Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 In Review (Part One)

I can't believe that 2010 will be over after tomorrow, where has all of the time gone?! Each year seems like it goes by faster and faster, and it makes me wonder that if I feel like this at 17 (almost 18), how am I going to feel when I'm 30, 40, 50? Yikes! Craziness, I tell you... Anyway, almost every news show/talk show, etc. has done a highlight reel of the greatest moments of 2010 or something of that sort. Because I am the list-loving person I am, I decided I would give a month-by-month personal highlight reel of 2010. Because it may end up being lengthy, it may have to be split up into two separate posts, but we'll have to see!

January
January began well. I started the year by finding out that I was accepted into YAB, and later attended my first meeting (it was also in January). Another highlight from January was meeting Adam, who was my eventual first boyfriend. The only really bad thing that happened in January was that the quiz bowl team was eliminated at the Area tournament, thus dashing our hopes of making State, and ending our streak of attending the state tournament. Other than that, January was a great month for me!

February
February was fairly anticlimactic. I don't recall anything too monumental happening during February. Perhaps the biggest thing that happened for me was that I got my prom dress, but other than that, nothing too exciting!

March
March was a good month, as well. I happen to love March because it contains Spring Break, my Mimi's Birthday, and, oh yeah, my birthday!!! I enjoyed a nice birthday party for my Mimi with my mom and aunts. I was slightly disappointed with my birthday, though. There was a huge snowstorm that broke out the day beforehand, and my birthday was spent stuck in the house. I am not a huge fan of cold weather, or really snow when it comes in large amounts. At the end of that week was my first track meet of the year and prom, which were on the same day, as it turned out. Prom was good, but after-prom was much better. This leads right to...

April
April was right in the thick of track season. I spent most of my Saturdays occupied with track meets, actually. I also made the trip down to Thomas for Adam's prom, which I actually enjoyed much more than my prom (I think it was the DJ that dragged my prom down). We also made State in band. We came very close to getting Sweepstakes, but we just didn't get it. I believe April was the point that I began my countdown to summer!

May
May was quite momentous for me. The very first day was a success for me. The 3200m Relay team, of which I am a member, qualified for the State track meet! The state track meet was the following week. We ended up placing 13th out of 14 teams, but we were still lucky and blessed to have made it that far, so we were still pretty successful in our books. I also ran a successful campaign for STUCO Treasurer. The biggest factor of my success was that I ran unopposed. Nevertheless, I was still the victor! May also included the Beta trip to go see "Iron Man 2" in theaters. (What can I say, times are tough, and the Beta Convention is too expensive for my school) The trip was lots of fun, though! I ended the month by going to the lake for Memorial Day, which was also fun.

June
June was trying for me. I began the month by taking two college classes. Note to Self: NEVER TAKE A 7:30AM CLASS EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes, World Regional Geography just didn't work for me at that hour of day. I did well in the class, but the time slot left much to be desired. I also took a Computer class. Apparently, I thought I didn't have enough to do, because I also volunteered at Bass Hospital two afternoons a week. Tuesday afternoons were at the sleep lab, which I grew to love, and Thursday afternoons were at the Hospital Gift Shop, which wasn't as great as I thought it would be. After I got in the groove of my schedule, it wasn't bad, but I was an absolute wreck the first week. I also learned of Zane's heart condition, which I found to be troubling. All in all, June wasn't my favorite month of this year.

It's getting late, so I believe I will pick up with July in the morning, good night to all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ten on Wednesday!

So here is what was supposed to be my Ten on Tuesday, but it is a day late, because I didn't think about it until about 11:30 last night, and by that point I was too tired to even consider it, so here it is:

1. Today I got my score back from the ACT I took a couple of weeks ago. I got a 28, which is a wonderful score, but not as high as my previous 29. I am slightly disappointed because I thought I did better than this. My mom thinks I'm crazy for being troubled by this, because "there are plenty of people who would be jumping for joy if they got a 28 or 29". I know that I can get into any college I want with a 29 (they only use your highest score, thankfully), and I could get plenty of scholarships with a 29, but I feel like I am capable of doing better, so I am upset by it. I believe that I might just take another one, or at least a residual when the time comes.

2. On a related note, I also think that it is crazy that colleges and other organizations base everything on a test. Although ACT/SAT scores are a pretty good judge of college readiness and I am unaware of a better method of placement, I think it is ridiculous for so much emphasis to be placed on a single test.

3. I will be beginning to apply for colleges in the next couple of weeks. I have absolutely no clue where I want to go to college, although I have a few ideas. I think I will follow the general rule and apply to three colleges. My tentative list includes USAO (in Chickasha), St. Gregory's (Shawnee), and depending my opinion of the other two, NOC-Enid.

4. Theoretically, I am ready for graduation and college. In reality, I am absolutely petrified of leaving home, my friends, and everything else that I have become so accustomed to in the past seventeen, almost eighteen years. I want to move on and discover whatever else there is for me to discover in the world, and I am ready for new challenges and new people. There are times that I want time to speed up, where I can graduate from both high school and college and just begin my career and family, but then there are times that I want everything to stay exactly like it is, and never change. I am stuck in limbo, and I don't like it.

5. I can't believe that 2010 is almost over! Where has the time gone?!

6. I love New Year's Eve. I'm not really sure why, but I do. I guess I just associate it with celebrations with friends and/or family, but nonetheless, I love it! This year I will be going to Gina's house for what I am sure will be a wonderfully fun night, and I can't wait!

