love how tall I am. Although, I'm not sure you can really compliment someone on how tall he or she is . . . In fact, now that I think about it, I may get compliments on this, but usually when someone mentions my height, it makes me feel like a giantess.

So maybe it gets mentioned, but I don't know that they are necessarily compliments.

I can't wait for tomorrow's truth so I can stop talking about my compliments and stuff.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 11

Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

I honestly had to get some help with this truth and tomorrow's truth. I feel like I don't receive compliments, at least not to my face, too often. I definitely had to ask what people think of me.

The consensus? People compliment me on my hair all the time. They say it's pretty, soft, shiny, always looks good. I never really realized this, until I was getting ready the other day and I had 2 sisters come in and out of the bathroom, and the both said "Mal, your hair is so pretty." So I'll let you be the judge.

Here are some pictures of me with LONG hair:

And here are some pictures of me with SHORT hair:

I guess I can see what people mean. After all, I did say in Day 02's Truth that I do love my hair. . .

Monday, January 24, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 10

Day 10: Someone You Need to Let Go, or Wish You Didn't Know.

Today's is pretty easy for me too. I'm taking the part that's "Someone You Wish You Didn't Know." It starts as a love (well, very much in like) story.

It all began during the 2007-2008 Christmas break. I was at the house of a guy I graduated with, and a bunch of people that graduated with us were there too. We were having a party, celebrating everyone being on break and back in town. I was just kind of minding my own business, hanging out with my old friends, taking lots of drunken pictures, and enjoying the night (I think it was New Year's Eve, but I'm not 100% entirely sure.)

A guy came up to me and introduced himself. I knew who he was because he was there with a girl that graduated the year before I did. I thought he was cute, but I SO was not going there. I wasn't all that good of friends with the girl whom he was dating. I didn't want to be rude, so I made very small talk, then excused myself to go out to the garage. I was out in the garage for maybe 5 minutes, and then he was out there. I then excused myself to go inside, and as you can imagine this went on for a little bit. Then the party started going way too late into the night, and some newcomers picked a fight with one of the guys I went to school with. The party was definitely over.

A couple weeks later, this boy added me on myspace. I reluctantly accepted his friend request, but made nothing of it. Then the messages started coming. They were sporadic, and I would purposely wait a few days to respond. It really annoyed me that he was telling me I was pretty and he really wanted to get to know me better the night we met when he was still dating the girl.

I turned 21 in November of 2008, and he sent me a message on the morning of my birthday asking if I was in town and if he could buy me a birthday drink. (My birthday was on Thanksgiving day.) I declined and told him that I appreciated the offer but I didn't know him well enough and I didn't think his girlfriend would be too happy with him buying me a drink. He responded by saying they had broken up in September and he had wanted to tell me but didn't want me to be weirded out. I stopped messaging.

Christmas break came, he started messaging me almost every day. He kept saying he wanted to meet up with me, wanted to take me on a date, all this crap. About a week before I was to head back to school, I finally decided that I might kinda like him, so we exchanged numbers. My last Saturday night in Tulsa, he asked me to meet him at a bar. I did, and we had a good time talking and dancing. He kissed me good night when I left, and opened my car door for me. hook, line, and sinker. Sunday afternoon, he asked to take me to a movie. I agreed whole-heartedly this time. He then kissed me again. Well hello there loving emotions, nice to see you back. I was supposed to leave semi-early on the Monday morning, but my mom wanted me to come eat lunch with her before I left. When he realized I hadn't left yet, he asked me to come pick him up from work and take him home so he could see me for a little bit. Of course I did.

The next couple of months were fantastic. We were seeing each other every weekend (with the exception of Valentine's Day weekend, it was just too weird for me). He was taking me on dates every weekend, all weekend long. He came to Norman for one of my date parties. He met my friends. I liked the boy a lot.

There were a couple drunken nights where he let slip those three nasty little words that I believe get thrown around too much, and it freaked me out a little bit. But for the most part, I liked him, he liked me, and I liked spending time with him.

When spring break came around, I was excited about getting to see him 10 days in a row, instead of our usual 3. We made plans to go out on St. Patrick's Day because it was my first time to be legal for the holiday. We hung out Friday night, made plans for Saturday, and when I texted him Saturday, I never got a response. He finally talked to me on St. Patty's day and told me he made plans with his roommate and he didn't mind if I went and hung out with my guy friends. This NEVER happened before, he always questioned my intentions when a guy would text me while we were together. lame. Basically that was the last time I heard from him until the Sunday after my first week back after spring break. He called me from what I thought was his ex-girlfriend's phone, and answered with this "Hey Mal, ***** wanted me to call you and make sure you knew it was over between you and me." Seriously? douche. I was done the minute you started ignoring me, no matter how much I liked you.

I deleted everything that he was a part of. No more myspace and facebook friends, I deleted all of our pictures off of my computer, phone, camera.

After that, I went crazy. I began to crave attention from anyone and everyone, just because I felt that I needed that justification. I had never been cheated on so bad before, as I soon found out I was his girlfriend on the weekends, and that so-called "ex-girlfriend" was his girlfriend on the weekdays while I was at school. No wonder why she called so often when he and I were together. I'm not fully blaming him for the actions that began to snowball within the next couple of weeks, but it put me through a pretty rough patch.

So to this guy, I wish I never knew him. I could have saved A LOT of time and money, I could have saved heartache, and I would love to go without wondering if I'm going to get jumped by this girl in my own church parking lot when I'm at home on weekends. She's hateful and I wouldn't put it past her to take it out on me when I'm vulnerable.

But hey, you live and learn, and trust me, from this messed up experience, I've learned A LOT.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Love 4 Day Weekends!

