Monday, January 20, 2014

Hakuna Matata..

It has been a while since I blogged, and so much has happened that I don't know where to begin. There are so many things taking place in my life that I am thankful for, and there are also things taking place in my personal life that is confusing me a bit. All in all, I know that God knows best and will have his perfect way, because I surrender it all to Him. <3

So for a brief update of things going on with me....

Here are a few of things taking place in my life in no particular order:
I'll be doing a hula dance to the R.A.C.E. conference in March
I don't stall my car anymore
Bible study last semester went well and has already stated back up for the spring!
I recently had my hair flat ironed and cut, talk about an adjustment....
Things are going super great at work besides the latest facility issues (leaks, pipes bursting, no hot water, etc.)
I passed my Finance class last semester and made As in my other two...
I have many new lifestyle changes for the new year that I cannot wait to share..
and oh! I am (Lord willing) moving to Europe once I graduate!...

More info coming soon!...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Car Buying Blues Part 2

Well, a ton has happened since my last blog two weeks ago. I made the spontaneous and crazy decision to purchase the car I last spoke of, later on that day when I was headed back to Milledgeville. The car owner continued to ask, "Are you sure?" I wasn't, but I know I wanted that car. I knew that what was holding me back was a lack of patience and fear of the unknown. HOWEVER, I took it on as a challenge. No way was I going to limit myself and pass up this incredible opportunity.

I contacted the owner the next day and he drew up the papers. I had to scrape together $5,700 in 1 week. After a bunch of prayer, begging, and borrowing, I had the mu-laa!!! I signed the papers very officially and proudly walked out with my bill of sale and took the keys. My dad pulled my beauty off of the "lot" so to speak. I had exactly 1.5 days to get this car thing figured out. I needed to be back in Milledgeville for training by Monday morning at 9am. I got a quick yet patient lesson from my dad in the high school parking lot, an eager and spontaneous lesson from my step mom, and then my dad drove the car back to my mom's place for me.

I took off throughout the neighborhood, but I had a few things working against me: A clutch with very little catch, a TON of hills and speed bumps and the occasional car passing by; which turned into quite a few by midday. Every time a car came, I was compelled to stop. Every time I stopped and planned to start, I stalled. And when I stalled, I stalled everywhere. It took me the whole day to work up my nerve to leave the neighborhood for fear that I'd be stuck away from home, out in the middle of the street somewhere. It wasn't until my little brother Da'Juon took the passenger seat, that I was able to feel confident on the road. We drove around the block a few times, and I stalled us all the way to church on Sunday. ;)

I learned so much during this experience, however:
1. People can be really patient. Yes, I had people honk, flash, and go around me, but most of the time, people waited it out when I stalled in front of them..impressive!
2. Driving was very psychological and mental for me. I would do well if I was alone, or depending on who was in the passenger seat. If it was someone who had faith in me, I did better than when I was driving with a worry wart.
3. I am more patient with others than I am with myself. When I went at it for too long I had to take a break. Literally. Pull over..somehow. Stop the car. Turn off the engine and rest. Cry. Scream. Whatever I needed at that moment. Also, I would let other cars psych me out, or the fear of the unknown: AKA, hills, stopping, etc.
4. My family truly loves me. They all took time out of their weekend to help me get it. Encouraging me, not judging me when the car stalled, and not moaning and complaining about my taking forever to get them to their destination. My mom gladly stuck her head out the window to shout that her daughter is learning to drive a stick, and DJ even got out of the car once to rescue me, put his hands up to the world, and told people to stop and calm down. (Love him <3). My mom worriedly followed me to the highway on Sunday and pulled up far enough behind me so I could take off.
5. I am dedicated. I used to sacrifice my running in the morning at 6am for driving practice. I was determined learn to drive this thing..

I could go on and on about different scenarios associated with me learning to drive my car, but as of now its been 2 full weeks, and I have been getting better every day! I feel empowered and confident behind the wheel and I am proud to be a girl in 2013 who drives a stick that is not an old car. I am blessed to have a family as incredible, and loving, and patient as mine, and to have conquered this mountain.

Yes. I bought a car that I didn't even know how to drive. And no. At the time I did not have all of the money. But God made a way, and today I am the proud owner of a fully paid for, 5-speed Jetta that I have come to name: Patience. (wow.. I just named her. Just now.. wow. Yay for blogging streams of thought!)

UC update- I am either stressed, relapsing or eating really bad. I think its the later, time to slow down a bit. But don't worry. I got this! Blessings, and thanks for taking the time to read...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Car Buying Blues Part 1

Yesterday I made a special trip to Atlanta. I told myself I was on "business." It was not a trip to visit with my dad, eat my mom's peanut butter cookies, or watch a late night red box with Brittany (though these things no doubt did happen.) No. This trip was to purchase a car. To buy my dream-mobile.... well, at least until it is time for the next one in 5 years or so.