7. Yesterday on a random venture into town with my mom, we happened to stop at Hobby Lobby, where I picked up a few things for some random crafting projects. I completed most of my projects today. One of my projects was making an apron for Gina's mother-in-law as a random belated Christmas gift (I think she'll like it). Another of my projects was making some throw pillows for my room. A little bit unneccesary, perhaps, but I've wanted to make some for a while now, and since I have my new curtains, my room can be completely put together! (Also, making the pillows was much cheaper than buying them, and I like my pillows better) I still need to go back and get some stuffing, but I'll get around to that soon enough. Finally, I got laminating sheets that I used to laminate my ornaments from Cody & Kyle! Success!!!

8. I feel like I"ve been doing a pretty good job of getting some cleaning done around my house, and hopefully, I will be able to help keep it up after I go back to school!

9. I am still enamored with my new pea coat! It is my new favorite accessory! Yesterday I wore it to town, and my mom commented on how mature I looked in it, so I suppose that's a good thing. Also, it keeps me warm, but it doesn't constrict my range of motion quite like my other coat does, which is another plus!

10. A final happy thought--On Sunday, right before Emily, Cody, & Kyle were getting ready to leave, Cody accidentally bumped into Andrew, and he commented, "Sorry, small citizen!" I have absolutely no idea where that came from, but it struck me as quite humorous, and I wanted to share that!

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Day-After-Christmas!

Today was the last of my Christmas celebrations. Although I love Christmas and being with my loved ones, I am ready for some down-time.

Today was not necessarily busy, but it was definitely tiring after the past two days. I got a late start to bed last night, because I had to wait up to put the cheesecake in the refrigerator. Then, although I really would have liked to have not gone, my dad and I went to church this morning. My mom didn't sleep well last night, so she decided to stay home and rest up just a little bit. After church, my dad and I came home and we began helping my mom with some last-minute preparations for our impending feast. I had to make the chocolate ganache for my cheesecake, so I did that right off the bat, so it could set up while we ate. At the last minute, we decided to add another item to our menu: chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles. If you haven't had this, you are missing out! When we used to go to Mimi's house for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, she ALWAYS had a huge pot of homemade noodle soup with the fresh noodles. It was always a highly coveted part of the meal, because many of my cousins made a meal out of the soup itself. Of course, since there have been no more gatherings at Mimi's, there was no more chicken noodle soup. My parents make it on occasion, but it's not a common occurence. This year, at Scotty's request, my parents decided to make it once again.

As it turned out, we had a few extra faces this year. Because we had enough food for a small army and we occasionally end up at random family functions of theirs, both Gina and Emily's in-laws joined us for lunch. They are always inviting us for random dinners, so my parents decided to spread the wealth and invite them. It is nice because all three families get along well, and it's like we're one big family. All of the boys enjoyed having both sets of grandparents there, also.

After the meal, we headed to the living room to open presents. Of course, all four boys were excited about opening presents. Cody decided to help me "play Santa", which means that we were the designated ones to dole out the gifts to everyone. He did a great job, but he had to take a gift break every now and then, so he could catch up with everyone else. My living room went from a scene of order and peace to a near warzone in a matter of moments. Wrapping paper was strewn everywhere, piles of presents overlapped each other, and random shrieks of joy came from the boys as they discovered their new treasures. They all happened to receive air rifles that shoot caps, and they were in love immediately. As soon as they could, they got their parents to open the guns, and load them with caps. Then, they threw on their shoes and coats and dashed outside to shoot their guns.

I received lots of wonderful presents. Among my gifts were: a new set of workout clothes, books, lotion, a new sweater dress, a pair of slippers, a new hair dryer, some new curtains that coordinate with my somewhat-new comforter (the green & white striped curtains just didn't jive with my red & black circular patterned comfortor), and a pea coat! I have wanted a pea coat for so long, and I am very thrilled about it!

After we cleaned up the piles of wrapping paper, we broke into the cheesecake. It was a hit with everyone, and I think that my recipe is a keeper, although Gina & Emily had some possible modifications in mind for next time. I thoroughly enjoyed my piece of cheesecake, although I do believe that next time I will get a much smaller slice; I forget how rich cheesecake can be.

After everyone had settled in with the cheesecake, a few of us decided to go over to the Blakley house to deliver presents for the little ones. What was supposed to be a small carload of people turned into two carloads, with three of the four boys. We didn't stay long because they were about to eat, and we didn't want to disturb their meal, but we stayed just long enough to have a nice chat.

When we got back home, I didn't waste anymore time, and I hung my curtains up. They look just great, and I love seeing them! Gina, Emily, my mom, and I also showed off our presents to each other, a tradition of ours. I do believe that I might have some soup and salad here in a bit, and then I will probably hit the hay!

Once again, I hope that everyone had a great day and got to spend time with loved ones!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Serendipitous Christmas!

Now for part two of my Christmas trilogy--Christmas Day!

Christmas Day of present time greatly differs from when I was younger. In my younger years, I was up at what seemed like the crack of dawn (only about 7:30 really) and I was ready to open some presents! I was excited about seeing the letter from Santa Claus, and I was excited about the entire day in general. Also, we would go to my Mimi's house later in the day, which I also loved. Of course, it was also different in the fact that my sisters were here with my parents and I, and it was a huge family event. Now, Christmas Day is vastly different. The mornings are lazy and relaxed, and my parents and I both sleep in as much as possible. Since we usually have Christmas on a day separate from Christmas, although I have the option to do otherwise, I usually hold off on opening any presents until we have our big Christmas. As I explained about Christmas Eve, we no longer go to my Mimi's house on Christmas Day. And finally, my sisters have their own families, homes, and, of course, celebrations.