Classes got cancelled on Thursday because of the icy conditions. I already don't have classes on Fridays, so I got to enjoy a nice, relaxing 4 day weekend. I already told you of my adventures Thursday night, with me going to celebrate my last night at the old O'Connell's location. Friday, I decided that I wasn't in too much of a mood to go out. I had already volunteered to help with scoring for the women's gymnastics meet, so I had that to look forward to for Friday night. At one point in the afternoon, the roommate and I decided to go to Hobby Lobby (and I needed to go to a shop called Christmas Expressions) to pick up some crafting supplies we needed. We spent all afternoon crafting our various projects, and then went to the meet together. Upon our arrival, we got to hang out with our sister Kaitlin for a little bit longer before roommate left to visit boyfriend in Stillwater.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a fun-filled sports extravaganza! I went to the OU men's basketball game at 12:30, and they had a very fun theme. "Star Wars Day" begun with our mascots, Boomer and Sooner, dueling Darth Vader and Darth Maul in an epic light saber battle. They also had things like, Yoda Cam on the screens above. It was a fun game to be at! The men didn't play so hot, but they ended up with a 67-60 win over Colorado. Then I spent the afternoon being lazy around the house, and then went to a men's gymnastics meet at 7. I forgot how different men's gymnastics is from women's. I freaking love the High Bar, and the Floor exercise just demonstrates so much power.

Then last night, I hit up the new O'Connell's on Campus Corner (AWFUL) and then my favorite place Logan's. I went to O'Connell's for two sisters' birthdays, and then because the waitstaff at the new place is the slowest ever, I went across the street to my favorite place ever. I met up with 3 friends from APO while I brought 4 sorority sisters with me. I also ran into a lot of my friends while there. Kaitlin, Rachel, and I spent about an hour or so there dancing before we left to go to a Pike rush party. After the rush party, we hit up What-A-Burger for the deliciousness that it is at 3 a.m.

I'd say that all in all I had a pretty successful weekend!

How were your weekends friends? Anything exciting you want to share?

p.s. If you like to share your weekend in pictures, you should DEFINITELY begin participating in the photo swap. It's a lot of fun!

30 Days of Truth: Day 09

Day 09: Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted.

This one is SO EASY.
There was this girl that I played softball with. She moved into Sperry and started playing basketball for the school and also for my summer league softball team when she was in 8th grade, I was in 7th. She and I became SO close! She was Hispanic, and we would say we were each others' "Brown Sista." Once she moved up to high school, she lost her passion for softball. That was when the beginning of us drifting started.

A couple years later, Her parents that I had known and loved decided to get a divorce. It was something that happened between them and not really my place to say, but the girl was moving to Texas with her mom (she ended up graduating from Magnolia High School I believe). I knew she and I weren't as close anymore, but she left without telling me goodbye. Her mom told me goodbye, but she didn't. I was hurt. I was angry. I was upset. I felt like she didn't value our friendship as much as I had.

This girl's name is Elise. I have forgiven  her since then, and she has apologized for her actions. I believe she still lives in Texas, and we are still in contact with each other. I have her home phone number, I know a teensy tiny bit about her husband and two children, and we are friends on facebook. I wish the relationship were a little different, but she and I are in two completely different worlds. I wish I could say that I still knew her well, but for the most part, she's a girl who used to be my best friend and Brown Sista. I miss her very much. In fact, I think I will call her tomorrow. . .

Saturday, January 22, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 08

Day 08: Someone Who Made Your Life Hell, or Treated You Like Shit
WARNING: This post has a lot of cuss words because I am not educated enough to substitute the inappropriate words

If you know anything about me, you'll know that I absolutely HATE AND LOATHE drama. I hate and loathe it so much that I almost considered completely skipping over this truth and making up my own. What I truly have to say will hurt some people and will cause unnecessary drama, and it's not really anything I want to start. I guess I will start from what I can remember of the beginning . . .

I moved back to Sperry in the second grade from Southeast Oklahoma. Naturally, I got a lot of attention from a lot of people because I was the new girl (it always happens because Sperry is so small). I was just coming off of participating in an after-school gymnastics program for a year and a half and was very upset that Sperry didn't offer anything like it.

Once I started third grade, my aunts convinced to me try out playing softball. I signed up for a rec team that had a lot of girls in my grade on it. The next thing I know, I am best friends with four girls: Amanda, Whitney, Danielle, and Jessie. It took me a little longer to become friends with Whitney because she was in the grade below us, and she was super girlie. (You'd think with me being in gymnastics I would be somewhat girlie, but I was a tomboy for most of my elementary years.) The 5 of us began doing EVERYTHING together: softball, basketball, sleep overs, classes; we were just constantly a part of each other's lives. Naturally, their families became my families, and my family became theirs. I thought I had the best friends in the world.

Once we got a little older, girls started being girls. We started arguing, I started crying on a pretty regular basis, and I even began questioning if they were my friends at all. I thought they were starting to use me to be close with my family, because my family was very generous with our summer league softball team. My junior year in high school, I wanted to quit basketball (the love of my sports life) in order to get away from all the bitchy bull shit drama.

Not all 4 girls made my life hell, just 3 of the 4. But what pissed me off so much about the 4th girl is that even though she was not doing the things the others were doing to hurt me, she was still letting them happen. The problem with this 4th girl is that she is one of the nicest people I've ever met, and she never wanted to upset anyone. So when the 3 ganged up on me, she just kind of fell by the wayside and pretended like nothing was happening.

I stopped hanging out with them my senior year. I had decided enough was enough, and I couldn't wait to graduate to get away from them. Instead, I spent all of my time with my friend Casey, my brother Jared and his friend Sarah, and my then-boyfriend Bobby. I began spending my weekends at Casey and Bobby's friend Andrew's, and probably honestly had more fun there than I could have ever imagined. The best thing about it all is that Casey and Bobby's grade were close enough that they hardly ever pulled the crap that was being thrown at me. They all welcomed me into open arms.

I'm not saying senior year was cake once I quit hanging with these girls. OH NO, that would be a HUGE understatement. I had another boyfriend the first half of the school year and the break up was a mess, I hurt too many people when I decided that I did in fact still like Bobby, I made a dumb decision and bruised all of the muscles in my abdomen, I received 500 thousand types of hell when it came to getting basketball homecoming queen, and I got my heart broken by a guy best friend who stood me up to prom. My mom even had to miss my basketball senior night because she was sick with the flu. But being around a completely different crowd, being around my brother for the most part, made it a tad more bearable.

My relationship with these 4 girls are not the same as it was when we were in high school. The circumstances have completely changed, and my relationships with all 4 of them are different. I think that comes with being semi-adults. 2 of the 4 are married with at least one child (and I'm the godmother for one of them), 1 of the 4 has been in a serious relationship with a guy I graduated with since she was a senior in high school, and the last 1 of the 4 and I are even considering moving in together once we both graduate and get decent stable jobs. But for the years that we were around each other 24/7, they made my life a miserable hell.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Story Time

Sit back and relax, and let Mal tell you a story. . .