I made the spontaneous decision to make the trip as I pulled back into Milledgeville at 7:25pm after a long day of orientation and an appointment at the laser hair removal office. I was in my apartment by 7:30 aggressively slinging a few toiletries and a t-shirt into the small overnight bag I've had since middle school. 15 minutes later (impressive for me) I was in the Jeep, windows down, and looking for a radio station to jump start my journey! I had created a spreadsheet the night before of all of the potential cars I was interested in. Mileage, price, year, make, model, blue book, you name it! I was ready!!! I am aware that the "Syas man foot-drag," which I lovingly call it, would be be my demise on car buying before August if I didn't make a move. The trip was warranted and highly important.

I did spend the night with my dear friend Brittany and we schmoozed over Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos and Hi-C. Watching Temptation again for the second time, would have been the end all, be all of an amazing day, had I not fallen asleep on it. I woke up eagerly at 6:20 and was out the door and headed to meet up with dad by 6:51. He and I had a lovely breakfast at Starbucks and sat down with laptops and tablets to plan out our itinerary for the day. How I love my daddy daughter time!

We charted out stopping by two dealerships in East Cobb before heading to Acworth for the much awaited first "for sale by owner" look-at of the day! The car I intended to see there was beautiful in the photos and the conversation I had with the car owner the day before proved promising. A 2005 VW Jetta, cornflower leather interior, gold exterior, with 121,000 miles for only $5,995!

After my pumpkin bread and mocha latte (UC threatened, so I didn't finish it) we hit the streets! The two dealerships didn't open until 9am, so we par-oozed the deserted lots of both. Neither car was aesthetically pleasing to me, and to be frank, I was a bit disappointed. However, the day was just beginning, so my hopes were still high!

As we made the trip to Acworth, I got more and more excited, but you can imagine my dismay when I finally saw the car, peered inside, an noticed a stick shift!! NOOOO!!! Not this car! Not my dream car! I felt embarrassed, and annoyed at myself. How did I overlook this detail? Curses, for not know what the ad meant when it said "5 speed." I only just learned how to drive a stick a month ago, and my lesson was only an hour and a half! I won't even be able to drive this thing out of the neighborhood.. too hilly. -_- Just GREAATTT.

Part 2, coming soon....

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Adventure I Call Life

I had the honor and pleasure of singing at the Midtown Key Club in Macon this past weekend. The experience was vivacious!! I enjoyed the "high" feeling that I had after I got off the stage. Up there, I was nervous, but I felt the nervousness leaving me as time went on in the song (I think I was feeling the prayers of my friends in the audience). Why did I do it? I did it for a change, something new, and different, and out of my comfort zone. It is an experience that looks like it may actually take me somewhere (The pianist has been in touch with me about putting a song list together!!!) All in all, I am thankful for the courage and grace that Christ gave me; and also for my friend and vocal coach, Chassity, for her unending direction. Also, I am thankful to all of my close friends for their encouragement in my time of anxiety (every day leading up to the show..) LOL

The car hunt continues and in that, I have learned a lot about myself. My hopes go up REALLY quickly, but it is also hard to let me down! Now how is that?!??! LOL! I get excited about every half decent car there is, and then pick myself up as good as new when I find that the car was a scam, or unreliable, or out of my price range. Either way, I pray that God's will be done, so that I end up with the right car.I am not too proud to buy an "older" or "used" car, but it has to be something reliable, and very "me." I can tell you now, the things that float my boat are: a sunroof, leather seats, heated seats, WORKING AC, a dope sound system, bluetooth for telephone, good gas mileage, and a just sexy car all around! This whole car buying thing is really teaching me patience. I need a car in the next few weeks, and all of the good ones are in ATL with my family. I am here, and the cars are there. I have to wait patiently until someone (mom, dad, or DJ)  gets off work to go see my potential car and then trust their judgement after the test drive. However, having a new car by the weekend would be sweet!!!

UC update- all is well. I am on my way to a full recovery! PTL! Every day I feel....well normal... I had some blue cheese that messed me up the night of my gig, but other than that all has been well. I have been eating lettuce and tomatoes, and some cheese and ice cream! Whooooo hoooo!!! {Joy in the little things}

Speaking of which, and to close out the night, I want to mention a few (10) small things that have happened in my life lately that I have seen as precious moments with Christ, or random things that are meant to make me smile: 1) Today I got caught in the rain. TWICE. ON my way to and from the same meeting! I was DRENCHED! Folder, wallet, keys, hair, clothes. You name it. But I was still as happy and content as can be! A random guy pulled up in a truck and offered me a ride, and then offered to buy me a phone for the remainder of the time that he was in town so that he could call me. (becuase I told him I don't give out my number).... it truly made me smile. 2) My new friend and fellow co-worker Mary left a sweet note in my box thanking me for throwing the funnel cake party! 3) Anna B. bought me lunch today out of the blue after I coached our (potentially) final swim lesson. 4) The farmer's market is tomorrow!!! 5) I may be dropping my summer finance class. 6) Shay and I did dinner and skating on Saturday night.. A BLAST! 6) I started reading "50 Shades of Grey" last night. 7) Simone paid me a surprise visit on Sunday! 8) I had a friend pop up at my door simply to give me a purely beautiful and much needed hug. 9) I'm still on a high about my best friend's new relationship with Christ! 10) I was invited to a Mary Kay Makeup party and received a free facial and had an amazing time! I now await my oil mattifier in the mail!!