This year, I ambled out of bed around 9:15 (I like to sleep in, you know) and my mom told me that if I would get dressed, Gina invited us over to have some homemade cinnamon rolls. I, being the cinnamon roll connoisseur that I am, jumped at the opportunity. I got ready quickly, and we headed over to Gina's house.

Before we went to Gina's house, however, we stopped off at Scotty & Emily's house to drop off a present for Scotty's parents, and to see Cody and Kyle. We were greeted by Cody, who was showing off his new Nerf dart gun, and Kyle, who offered us some of his stocking candy. They were EXCITED! The boys got all kinds of cool gadgets and gizmos. They got books, clothes, snow boots, and all kinds of Crayola Color Wonder products, which I still find to be amazing! They proudly showed off all of their new goods. They were full of chatter and joy. They also gave me ornaments that they colored themselves; I got two angels that I plan on laminating and stringing with ribbon at a later date. After we chatted for a while, we headed over to Gina's house. (For those of you who don't know, Emily and Gina only live about 100 feet from each other.)

As we entered Gina's house, I was greeted by the sounds of children enjoying their Christmas presents. Wyatt was quite jubilant because he got the Batman Batcave that he asked for from Santa. He was very proud of it, and he showed it off to everybody! Andrew was just toddling around, taking everything in and adding his little comments. I enjoyed the cinnamon rolls so much! They were amazing! Later, Gina & Andrew showed me what Andrew got from Santa. He got a cute little 3-wheeled Big Wheel toy that is just his size. He was still figuring out how it worked exactly, but he absolutely loved it! I happened to receive a present from Jeremy's parents. Jeremy's mom, who is an avid crafter/seamstress, embroidered my name and a cute little butterfly design onto a blanket, which I just loved because I am always cold, and now I have my OWN blanket...it even has my name on it to say so!

Although we didn't plan on it, my parents and I ended up staying for lunch, at Gina's request. While we were waiting for lunch to be ready, my dad, Jeremy, and Jeremy's dad all came back to my house to begin preparing the pork loin for tomorrow's dinner. All of the women and children stayed at the house. Jeremy's Grandma Millie entertained us with her lovely accordion music, Wyatt and his cousin Zoey enjoyed their new toys, and Andrew happened to sneak in a nap. Our lunch was fantastic; we had roast beef, potatoes, carrots, salad, and crescent rolls, with three pies to choose from for dessert. At the end of the meal, we were all stuffed!

After lunch, everyone eventually settled into the living to relax. I happened to catch a small nap somewhere in there. (I got to use my new blanket!) Unfortunately, I had to leave just as I got comfy, which is inevitably how it happens. My mom reminded me that I still had to make a turtle cheesecake. (It was supposed to be one plain, and one turtle cheesecake, but since we still had gobs of plain cheesecake pie left over, I didn't see the sense in making another plain one, but Gina had her heart set on a turtle cheesecake, and I planned to deliver on my original promise, so I promised that I would still make a turtle cheesecake just for her.) I was still just a little bit grumpy from having to leave my warm perch on Gina's love seat, but what had to be done, had to be done.

It took a while for me to get things together, but eventually, I settled in and started on the crust. I only had the first ingredient in the bowl when I heard a knock at the door. I had no clue who it was, and I thought that it might have been Jeremy. My dad answered the door, as I came around the corner from the kitchen, and I couldn't believe who was at the door! Of all people in the world, it was Tevis, who came to give me my Christmas present!!!!!! I was absolutely stunned!!! I had no idea that he was coming over, and I was almost brought to tears! I could not believe what had just happened, and I was on Cloud Nine. He got me a wonderful-smelling perfume, but I considered the real present as getting to see him! I just loved the fact that he came over unexpectedly, to my house, of all places, (it's not like it's just down the street) just to give me my present, and on Christmas Day, of all days! It made my already great day fantastic! He was able to stay for a while, so I invited him in to watch me as I made my cheesecake. He ended up helping me make it, and he was a big help! I think he knows his way around the kitchen quite well, which I just love! While we were waiting for the crust to cool and the cream cheese to soften, we went over to Gina's (we would've gone to see Emily, but she was still at her in-laws' house, and she missed out on the fun. She did talk to Tevis on the phone, though). While we were at Gina's, Wyatt used Tevis as yet another opportunity to show off his Batcave. After we came back from Gina's, he helped me with the rest of the cheesecake. Before it was completely finished, he had to leave, so he didn't get to see the end product, which turned out nicely, if I must say so myself! Fingers crossed that it will taste as good as it looks!

When I woke up, I had no idea that I would do half of the things that I did today, but I love days like that! Every little thing that happened today was serendipitous. My definition of serendipity is an unexpected turn of events that positively affects my day. Little things that you never see coming that take your breath away, put a smile on your face, or just make your day fantastic! Today was one of the best Christmases that I have ever had, hands down.

I hope that everyone else had a wonderful Christmas, and was able to find a little bit of serendipity in their day!