Once upon a time, there was a wee little freshman who moved into the dorms very excited and very nervous for her first year in college. Coming from a small town, she didn't know what to expect about not knowing anyone or anything to do with the little college town of Norman, OK.

Upon meeting her roommate (whose name was Meridith), she discovered that the new roommate was normal, and that the year should bring on lots of adventures. Little did she know that the adventures together would begin that night. Meridith had a boyfriend who was already a student at The University of Oklahoma, and he invited Meridith and her new roommate to join him at a little Irish pub called O'Connell's. The freshman and Meridith then began to take showers and get ready for a night out, shaking their booties to "Ms. New Booty" by Bubba Sparxxx.

O'Connell's, Lindsey Street location, across from the football stadium
The freshman wasn't quite sure if she was ready to take on the whole college thing, and was completely nervous when she stepped into this pub. However, once she sat at the table inside the pub, she realized that Meridith's boyfriend was good friends with a guy named Taylor, who also came from the exact same small town she was from! This may not be so bad after all! Once at the table, the 4 people of age ordered a couple "beer rockets" and many glasses for the 3 of us under age. The freshman fell in love with the place and returned to this pub many, many times in her college career (not just for drinking, but for eating and birthdays too! The pizzas are fantastic!)

If you couldn't tell, I am the freshman. I LOVE the O'Connell's location on the corner of Lindsey and Jenkins. However, at the very end of my freshman year, the horrible University bought the land out from underneath the location. Since then, they have been "closing" 7 different times. I have been very sentimental about this place, as I have had some amazing memories there. Not only that, but the pub itself has stood in its location, across from the football stadium, since 1968. My roommate's parents drank there when they were in college.

O'Connell's is really closing its doors tonight. Tomorrow they are having an auction and auctioning off almost everything inside the pub. The O'Connell's franchise has opened another location on Campus Corner, but it's just not the same. This one is more of a pub feel, whereas the one on Campus Corner feels like just another bar on Campus Corner.

So to celebrate the last week, I went and visited my original watering hole on Wednesday for Karaoke and $5 pitcher night, and then returned there last night for 99 cent happy hour specials from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. (I wasn't there for 12 hours I promise!) My friend Kaitlyn and I had decided when we were roommates for Fall 2009 that we wanted to do the Aggie tradition of a ring dunk. I wanted to do it at the old O'Connell's (the Lindsey St. location) just because of the history of the bar. What an Aggie ring dunk is, from what we both understand, is for each person with a class ring to get a pitcher of beer, drop the ring in the beer, and chug (don't swallow the ring!) Well, we aren't that hardcore so we just got a pint and did a ring dunk. We were at O'Connell's from about 7:00-12:30, enjoying the various 99 cent specials (such as chips and queso at 8 p.m.).

I love this bar. I don't want it to close, but I'm so glad that I had all the friends there with me to celebrate my last night in the first bar I ever went to. Thank you to Kaitlyn, Katy, Rachel, Michelle, Matt, Lance, and Rockie and Craig (for the couple hours or so you were there) for helping me make my last night memorable.

And thank you to the old O'Connell's for hosting many memories throughout my college years. I truly will miss the pub atmosphere of the place.

Thank you readers for letting me tell you a story about me breaking the law when I was 18. Please don't report me ;-)

p.s. You know what today is. Fab Friends Friday at For the Love of Blogs. So head on over and find some new great reads! You won't be disappointed!

30 Days of Truth: Day 07

Day 07: Someone who has made your life worth living for.

I truly wish that I was confident in my spiritual relationship with Jesus. I feel like that should be the answer, but honestly, it's something I struggle with every day. And this meme isn't titled 30 Days of What Should Be.

So here is my truth:
I honestly don't think I could say there is exactly one someone that has made my life worth living for. As different struggles present themselves on different days, a different person has given me the strength and courage to continue on.

For the most part, it is the amazing love and support that I constantly receive from of my immediate family members: Mimi, Mom, Annya, Jessica, Ed, Ryan, Jared, Jacob, Edith, MacKenzie, Emma, Hannah. Without their love and knowing I have these 12 personal cheerleaders back home, I would have given up on college 5 years ago.

I also have specific friends that have impacted my life:
Caroline & Lisa, for making me sit with them at that football game in September of 2006, and befriending me without question. The three of us do not get to spend as much time with each other, but without their friendship, I wouldn't have returned to Norman after Christmas break.

Erika, because in all the years I have been alive, I have never met anyone who is so much like me that it's scary. She's the one who encouraged me to demand better of myself, and, quite frankly, bitched me out for wanting to quit. But if she hadn't bitched me out, I wouldn't have met the next 4 people.

Katy, from the first day I met her, I knew we had to be friends. She was all kinds of sassy and I didn't expect it from her at all. She knows probably some of the worst things about me, but she still chooses to be my friend and my roommate.

Jessica, even though we lived together for a VERY short time, I started to consider her a true friend when she agreed to attend Labor Day festivities with my crazy family. She is always encouraging (not necessarily being a cheerleader like the fam). She inspires me to be a little better within APO too.

Josalyn, and yes, this is the same Josalyn from Day 04's Truth. I'm not exactly sure when or why she decided she wanted to be my friend, but I'm so glad that she did end up starting the relationship between us during recruitment 2009. We soon became inseparable, and because of her I've learned how to be truly generous to those you love. She has also introduced me to some pretty amazing people.

and finally, how could I leave out Andy?! Andy, who is one of the most straight-forward people I know, who really doesn't care what it is people think or say about him, and who lets me hysterically cry to him when I'm having a rough night. Don't get me wrong, Andy has his faults to, but he knows them and accepts them. Without Jessica and APO, I would have never realized that a girl can have the same person as her in boy form (with some minor differences here and there)!

These people, by no means whatsoever, are the only ones who have made my life worth living for. They are just the ones who I feel have had the most impact on me just within my 5 years of being in college. And it's crazy to believe that all of them I have known less than 10 years.