Anyways.... it is time for me to close my eyes and enjoy a great nights rest! Much love, and thank you so much for reading! Grace and peace....

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's a Shore Thing

I have just spent the last two days on the beautiful island of St. Simons!! Anna  and I have been at the retreat center at Epworth since Thursday, and it has been an unforgettable trip!! We have shopped, ridden  bikes around the island, strolled downtown at night, gone to the beach, and ridden a Tandem bike!!! Riding a two-seater  bike has been on my bucket list forever!! And let me tell you, it is harder than it looks. You really have to be in sync with the other person. Overall, the trip has been a much needed breather from work and school, though today when I return to "real life" because I have to study. Test on Monday.  -_-...  my UC hasn't bothered me much on the trip due to me monitoring my diet (but only with Anna's help) appropriately. Praise the Lord!!!

It has been a serene reminder of how short life is, how precious every moment is and how in the biggest scheme of things there is always time to take a break. I have to give some of this credit to my father. He is a huge advocate of vacations. He is always asking me when I am going to get away and slow down and focus on something other than work and school. to be completely honest, he put the fire under my butt that I needed to follow through with the original plan. And thankfully it was another wonderful adventure!

Well, check-out is at 11:30 and it's already 10:34 and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet. Time to get up and get dressed and pack up. We've been on island time all weekend but unfortunately, it is time for me to snap out of it... Praise the Lord while it lasted!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Living Life to the Fullest....Regardless {Psalm 150:6}

So my temporary lactose-free diet has turned into more like a not-so-temporary dietary restriction, and now includes: soy, citrus, soda, whole grain, and just about any vegetable besides avocados... Now. I'd be lying if I said this wasn't limiting in someway, BUT, I would also be lying if I told you the overall quality of life is diminished because I cannot eat pizza, cookies, or ice cream. It sucks, oh trust me it does... but I do not base my life's quality on the foods that I can and cannot eat. Now yes, I have lost some weight.. 11 lbs. and counting, but I am doing what I need to do to either maintain or gain... No bobble head here!!! :)

All in all, it has been an adjustment, but a good one. I watch what I eat and I take tons of vitamins. I learned that hard way about not taking those. Apparently not eating vegetables or fruits for a month straight will leave you weak, fatigued, and faint.. lol. But all in all I am thankful. Thankful that I am building memories despite the abdominal pain, continual bathroom trips, and constant fatigue.

Today I learned to drive a stick shift! Yet another thing to cross off of my list. Yesterday I reserved the rental car that Anna and I will take to the beach next weekend, I painted a "farmer's apple red" accent wall in my living room to add a pop of color, my laser hair removal treatments are going wonderfully, my portfolio is almost complete, AND I am making provisions for Ciaro (my pit bull) to be brought to Milledgeville in the event that the house at 1148 sells before I graduate again in May.

These things go to show that life keeps moving....regardless.  Everyday is a gift, every life is precious, and every memory should be cherished.. From my "me" time, to my family time, to my friend time, I get on my knees every night and thank the Lord for it. The people in my life have all been strategically placed in my path and have all had a part in God's plan for me.  This UC has a part as well. Maybe to show me how strong I really am, or make me appreciate what really matters, or to make me want more for my life that to just slum through it... Whatever his plan is for me, its gunna be a doozy! I am thankful and excited about what is in store, and blessed to say that even though I have only been on this earth for 22 years, I am living life to the fullest!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Wonderful World of Lactose Free!

As you can probably tell by the title, I am have a dietary restriction...well, at least for a week-- I have been going lactose free! At least I have been for 5 days (a total of 12 meals); I am aiming for a full week. I messed up with my 3 cheese chicken penne dish from Apple bees and with Mark's lasagna from work today, but other than that.. fully lactose free!

As you can see by the photo, I have acquired quite a bit of lactose free items for my fridge which makes things easier! I cook like I always do, but this time using lactose free ingredients instead!

Now, if you're wondering why I am going lactose free, that has to do with the research that suggests that being lactose free might help with the symptoms of my ulcerative colitis (UC) during a flare up. So.... I've been testing the theory out. After all, the percentage of UC is higher in people with lactose intolerance than it is in people without it.

So far, so good, besides my 3 slip-ups, and the issue of cost that i see in the future. I can't say EXACTLY if the lactose-freeness is working, but I can say that I have been getting better day by day. Also, I am loving the new meals that I have been making and the way that I am forced to experiment and try new things! I always thought that I didn't have many taste buds per square inch, so I honestly can't tell the difference at all when I am eating my lactose-free goods with something else (ie. cereal and milk or a ham and "cheese" sandwich).

Alas, I am about to have some me time! I pulled out my mani/pedi kit, some girly magazines, I am about to slap a mask on my face and finish up this soy frappichino! However, I will be keeping you posted on my progress! Until nest time..ta ta!