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to everyone!!! I hope that everyone is having a great day and getting to spend some time with their families. My Christmas celebration is in three phases: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas.

Yesterday began the first of my celebrations. Both of my parents had to work yesterday, so I was all by myself for the first half of the day. I had to get things together for our Christmas Eve dinner. Starting about four years ago, when we stopped doing Christmas with my mom's family, my mom decided to start a new tradition of inviting my Mimi over for Christmas Eve. We decided to do this because my aunts and uncles usually had her over to their houses for Christmas Day; we also did this because she likes going to early Christmas Mass at Bison, and she doesn't like driving at night. When she comes over, we have a wondrous Christmas meal, she gets to open her presents from us, and then we go to Mass. This year was just as great as every other year. For our meal, we had Garlic-Baked Salmon (my new favorite recipe), baked sweet potatoes, asparagus, salad, rolls, and cheesecake pie (the easy version). It was a FEAST! I loved it! Because of time limitations and my love of cooking, I prepared the entire meal as a kind of gift for everyone. Really, it wasn't that big of a deal, because everything went together quickly and was fairly stress-free. After our meal, (we didn't get to eat the cheesecake pie because we were too full) we went and sat in the living room together, and just talked. I had a nice chat with my Mimi. I love talking to her, and I truly cherish my time with her.

After we chatted for a while, I went and got ready for Mass. I donned my pretty sweater dress, new shoes, and curly hair! I so love my curly hair, but it's kind of a hassle to get it that way, so I only get it for special occasions. Like usual, I was a server at Mass, but I'm okay with that. My job was to be the thoropher (spelling??), which is a fancy way to say that I was in charge of the incense. I was pleased with myself, because I managed to NOT kill myself in my shoes! I largely regretted wearing those shoes about five minutes into Mass. I enjoyed Mass, although everyone didn't get candles like usual (that was my favorite part). After Mass, I got to see little Zane, who was just as adorable as I remembered! After we were done at Mass, we took Mimi home. When we got home, I happened to see the last 30 minutes of "It's a Wonderful Life", and I now want to see the rest of the movie! I also started watching the Christmas Eve Mass from St. Peter's in Rome, but I didn't make it past the 2nd reading. It was hard for me to stay awake at that point because, although I knew what was happening, I didn't, because it was all in Latin, and the narrator who translated it into English's voice was about as exciting as Bill Stein's, if that tells you anything. Needless to say, my mom woke me up around 1:15 to have me go to bed.

I'll add some more posts later to fill in the excitement of today, and, eventually, tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ten on Tuesday (The Inaugural!)

Many of my blogging friends frequently do a "Ten on Tuesday" feature, and I've always wanted to do one, but have never gotten around to it. Also, I can never think of ten random thoughts/events to put on it, or remember to do it on Tuesday. Anyway, I was lucky enough to think of it before my Tuesday is over, so as follows is my inaugural 10 on Tuesday. (Note: Chances are, I won't post one every Tuesday, but will try to when I remember!)

1.  Sunday was Christmas Tea, an annual event that I look forward to. I was so, so excited to go, and as it turns out, I wasn't able to this year. *sad face*  The original plan was for my mom and Gina to go, and Emily and I would join the party later when we were finished at Sunday school. What happened was completely opposite. Gina didn't go because Wyatt got sick, my mom didn't go because Gina didn't (Why, I'm not sure...), and by the time Emily and I got back from Sunday school, it was nearly 1:00, and Emily wouldn't have been able to stay at that point because she had to go to her in-laws' for their Christmas, and then I was the lone ranger who didn't (and probably should've) go because by the time all of this was figured out, it seemed too late to even be fashionably late...Next year I will be there!!!!!!!

2.  Last night was the annual Christmas concert at the mall. Everything went relatively well, minus a couple of minor errors. I and my fellow Band/Choir Seniors received my/our Christmas Rat!!! It is definitely a rite of passage for each Pioneer Band Senior. I was excited because I even got a new outfit for the occasion! I found the perfect maroon sweater dress at Ross last Thursday, and I decided that it would be perfect for both the concert and Christmas Eve Mass! The only issue I have with my dress is that it was quite warm at the concert, but otherwise lovely!

3.  Last night (actually this morning) I remembered to set my alarm, and I got up to see the lunar eclipse. My parents also joined me for the viewing, and it was as awesome as I had hoped it would be! I bundled up, grabbed a couple blankets, a pillow, and my sleeping bag. After covering my nose and extremities, I snuggled up under the stars! My dad didn't last long out there (he enjoys his sleep too much), but my mom and I were out for about 30-45 minutes. There at the end, I started dozing off a little, but eventually my mom woke me up and sent me inside so that neither of us would catch pneumonia from the cold night air.

4.  Last Saturday I made an impromptu trip to town that resulted in me getting the bulk of my Christmas shopping done! I hadn't really worried much about shopping up until last weekend, because of college finals and other things. Thanks to Old Navy and their awesome sale, I am virtually finished with my shopping!!! Also, thanks to my mom for being a trooper and staying with me and chauffeuring me around town!

5.  I still have some shopping to be done, but only minor details. I do have something for everyone, but there's a couple more things that I would like to get to complete the gifts. Perhaps my mom and I will venture into town on Thursday to cross that item off of the list...