Thanks for reading today!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 06

Day 06: Something You Hope You Never Have to Do

So today's is also a little bit of story time. I was born in the Tulsa area, and lived there through the end of my year in kindergarten. Once kindergarten was over, my father convinced my mother to move to Southeast Oklahoma to be closer to his parents. So all 5 of us loaded up all of our things in a U-Haul and moved to a small town called Hugo (I wouldn't be surprised if you've never heard of it). We lived in Hugo for about half of the school year before moving in with his parents in Wright City. It was during this time that my parents decided to separate and get a divorce. So my mom moved out, along with a majority of mine and my brothers' things, and moved us to Idabel, OK (All of these towns are pretty close to each other, so they weren't huge moves).

I finished up first grade in Wright City, and started second grade in the same school. About three months into the school year, my mom got custody and so I transferred to go to school in Idabel. We lived with our mom for a majority of the time, and I absolutely loved this time! We walked everywhere together as a family, including the grocery store and the church. I thought it was really cool to walk down the street holding the hands of my mom and brothers and bringing groceries back to cook.

What I didn't know is that we did all of these things because we were dirt poor. Thankfully, my mom's mom (Mimi) didn't like to hear how much we were struggling financially, so she got in her mini van and drove the 4 hours or so to Idabel, OK and packed up our things and helped us move back in with her in Sperry. I just thought it was cool that I got to be around my other family all the time. Throughout the next couple of years, my mom worked full time and went to school full time. She completed her Bachelor's degree in 3.5 years. I was proud of her, but didn't really know why.

Now that I'm grown, I realize how much she struggled financially, partly because we needed food in our bellies, partly because my father had ruined her credit, partly because she took out the maximum amount of loans to make sure the three of us lived a life without knowing we were poor.

Something I hope I never have to do? I hope I never have to struggle as much as my mom did, financially, while she was raising us. I truly appreciate all of the sacrifices she did make to make sure that we grew up as healthy as possible and as naive as possible. Because looking back on it now, I want to slap myself for not thanking her more. But it's all in a mother's love.

...Wait, What?! I Got an Award?!?!!!!

Yes that is right, ladies and gentlemen. This Blogger, right here got her very first blog award! I am so excited, so thankful, so HONORED to have received this award! I've seen many of my blogging friends receive blogging awards, and I've always been very excited and wondered how many awards were out there! SO, without further ado, here is my post dedicated to my very first award! :)

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Answer 10 questions.
3. Pass it along to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy.
4. Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award.

thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU to the lovely Miss Amanda over at The Little Yellow House Blog. I appreciate you thinking of me when you received this award!

The 10 Questions:
1. Why did you create this blog?
-I first created it to have an outlet to express how lonely I was. Not such a great way to start a blog. BUT, by reading an OU alumni's blog at Fairytale Beginning, I decided that I wanted to change up the blog. I wanted it to be a way for me to remember what it is I love about my life, what it is that I think makes it beautiful day in and day out, and a way for me to remember 50 years down the road what was important to me at the time I wrote it :)

2. What kinds of blogs do you follow?
-I seriously follow ALL KINDS of blogs! I mostly follow the blogs that my friends own, and when I am out and about looking for new blogs, I read through a couple of their pages and posts to see if they write about things I am truly interested in. And a couple of blogs I follow simply because they make me laugh. I'm not big on fashion blogs (just because I have NO sense of fashion myself), but I do love the cooking blogs I find (since I will have to begin cooking for myself soon).

3. Favorite make-up brand?
-ohh man, I'm not really a "make-up" kind of person. I mostly use eyeliner and mascara....but I do love eyes.lips.face. (or e.l.f.) simply because everything is $1 and I can try new things without spending a fortune on them!

4. Favorite clothing brand?
-I LOVE Vanity! It is a little boutique-type store that has jeans long enough for me at a REALLY reasonable price! I also love GAP clothing, probably because I worked there for a year and a half.

5. Indispensable makeup product?
-mascara and chap stick :)

6. Favorite color?
-I hope my background/banner/text color give a clue here, but hands down it's purple, which is kind of ironic because I'm not a big girlie girl.

7. Favorite perfume?
-I prefer body splashes because they aren't as potent, but I have two that I wear, Live by Jennifer Lopez, and Love Kills Slowly by Ed Hardy. (No judging, I really love the non-overpowering floral-y scent that is in the Ed Hardy perfume!)

8. Favorite film?
-I'm TERRIBLE at picking favorite things....I love all kinds of movies, and for the most part it depends what mood I'm in as to what movie I want to watch... SOME favorites include: Grease, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Love & Basketball, The Ugly Truth, The Hangover, The House Bunny, Harry Potters, Saws.

9. What country would you like to visit and why?
-Again, there are so many! I want to travel all over! But I truly think the one country I want to see most is Greece for many reasons. It didn't fit into my tour that I went on in 2006, the pictures from the coast are always gorgeous, and there is SOOOO much history within the country that I would probably pee my pants from so much excitement.

10. Would you rather forget to put mascara on one eye or forget blush on one side of your face?
-I think mascara . . . I don't really wear blush, and at least with the mascara, I could easily make it look somewhat normal . . . maybe . . .

And now, to pass along this award, here are 7 blogs I've recently discovered and enjoy (in no particular order):
  1. Angie at Living Aloha
  2. Kristin at Diary of KFun
  3. Donna at Write Now, Write Later
  4. Kendra (and Ryan) at A Grimm Tale
  5. Valerie at Threads and Thoughts and Things I Love
  6. Lindsey at TexaGermaNadian
  7. The FOUR writers at Legos In My Pocket
Go check all of them out! They are great blogs that I enjoy reading with every update!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

Today started out awful. My first class of the day begins at 8 a.m., so I set 2 alarms to attempt to wake me up this morning, the first at 6:45 and the second at 7:15. Katy (roommate) woke me up at 8:06. Shit. That's all I could repeat over and over again. So I hurriedly brushed my teeth, got dressed, and began trekking to the Stadium in search for my class. It is in the training facility, and I've never been inside so I had absolutely no clue on where it was. Luckily, on my way over, I saw a couple guys that are in my major and asked if they were in my class. Which means that unluckily, I had missed the first day of this class. GREAAAAAT. I missed the first class. Syllabus day/20 minute class and I missed it. I was completely flustered but vowed not to let it bring down my Wednesday.

Because class got out so early, I was able to return to my house and get some real breakfast, which consisted of my favorite: biscuits and gravy. I'm thinking to myself, Okay, today can get better. But of course, I thought too soon. Returning to my home, I tripped on the sidewalk and bit it. I don't know how I managed it, but somehow I didn't land on my hands, scrape my knees, or throw my phone on the ground. I basically fell on my face (you can laugh because I am laughing about it now)    :-D

After my wonderful breakfast, I began to go to my second class of the day, which I have been looking forward to since I decided I was going to take the class back in the beginning of October: Beginning Piano I for Non-Majors. YESSSSSSSSSSS. I enjoyed the first class, but I also realized that I am so science-brained that I have almost no musical inclinations. I will have to practice, practice, practice to be able to pass the class, but I'm very excited about it (still). AND, AND, I get to cross off "Take piano lessons" off of my bucket list!!      !!!!! I'm not doing it until the semester is complete. I can't believe I'm actually doing things that I wanted to do in my life! It's so weird! But such a cool feeling!

My last class of the day is a spin class, and yes, I get a grade in it (it's a pass/fail class). This semester I think is going to be FANTASTIC, because I am taking a variety of classes! I am taking Care & Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Beginning Piano I for Non-Majors, Spinning, Senior Capstone, Beginning Weight Training, and Freedom in Rome. That's only two classes in my major, and leaves me quite a bit of free time to be able to volunteer more through APO and practice piano. Such an awesome semester is ahead, and I can't wait for all the adventures waiting for me!

Have a fabulous Wednesday folks, and hopefully yours started off better than mine did!

p.s. One of my new favorite reads over at Travel Babbles is having a new feature each week titled Around the World Wednesday! It's a cool way to find new blogs! But you should follow her first.

30 Days of Truth: Day 05

Day 05: Something You Hope to Do in Your Life

Well wouldn't you know it, I have a whole bucket list here :)
These are all things that I want to do with in my lifetime, and I don't have any set date for any of them.

However, that is SO BORING to just send you to my bucket list and that be today's truth, so instead I will take ONE item on my bucket list and explain.

Bucket List item: Live in London.

Parliament/Big Ben

The summer after I graduated from high school, I was blessed enough to be able to travel to Europe TWICE. The first time, I went on a tour around the continent, landing first in London and then crossing the Channel into France and doing a circle around the continent. (I spent 8 days in Italy alone!) I was gone for about a month, and I thoroughly enjoyed everything I did and every city I visited. I also made some amazingly fantastic friends from around the globe!

We have these on OU's campus, but they're SO MUCH COOLER in London!

Maybe it was because it was the first city I visited, maybe it was because everyone spoke a language I understood, but I FELL IN LOVE WITH LONDON. I loved the big city that it was, I loved that we walked a lot of places, I loved that when we didn't walk there was public transportation that was pretty easy to navigate, I loved that there was so much history within the town, I loved that there were parks EVERYWHERE, I loved the architecture, I loved EVERYTHING.

Once I returned stateside, I ached to go back to London and visit again. I felt like I wasn't in the city long enough to be able to truly appreciate what it had to offer.

Two years later, I joined a sorority. I met the girl who would soon be my big and best friend, and she told me about how she and her family had lived in London at one point when she was younger. My mind was blown. I never even thought about living anywhere else besides the good ol' U.S. of A., and I couldn't believe she had lived there and then moved back like it was no big deal.

Then I became obsessed. I started making plans on when and how I was going to do it. I loved the idea of one day telling my adopted children "Mommy lived in a flat in London for a little bit in her twenties." I mean, how cool of a mom would I be?! Plus, with me not having a boyfriend and not having kids, aka no real responsibilities, moving there for a while and then moving right back should be a piece of cake!

As of right now, I'm still working on plans. I'm not entirely sure that it will pan out how I originally planned, but it is still something I ache for. I want to be in a big city on my own for a little bit just because I can. I don't want to let go of things that I truly believe will add to my life experience and that will make me happy. So this, THIS is the BIG thing I hope to do in my life. :)

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 04

Day 04: Something You Have to Forgive Someone For.
Just warning you that today's truth will be really long too.

Today's topic gets into some murky waters for me. There are two HUGE things that I could write about. I decided to share the one thing that not many people know about, so that maybe if it happens to you, you can learn from me, and get some help for it.

I probably have dated 4 or 5 guys since I've graduated from high school. I've never had anything too serious with any of them, but I enjoyed the time I spent with each of them.

One summer while I was working with my best guy friend Sean at the baseball park, he had a friend from his old hometown come visit. The kid was cute (I say kid because he is two years younger than me, and both he and Sean had just graduated from high school). He talked to me like we have known each other for a long time, and I flirted shamelessly. I figured I would probably never see him again.

He was visiting Sean because they were going to be roommates in college, but I didn't find that out until later.

The next day, Sean texted me and asked if I was okay with him giving his friend my number. Of course I didn't mind, I was attracted to him. I didn't expect to hear from him anytime soon, so I went to my second job wondering why he wanted my number. When my 5 hour shift was over, I had a text message from a number that I didn't recognize, just asking what I was up to. After a few bantering texts back and forth, he admitted to me who he was and said he would like to see me again. It didn't work out for us to see each other before he went back to his hometown, but we kept texting and calling each other constantly throughout the next 2 months.

August came around, and I had to move into the sorority house for recruitment. He and Sean were attending a college about 45 minutes away from mine, so we made plans to hang out on the day that I had a break from recruitment. When I went to see him, he introduced me to his dad and stepmom. It was slightly awkward, but I just figured it was because they were in town helping him move in. The day came to an end too soon, and I drove back to school to prepare for recruitment.

Recruitment at OU is a little different than most schools. All members of all sororities move into their houses beginning with August 1 to prepare for the girls going through recruitment (called Work Week). All during work week, he was upset that I couldn't text him all day, especially with us being so close to each other. Actual recruitment for women begins a little less than 2 weeks before classes start, with the conclusion of recruitment happening the Wednesday before classes start on a Monday.

During this time, the guys began their first week of school. I had to help clean up the house on Thursday, and then planned on spending my much needed long weekend in his college town. I had a friend from high school that didn't live too far from the campus, and I was going to stay the night with her while visiting him during the day.