6.  I felt very successful, because today I finished wrapping all of the presents that I have as of yet. I do believe that this is the earliest that I have been this far along in relation to Christmas! Of course there will be more wrapping to be done after I finish my shopping, but it won't be so time-consuming then. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to finish wrapping, but now I'm done! As a final note, I love wrapping gifts, and it is one of the things I look forward to most about Christmas. There are times that I would like to offer gift-wrapping services around Christmas as a way to make some extra money, that's how much I like wrapping gifts! Present wrapping is an event for me, as my OCD comes into play with this, but I love love love it!

7.  While I was wrapping my presents today, I also managed to put off the inevitable of some pre-Christmas cleaning that is absolutely necessary. I have set my goals for tomorrow, and I hope that I will be as productive tomorrow as I plan on being. Also, my mom and I have decided to go to town on Thursday for it to serve as our motivation for going to town. Actually, it could be a punishment of sorts, depending on the crowds and the overall morale of the people in the stores...fingers crossed that even if there are crowds that everyone will be in good spirits!

8.  My family has decided to do our Christmas on Sunday (the 26th). It allows for both Gina & Emily to spend time with their families, and not to have to flitter from celebration to celebration. For the meal, we are having smoked pork loin (my dad is masterminding that scheme), harvest potatoes (a personal favorite of mine), green beans/green salad (we need the veggies after the eventual carb overload that surrounds holidays), perhaps some dill bread (a wondrous creation in and of itself), and cheesecake. I wasn't completely aware that when I suggested we have cheesecake that I would end up making it. Yes, I did forsee that as a possiblility, and I did volunteer myself to prepare them, and I have actually wanted to make a real cheesecake (Not the easy 10 minute recipe I learned in Home Ec) for quite some time now, so now I have my opportunity! I plan on making one plain cheesecake and one turtle cheesecake (my personal favorite). Hopefully, all will go well, and I will also remember to update everyone on the outcome!

9.  I love Christmas movies, actually, my whole family does. We have quite the collection, including all of the classics, plus a few newer ones. To name a few: "Christmas Vacation", "Miracle on 34th Street", "The Santa Clause" (the entire trilogy), "A Christmas Story", "Elf", "Home Alone" (only the original, I don't like the others), and a Hallmark movie called "A Dog Named Christmas" (A very touching movie). Out of all of the movies my favorites are "Home Alone", "Elf", and " Santa Clause 1". Last night I watched "Elf", but fell asleep halfway through. Tonight I watched "Home Alone" for the first time this Christmas season, and, just like every other time, I nearly busted a gut laughing!

10.  For something random, as I was catching up on some laundry this evening, I happend to be folding some sheets. I realized something while doing this: I have absolutely no idea how to fold a fitted sheet! It was a highly frustrating ordeal, and I decided that I should just strategically time when I wash sheets in relation to when they are changed, so as to avoid the entire folding process completely! Nevertheless, I ended with two sheet sets, neatly folded! :)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Halftime Report!

Yikes, it has been far too long since I have last blogged! There has so much going on, and so many things to do that blogging has got put on the back burner, but now that everything has calmed down, I can catch up on my blog! The reality is beginning to set in that my Senior year is essentially halfway over. I have mixed emotions about it. I love high school in the fact that I get to be with my friends every day, and that things are a little more relaxed (to a certain extent), and all of the fun high school things like Spirit Week, and my extracurriculars, but I am also ready for a new challenge. I am ready to go and see what else is out in the world; I am ready to have new challenges; I am ready to leave the realm of high school, with its constant stream of drama and pettiness. The only thing I will truly miss from high school is my friends. I know that eventually, we all have to go our separate ways and make our own way in the world and live separate lives. I know that it is possible to remain good friends with people after high school, but I also know that we can't all spend the rest of our lives constantly around each other, and I'm afraid that after we graduate, I will never see my friends again...perhaps this is irrational, but I'm a worrier, what can I say? :) Because of the fear that I'll get on a soapbox, I'll proceed with my class updates!

Government
I am now done with this class, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it. I learned quite a bit about our government, and I now feel more informed about other political hot topics. The only disappointment of the class was that I was one of the only people in the class that couldn't legally vote because I'm a minor. However, after having this class, I do believe that I will take full advantage of my right to vote (after I turn 18, of course). Also, an update on my argumentative paper...I got a 97 on it!!! I was thrilled when I saw my grade! I suppose that, after receiving my grade, it was worth the effort I put into it, and my grade was also compensation for all of the grief it caused me.

Early American History
As of 9:35 this morning, I am done with this class!! I didn't mind the class, but toward the end, it caused some stress and sleep deprivation. I hated the fact that our teacher waited until about 1 1/2 weeks ago to give us all of our necessary assignments, because they are all very time and thought-consuming. Not to mention, I had other things going on at high school that impeded my progress to an extent. However, I was also guilty of some poor time management and procrastination. However, I pulled it together and managed to complete everything I needed to finish in adequate time...I may have had to lose some sleep, but it is worth it now that I am done!

Band
Last month, we had our annual concert at the grade school, which went wonderfully. Soon after that, we began work on material for our upcoming Christmas concert. For anyone who is interested, the concert is next Monday (the 20th) at about 6:15-ish in Dillard's Court of Oakwood Mall. The choir sings before the band plays, and it is a wonderful evening full of Christmas music! Last Saturday, I tried out for the All-Area Honor Band, and I am proud to say that I received 5th Chair! The Clinic/Concert is right after I get back from Christmas Break, and I am excited about it. Since I made it, I can now say that I have participated in this honor band every year since my 7th grade year!