Everything was going great all week. I would hang out with at my friend's apartment during the day while he was in class, and then would go visit him once his classes were over. We hung out in Norman a couple times, and I introduced him to some of my friends here. I even met his mom and sister at one point during the week (that part freaked me out a little).

I don't know what went wrong where, but Friday night was odd. We came to Norman to attend a back-to-school party that one of my sorority sisters was hosting. I knew that I would have to drive an hour back to get him to campus, so I only had a couple drinks early in the night so I would be able to drive later. I had my last drink about 4 hours before we left, and I was completely sober when it was time for us to go. (I don't drive drunk, because I've had too many friends lose family members from drunk drivers.)

Once we made it back to his dorm (it was about 3 a.m. at this point), he convinced me to stay with him because Sean had gone home for the weekend. I wasn't completely comfortable with it, but I finally relented. I don't really remember what time it was that I woke up, but at some point, he woke me up and tried to get me to have sex with him. I didn't want to for many reasons, and he wouldn't stop asking. He ended up pushing himself onto me, and I finally just kind of let it happen. I didn't go back to sleep after that, and returned to my friend's apartment the next day to shower and change clothes. I didn't exactly tell her what happened because I was embarrassed and ashamed. I can't even hardly say the word.

After I got out of the shower, I texted him to tell him we needed to talk about the night before. He said he agreed, and that we needed to talk anyways. Basically, he ended up breaking up with me through text messaging, and told me that I was cramping his style. ("It's my first week of college and you're ALWAYS here as soon as class is over, I need to be able to live a little, etc.") He also said that because I had chosen to drink and drive, he didn't know that he could trust me.

I had never (or haven't since) felt so used. Here was a guy that I thought was decent, and so did Sean, and he did that to me and disposed of me.

I never told anyone what really happened when I went to visit him. Then one night in the Spring 2010 semester, I sat up until about 5 a.m. talking with my best friend Josalyn, and the entire story just came out. I don't know what it is that made me trust her, but once I repeated the story I felt so much better. (It was about a year and a half after it happened before I told her.) She and I talked about it, and she helped me realize that I was raped by my boyfriend. Because it was something I didn't want, something I wasn't happy about, it was technically rape. It took me a year and a half to realize that was what had happened to me. It took a year and a half for me to realize that strangers aren't the only ones who rape. And then I was upset. Then scared. Then angry. How did I let this happen to me? I shouldn't have stayed, and once he began asking I should have left.

I couldn't face Sean. My best friend. He had set me up with him, and I knew if he knew the truth he would blame himself. But as my best friend, I felt he needed to know why I couldn't stand his friend anymore. I told Sean this past summer. Naturally, he was angry, and wanted to know why I hadn't said anything to him before. The truth is, I don't like admitting that I am a rape survivor, especially to a boyfriend. It makes me feel impure.

Since then, I have been getting some help with this, through a school counselor and the help of friends. I still haven't told my family about it, but I'm sure they will know about it after reading this.

Why do I share this now? I'm hoping that someone out there has had a similar experience and will read this and know that they are not alone. You are not alone in the instance, you are not alone in what it takes to start the healing process. You can overcome it, it doesn't have to define you. Before now, I bet most people had no idea that this happened to me. But it did. And it made me a stronger person.

I have to forgive him for making a negative impact on my life. I didn't understand what was happening, didn't understand the toll it would take on my future actions. It's difficult to want to forgive him, but for my mental health, I have to. I may not forgive him anytime soon, but eventually I know I can have complete closure by actually forgiving him.

And if you know me in real life, I don't care if we talk about it, I'd just prefer not to. Like I mentioned above, I don't want it to define me. I've moved on for the most part, but sometimes it can still get to me.

This was a huge step for me to put this out there on the internet, to admit that it was something that I needed to do.

The other person I need to forgive is my father, for not being as involved in my life as he should have been.

Thank you for letting me share this with you, and if you would like to talk more personally about this, maybe need some encouragement in overcoming your situation, I'd be more than happy to help any way I can, and to point you in the direction of places that have helped me. You can always e-mail me at mbattiestOKU{at}gmail{dot}com.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back in my Second Hometown

I returned to Norman yesterday afternoon. I wasn't going to come back until tonight, but a friend of mine texted me late Saturday night and told me he was throwing an MLK Jr Day party last night. Of course I wasn't going to miss out hanging with my friends, so I decided to come back earlier than my original intentions.

We started out at his house, sitting around and talking and catching up and having a few beers. One of the Aarons brought a new girl over named Amanda, and she was one of the coolest girls I've ever met! I enjoyed meeting her and I hope she comes around more!

Around 11 (it might have even been earlier than that), we all decided to go to Campus Corner here in Norman. I immediately thought of a friend of mine when I got there because she had gone to this bar for New Years Eve and has a funny story about that. Sam Bradford was also there, and one of the Chris' informed me that Gresham was there too (I never saw him). We all sat around at the table talking, laughing, and drinking more, and just enjoying the evening for what it was: The last night before classes start for a majority of us, and spending time with friends whom we haven't seen in a month.

I'm not going to lie, it was a hott mess all over the place. We definitely had a couple of DD's, and Josalyn (who didn't go to the Corner with us) even came over around 2:30 to make sure I was okay. hott mess all over the place.

Tomorrow, I begin my last semester as an undergrad in Norman. Holy crap. Kind of freaking out about it, but also nervous and excited. Tomorrow is a fairly easy day, I begin at 9:30 with my capstone class, and then I have a workout class at 1:30 followed by Freedom in Rome at 3. And then that's it for my Tuesday. My entire semester is kind of like this, so it will be a good last semester without too many papers and projects due.

Wish me luck!

30 Days of Truth: Day 03

Today's topic: Something You Have to Forgive Yourself For

Please bear with me folks, this one is kind of a long story.

I am the oldest of three. I have two younger brothers. I am also the oldest of seven in my immediate family, with two younger brothers and four younger cousins whom I adore just as much as if they were my actual little sisters.

I was a weird child growing up. I hated dirt and being dirty, and I always wanted to learn new things. At the age of 4 (maybe 5) I BEGGED my parents to buy me Hooked-On-Phonics. I wanted to read. I was jealous that everyone around me could read except for me, and I wanted to read so bad that it hurt. I don't know how we afforded it, but my parents bought Hooked-On-Phonics for me. I didn't even have to finish all the lessons and I could read. I could sound out words, and I knew what sounds blends like ph and ch made. Once I knew how to read, I was a reading machine. And I have been ever since. I love to read. I love to read mysteries, I love to read love stories, I love to read children's books, I DON'T love to read textbooks (ha!).

Because I was such a weird kid and ALWAYS wanted to learn, I easily made perfect grades in high school. I was one of three Valedictorians in my graduating class. I had ONE imperfect score my last trimester, but I honestly didn't earn that grade, it was given to me by a teacher that didn't like all the class I was missing for baseball playoffs since I didn't play baseball. But I digress.

Being Valedictorian and having a good ACT score set me up to be able to go to any college I wanted to. I applied to probably 30 schools and got into every single one.

(I promise I'm getting to the point where it fits in with today's topic.)

Being the oldest of all the grandchildren, I set very high standards for my brothers and cousins to follow behind. Every single one of them is just as smart as I am, I have no doubt about that. Jacob I think is even smarter than I am, as he can work and understand math a whole hell of a lot better than I can. He even wants to be an accountant. I definitely couldn't do any of that, I'm too science-brained.

Upon Jared's graduation from high school, he began attending Northeastern State University here in Oklahoma. I didn't get to help him move in or anything like that because of sorority obligations just before school. I never helped him schedule classes that would be manageable, and a lot of stuff he had to do on his own. I don't think the family could have helped him with classes because everyone who has a Bachelor's completed the work while working full time with children.

Fall 2009, Jared barely made grades. See, Jared has attention-deficit disorder, and he honestly is super smart. He's just the type of person that if he is under-stimulated in a classroom environment, he checks out. Well, you can check out in high school and still make A's and B's. You can't do that in college.

Spring 2010, Jared's grades were bad again, so he got put on academic probation.
Fall 2010 was rough. Jared joined a fraternity, broke up with his girlfriend of 10 months, and started dating another girl. He also has an XBox that he spends a lot of time on. As you can imagine, his grades started slipping so he dropped a class to make his GPA manageable.
In October, he got hit by a car. He was walking down the street, and a car hit him. It was the scariest freaking thing in the world, and I was the first Next of Kin they got ahold of. I was about 2 hours (maybe 2.5) away from him in Tahlequah. Naturally, I started hysterically crying. I got a hold of my grandmother, and she, mom, and Jessica rushed to Tahlequah.

Because he was hit by a car, he missed about a week and a half of school. Some of the professors wouldn't let him make up his work, so his grades fell even more. Spring 2011 semester has started, and he isn't returning to school.

I tell you all this because in some way, I blame myself. I blame myself for setting the standards for the rest of the kids too high, I blame myself for not helping him, and I feel responsible for not asking him about his schoolwork and if he needed any help.
I know you are probably reading this and screaming at me through the computer IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. And I know it's not. But I can't help the way I feel about the entire situation.

I'm working to improve it, but this is the big thing that I need to forgive myself for right now. I'm not sure how it will pan out, but everytime I look at him and see how much he aches to be back with his friends at school, it breaks my heart a little more every day.

Wow, tears with this post, and there will be tears with tomorrow's post too.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 02

Day 02: Something You Love About Yourself

I couldn't believe how difficult today's topic was either. I will admit right now, that you wouldn't believe how much my self-love and self-confidence has boosted, even just in the past year alone. Each and every day, I'm learning to love things about myself more and more. I didn't want to make this list go on and on and on, so I've narrowed it down to a few things again:
  • This makes me laugh to think that this was on the list, but I freaking love my hair. Not just the style, but my hair itself. It is naturally curly, but not so curly that it doesn't mind me when I straighten it. In the summer (when it isn't dyed), it takes in sun so well that my natural highlights can be pretty. I get hints of red and blonde all over. It's so manageable that I couldn't have asked for a better head of hair.
  • I love how tall I am. When I was in high school, I absolutely hated it because I was taller than most guys at school. I've even grown two more inches since graduating, and I truly love my height. It makes it easy to go out without heels on, and a majority of time I'm still taller than my friends when I do! The only thing I don't like about being tall is that it makes me command attention on the occasions that I do decide to wear heels. (I'm the type of person that would rather do behind-the-scenes type of stuff.) [And in case you were wondering, I stand at a whopping 5'10.5"]
  • I love that I am comfortable enough to speak my mind on things that I feel are important. This even pertains to speaking my mind when it comes to friends. Too many times, I let people walk all over me like a welcome mat. Now I can honestly say that if I have a strong enough conviction for something or someone, I have no problem describing to you why it (or that person) is important to me.
  • I love how passionate and driven I can be. I know this seems to contradict yesterday's post a little, but I typically go after things that I think will make me happy. Sometimes it requires too much attention and I get tired of putting so much energy into things (which is where I sell myself short). But I am so happy that I challenged myself to complete my Bachelor's with a MINIMUM of a 3.0 GPA, and I'm going to do it.
  • I love that my general outlook is the happiest it's ever been in my life. I don't know why I was so unhappy when I was younger. I've never had a rough life, and my mom, grandma, and two aunts have sacrificed so much for me to have a good life. I understand that now. And honestly, I'm so happy with my life partly because of YOU (yes, all my readers). If it weren't for y'all constantly encouraging me, I wouldn't want to write every day. And, I honestly have the best friends ever. And the best family ever. You all freakin' rock!
So that's it, a touch on some of the things I love about myself :)

Thank you for letting me expose part of myself with you, and for letting me be a little vulnerable today.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 01

Today's Truth is difficult. The topic is:
Something you hate about yourself.