Botany
Our plant collecting days are long gone, but we ended the semester with a different project. Mr. Norton decided to make everyone in my class give a Powerpoint Presentation over any Nobel Prize-winning Scientist of our choice. I decided to do my presentation over Stanley B. Prusiner, who is an interesting fellow. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1997 (when I was 4) for his discovery of prions. I found his work to be interesting, compared to many of the other scientists. As for my presentation, I think that I rocked it! I am really getting better at the whole public speaking thing, which is a good thing, considering that I want to go into education. Everyone said that I did a good job on it, and that they could actually comprehend it, so I think that I was successful!

English IV
The biggest thing that has been going on in English was the fact that we had to write research papers. Our research papers had to be over a current hot topic. Although I considered doing a redo of my argumentative paper on the drinking age, I decided to write my paper over the death penalty. I caught a bit of the procrastination bug with this, as well, and consequently paid for it by losing some sleep by working on it. However, I feel that the paper I turned in was complete, and I was pleased with it!

Library Aide
Nothing new here...

Athletics
In the past few weeks, I feel like I have been in boot camp. We began our offseason track practices, that were much more intense than anyone envisioned. There were about three days that I could barely move portions of my body, and felt as if I had aged about 30 years. However, I also think that this year I will be much better for everything. Also, now it is much easier. Every time I feel like I felt a few weeks ago, I consider it to be a gut check, of how much I really want to be in track. Truth be told, after this year, I will never run track EVER again. I hope to keep up on a fitness regimen, but I am not dedicated enough to pursue a collegiate career in that sport, or any sport, for that matter. Right now I feel like it is all-or-nothing, and my biggest goal is to make state again, like I did last year. Thank goodness for Tonisha and Mary, my workout buddies!!!!!

Other "Stuff"
-Last Saturday I took another ACT. I think that I did pretty well on it, but I have to wait a few more weeks before I know anything...here's hoping I got a 36!!! Honestly, I just hope that I did as well as I think I did. I feel bad for everyone else in my room though, because my allergies are in overdrive right now, and I spent the better part of the four hours blowing my nose. I felt bad that I caused such a ruckus, but it was better than suffering for four hours.
-This Friday is basketball homecoming, and I am pretty excited. Not as much as I was for football, but, even so, I am excited to get to see Shea dress up since she is a candidate, and will also be her birthday! Also, tomorrow, Tonisha and I are making Spirit Day T-Shirts that have a surprise theme in honor of our favorite Pioneer Basketball player!!
-Tonight I went to see Wyatt perform in his first Christmas program. He was so cute and jubilant as he sang his three songs! I don't believe that he has stage fright, because I could hear him loud and clear!
-I am very disappointed, because I missed the meteor shower on Monday night that Debra was so kind as to inform me of. I was up until around 12:45 working on my homework, and I considered staying up just a little bit longer to see it, but I require quite a bit of sleep so I can properly function and not be grumpy, so I ended up having to forgo that.
-Friday is my last day of school this semester!!!! I cannot wait for Christmas Break at all; I am in desperate need of some R&R!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I Am Thankful for

Since Thanksgiving is today, I have been thinking about the little things in life that I am thankful for. God has blessed me with so many people and things in my life, and sometimes I get so caught up in the rush of life that I forget to slow down and remember how blessed I truly am. As follows is a list of some of the things that I am most thankful for…


-First and foremost, my family.
I’m not sure what I would do without my family. They are always there for me, no matter what. All of my family is in good health, and they live good, happy lives with homes of their own, and they have great jobs. I am also thankful for all of my extended family, not just my aunts, uncles, and cousins, I am thankful for those who I consider to be like family; all of my “second parents”, and anyone who is just as close to me (or even closer) as my actual family. I am thankful for those who have taken me under their wing, been there for guidance, or just taken the time to listen to me, when I needed it most. Finally, my Mimi. My Mimi is my grandma who is 92 ½ years young. She is in fantastic health for her age; she still lives at home, and is sharp as a tack. She is an amazing person who I admire in so many ways, and I am thankful that I have been blessed with a wonderful Mimi, and also that she has been blessed with good health.
-My friends
My friends rank right up there with my family. They are definitely among my greatest treasures in life. Shea and Tonisha are my two best friends in the whole wide world. We have been friends for about as long as I can remember, and it will definitely be hard next year when we will be separated by college. I am sure that we will stay in touch via Facebook and by seeing each other on weekends or breaks that we can, but still. I know that we all have to move on eventually, but it is my hope that we will remain best friends for the rest of our lives. I have many other friends from school, church, YAB, and many other random places, and each of them holds a special place in my heart. If it weren’t for all of my friends, I’m not sure how else I would have managed high school. I am certain that I could have possibly lost my mind; it would be easy to do there.

-My house
I am very, very blessed to have a nice home to live in. It keeps me cool during the heat of summer, warm in the winter cold, and dry when it rains or snows. There are many things in my house that I am also thankful for. I have a comfy bed to sleep on, lots of books to read, plenty of clothes to wear, a radio that I use to enjoy music, a TV to watch my programs or movies, a computer that connects me with the world, and plenty of delicious food that I can enjoy any time of day.