This is very difficult for me to want to write about the very first day of the new meme. It's not fun to reflect on all of your vulnerabilities and be 100% honest about what it is that a person hates about themself; and, being the critical, overly analytical person that I am, I found multiple things that I'm not so happy about. But that is not a good way to start off a new meme so I decided to narrow down the things I could spill my guts about to 6 things:

  • I hate that my mind remembers things that need to be forgotten, insignificant things, and irrelevant things. I have some very bad memories from my early childhood that I wish I could let go. It sucks to have flashbacks of them on the rare occasion that they pop up. But it also reminds me to change the things that occurred and make them better. 
  • I hate how easily I can give up on myself sometimes. I sold myself out when I started going to school, and began compromising one dream after another. I gave up on med school and settled for physical therapy, and once I got into shadowing for pt I really didn't like it. So then I gave up on that too. But I'm hoping that nursing school is actually the right direction for me, and that I WON'T sell myself short.
  • I hate the contempt that I feel at times toward both my parents. It's an intermittent contempt, not necessarily constant. If you didn't already know, my parent's divorced when I was 8. My dad stopped coming around by the time I was 12, so the contempt for him came automatic with the abandonment. However, in the past 2-3 years, my relationship with my mother has dramatically shifted, and I find myself being so angry at her that all I can do is cry about it. I feel like you should never feel that way toward your parents, especially a parent who has sacrificed so much to make your life better. 
  • I hate how forgiving I can be to certain people. There are definitely 4 people who come to mind that I have let walk all over me over the years that I've known them, and I continuously let them do it. Because of this, you will see on my bucket list that I hope to gain enough courage to tell people how I truly feel about them.
  • I hate that I don't take more risks with my appearance. I don't wear makeup often, and when I do, people kind of make a big deal about it ("Who are you trying to impress? etc.). I don't try anything new with either my clothes or my makeup, and the main reason why I wish I did is because I want to be able to find my own unique style. Yes, I do love jeans and t-shirts, but like I've said before, I like feeling like a girl. 
  • I hate that I'm not more confident in my spiritual relationship with God. This is why I admire my grandmother most. I'm not sure if the lack of confidence comes from me being raised in a generation completely different than my Mimi's or what, but with my family's beliefs, I should KNOW and BE CONFIDENT in every aspect of my spirituality.
As I was preparing what it is what I wanted to share with you, I kind of started listing without thinking. Once I had the list, I began narrowing it down, and then explaining each aspect. This is something I must continue doing in order to be completely honest with each of the themes (it is 30 days of truth after all!)
Thank you for letting me expose part of myself with you, and for letting me be a little vulnerable today.

Friday, January 14, 2011

30 Days of Truth: How it Will Work

Hey guys! So I've mentioned a couple times that I will be starting the 30 Days of Truth meme tomorrow! (eeeeeek!) I've already been working on answering some of the questions, just to make sure that what I want to say makes sense and I can edit it. Let me tell ya, it's been somewhat emotionally draining for me the past couple of nights. I can only do one day at a time now because it makes my head hurt and at one point I broke into tears.  Yes, tears. But so far I love it, and can't wait to share my answers with you!

All of the 30 Days of Truth posts will be separate posts on their own so that when you click the label "30 Days of Truth" you can find all the posts separately.

Because some of the posts will be lengthier than others, I am not sure I will post day-to-day ramblings as often. I will definitely be posting how my first couple of days of school go, and things like workouts and things like that, but I don't want to bombard everyone with 5 posts per day from me, that's just not my style.

I just wanted to let everyone know how the 30 Days of Truth meme will be affecting the personal aspect of my blog! I hope you look forward to me exposing some of my inner loves and demons. And if any of you choose to do this meme, let me know! I'd love to read your answers as well!

Once 30 Days of Truth is over, it's back to the mediocre posts about my day to day life :)
Thank you all for reading!

The Things I Did While Traveling to and from Arizona

As I promised earlier today yesterday, here is a view of what I did while taking a vacation to and from Arizona with pictures:

I drove 17 hours my first day to spend the night in Deming, NM. I got stopped by Border Patrol once in New Mexico (read about it here). Before that, I almost got a CD permanently stuck in my mom's CD player.

After the first day, I got hit by a snowstorm that almost scared the pee outta me when I spun across the interstate into the median. Later, I made a pit stop in Tombstone, AZ, where I ate a late lunch at Big Nose Kate's Saloon, visited the Birdcage Theatre, O.K. Corrall, and Boothill Cemetery:
behind the bar at Big Nose Kate's

Birdcage Theatre

A sample of  a headstone at Boothill
Once I began the rest of my trip to Phoenix, I got to enjoy some beautiful scenery, which inspired the header and a button for my blog:

I got to visit Erika's office and take a couple pictures of Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks:

I celebrated New Year's Eve by going bowling in the afternoon to meet new friends, then later that night celebrated the holiday with my best friend and new friends:

me, best friend, new friend :)
On New Year's Day, I went to a nice brunch with best friend and parents, where a really cool replica of Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory was on display. It was made of candy and chocolate. I had my first ever (and second!) IN-N-OUT Burger experience before and after the Fiesta Bowl! (AMAZING) Then I got to cheer my Sooners to a BCS bowl victory, and take my FIRST EVER! picture with OU President David Boren. I also got to see some sorority sisters that I missed!
Chelsea, Erika, Nicole, me, Aubrey

OU = Fiesta Bowl Champs!
Throughout the entire week, Erika came home for lunch, I played Lego HP, read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and relaxed and slept. On Wednesday of that week, we went to the Phoenix Suns/L.A. Lakers game for free!
just before tip-off!
Erika also introduced me to Baja Fresh. delish.

Saturday, Erika woke up with a migraine and I ended up having to drive her to her first urgent care visit since she's been in PHX. Then later that night, she stayed at home :( while I went out to Old Town Scottsdale with a bunch of her coworkers (I didn't want to document this night for good reasons)

Sunday I got to stay in PHX for one last night because of snow all over the Southwest!

Monday I got to start heading back home, and got to enjoy MORE beautiful scenery almost the entire drive!:

I spent the evening in Tucumcari, NM, watching the National Championship game in my hotel room with pizza and beer (love that dinner combo!)

Then on my way back on Tuesday, I got pulled over by Texas Highway Patrol for going 72 in a 70 (you can read my rant about that here). I then made it safely home to my good ol' smalltown, OK, USA around 7:00 p.m. to multiple family members that missed me and The Killers waiting to be watched with an aunt and uncle.

Pretty successful trip I think :)

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

p.s. It's also Fab Friends Friday on FTLOB. Check out their site to find great new blogs, including a majority of the ones I follow!