-“My” vehicle
I drive a nice ’98 Toyota Tacoma. It has been through an oil pumper, being used for carrying mail, and taking my dad back and forth to work. Now my parents let me use it to drive to school or anywhere else I might go. It is not technically mine, because I pay nothing on it (Another thing I am very thankful for). It’s not the most fashionable vehicle, and there are things that I wish I could change about it (the non-working CD player), but at the end of the day, it DOES get me where I need to go, when I need to go, and that is the most important thing, in my opinion.

-My health
I am thankful that I am in good health. Each morning that I am able to physically get out of bed in the morning, is blessing enough in my books. I am able to exercise at any chance I can, and I am able to run long distances. There are many people my age who don’t have that luxury, who spend their days in the hospital or enduring yet another of their endless treatments.

There are many other random things that I am thankful for that don’t necessarily have a category, for example: Indoor plumbing, central heat & air, music, electricity, my everyday freedom, the fact that I have the opportunity to get an education, my cell phone and really just telephones in general, the Internet, the many talents that God has blessed me with, books, modern advances in medicine, my guitars, church/my faith, and so much other “stuff”.

Later, my family will gather at Gina’s house for our Thanksgiving lunch. I am very excited, and I am sure that I will have plenty of stories to regale after the fact. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving, Take One

Yesterday was the annual Thanksgiving dinner in Bison. This dinner has gone on for at least eighty years or so, I think. It has evolved through the times, with its beginning as an all-day event with more of a carnival setting. Later, it was modified to an afternoon affair, still with the carnival. Now, it's an late morning/afternoon event, sans carnival. Every year my family, along with almost everyone else from my church, has a hand in the events of the day. My mom's job is to make dumplings to put in with the Sauerkraut (Only in Bison could you have sauerkraut & dumplings for Thanksgiving...I personally don't like it). This has been her job for many, many years. My dad usually hangs around the kitchen and helps in some way or another, usually supplying manpower by carrying heavy things for the ladies. This year, my dad also made a turkey, which I found to be somewhat surprising, but then again, not so much. Sometimes my dad can be quite domestic, I tell you. Since I was at least a fifth-grader, my job has been either refilling drinks or clearing tables. I never really minded that job, because it was a nice way to get to see everyone who was there, and I got a pretty decent workout by the time the day was through. Last year, I happened to miss the dinner, because I was in Kansas City for NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference). Clearing tables was not solely my job, as there were many adults who did this job, as well. However, in my absence last year, I was replaced by the Confirmation class from Hennessey. June and Jodie (the teachers) are always looking for service projects for the class to participate in, and they decided that this would be a great fit. I figured that this year, I would go back to my same task, but, instead, I was approached for a different job.

There is a couple who lives in Blackwell by the name of Joe and Alma Reinert. They have a large farm of pecan trees, and for as long I can remember, they have been gracious enough to share their plenty with everyone, for a price of course. Reinert pecans are a mainstay in my house; they can be found in cookies, pies, strudels, atop bowls of ice cream, candied, and even in stockings as Christmas presents. As my family has enjoyed them for many years, many other families have, as well. They are usually sold at the Thanksgiving dinner, in their own booth. Alma's sister, Wilma, has been the lady in charge of selling them for many, many years. This year, and actually it was just last Thursday, Wilma had cataract surgery, and felt that she wouldn't be in prime condition to sell pecans, so she asked if someone could replace her for the year. Enter Doris, the Altar Society President/Dinner Coordinator. Doris asked me if I would be so kind as to step in, in Wilma's absence. I jumped at the opportunity, because I felt that selling pecans was a step up from clearing tables. It seemed much like moving up to the "big table" from the "kid's table" at Thanksgiving dinners when I was younger.

So, on Sunday morning, there I was at the pecan table, ready for action. Shortly after my arrival, I got a helper! Miss Caitlyn was sweet enough to jump in and help me. Caitlyn happens to be in Emily's and my Sunday school class (That's a story for another time), and she adores me and Emily both, so I was excited to have another young face to help me. Things were slow at the beginning, but eventually picked up. Along the way, I saw many familiar faces and was able to greet many people, which I enjoy doing. After a while, Kyle and Cody wanted to help, so I let them help also. As you know, many hands makes for light work. By the end of the day, I was an old pro at counting back change for random amounts and maneuvering the totes that the pecans were in. Many people were surprised at the change of faces at the pecan booth, and wanted to know "where Wilma was". I told them about her surgery, and they understood.

The day ended well, also. We have been blessed with unseasonably warm weather for the past few days, and even at 6:30 PM, it was still nice outside. Of course, it is dark by that time, but the full moon was out. I decided to soak up the moonlight and nice weather. (Refer to a previous post on my fascination with the nighttime sky) I went outside and found my perch on a certain spot on our flatbed trailer. I had a perfect view of the moon from there, and I had slight seclusion. My spot is one that is visibly hidden, if that makes sense at all; the trailer is in plain sight, but that wouldn't be the first place for one to look for someone else. I sat out there for at least thirty minutes, just basking in the glow of the moonlight. It was a still evening with only a slight breeze. I could hear the sound of what I'm pretty sure were crickets, oil wells pumping in the distance, the random vehicles that drove by periodically, and every once in a while, a pack of coyotes howling in the distance. I just sat there in a reverie, reflecting on random things and people. It was all like an unending, free-flowing prayer. In my short time out there, I gained a sort of peace I was lacking beforehand. Then I got chilled, and I went in and baked some cookies from the freezer. A lovely end, to a lovely day.

Tomorrow is the grade school band concert, and hopefully, tomorrow evening, or sometime in the near future, I'll regale the excitement that is sure to accompany that!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Last Weekend, Part Two

As promised, I will continue on in my saga of last weekend, what a glorious weekend it was!
Last Saturday was the Regional Quiz Bowl tournament at Fairview, that added to another of my "Senior Moments". I love the Quiz Bowl team, especially this year. I have lots of fun being around all of them! As the only senior of the group, I am embracing my senior leadership role with open arms...As it turns out, I love being a leader, it fits me well. I also enjoyed the day because I got to be with my favorite junior and sophomore, Darian and Blaise, respectively. The three of us are much like sisters; we just "get" each other without trying, I love it! Anyway, after we arrived in Fairview, we made a pit stop at the Karl's Apple and stocked up on "brain food" for the day. Darian, Blaise, and I decided to pool our snacks, so we ended up with quite the mix: Chocolate Chip cookies, Pumpkin Seeds, Gummy Worms, Chocolate-Covered Raisins, Town House Flip-Side Cheese/Pretzel Crackers (Those are both yummy and amazing!), Chicken in a Biscuit Crackers, and a can of Spray cheese...The Food of Champions, What can I say? :) We got some strange looks as we were checking out, but it didn't matter. When we got back to the High School, we had a Bye round, so we got to sit and enjoy our goods. After our Bye, it was go time. The specifics of the tournament really weren't too exciting, so I'll spare you those, but I'll give the Highlight Reel:
-We took a speed round on Saints, which I would have rocked, except they decided to put three different St. Thomas's in the mix, and I couldn't keep track...But there was one about St. Christopher, which I was very excited about because I have a medal of him that I wear almost every day, so I was pretty thrilled!
-My math skills aren't as quick as they used to be, which I am thinking is a sign that I need to brush up on some math again.
-I think my fast buzzer skills were irritating a girl from Fairview, who apparently had a guess on many of the same questions I buzzed in on, but I didn't let that deter me at all
-The bracket wasn't set up in a very effective manner, and the team that was the runner-up, definitely shouldn't have been there.
-On a related note, we placed third overall, and we qualified for the Area Tournament in January!!!!!!!

That night was the annual fundraiser for the St. Joseph's School in Enid ( where Cody attends school), better known as the Taste of St. Joe's. It is a wine tasting and silent auction event that is apparently a load of fun, but I wouldn't know, since one has to be 21 to enter. Because of that, the boys and I all went to stay at our cousins' house, since our parents were at the Taste. I love going to Joe & Vickie's house, particularly because their kids, Liz, Jake, and Evan, are among my few cousins that are actually my age. The boys and I went there last year, and we had a blast, and this year was just as fun! I was introduced to marshmallow guns, which are very fun to use! It is my kind of gun, the marshmallows don't hurt very much if you get hit with one, and if nothing else, you have a yummy treat! Evan and I had a bit of a marshmallow war; that was quite the time, let me tell you! The only bad part was the fact that little Andrew was very upset for about an hour so, after which we had to call in the reinforcements (aka Mommy!) Upon her arrival, Andrew was completely calm. After that, we continued to have a good evening.

There was only one bad part to the weekend:
After I got home from Joe & Vickie's, I came to the realization that my beloved St. Christopher's/Pope Benedict necklace was nowhere to be found! I was beside myself, not necessarily because of the necklace, but because of the sentimental value behind it. I searched high and low, and then the next day, we happened to go to town (I'll explain why in a moment) and we looked at Joe & Vickie's. Jakub was even nice enough to get out his metal detector and search their leaf-covered yard for it. No dice there, but I'm fairly certain that they have a fortune in coins in their front yard. As it turned out, my necklace fell into Andrew's diaper bag, safe and sound...Crisis averted!!

Sunday morning after church, my parents, Gina, and I made a trip up to the hospital to do some visiting...no bad news here, because our good friend Robyn had had her baby on Friday afternoon! She had a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Natalie Kate. I was thrilled about her name...her middle name in particular, because we happen to share middle names!!!! I love my middle name of Kate, because it is uncommon as a middle name, but that's the thing. I have never met another person in the world who shares a middle name with me! I am aware that I am most definitely not the first or only person to have that middle name, but nonetheless, I have never met anyone else...Until Sunday!!! I was even lucky enough to get to hold her, and she smiled for me a few times! Before I saw her, I considered Andrew to be little, especially in comparison to the rest of the boys, but Andrew seemed like a giant compared to little Natalie. She was so small and delicate, with the smoothest of skin, and beautiful bright eyes, just perfect!

Shortly after I got home, I decided that I couldn't put off the inevitable for much longer...I had to find a starting point for that silly Argumentative Paper. I was irrationally upset by the thought of even writing the paper, for reasons that I am not even sure of, but I knew that if I wanted a good grade, that I had better get cracking. I, being the organizational person that I am, set up a basic outline, where I could organize topics that I wanted to include in my paper. By the end of the evening, I was satisfied enough with my progress. After doing about two and a half evenings later, I had my finished product. I am very glad that I have a way with words that enables me to write a large amount with no problem. It can be a curse (during my Amer. History tests with my extensive essay answers that make me nearly run out of time), but mostly a blessing, considering how much I love to write!

With all things considered, I definitely had all of the elements that added up to be a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finally!

Hallelujah and Happy Day!!! I am done with my Argumentative paper for my Government class!!!!!! I never thought that I would finish it, but it is DONE!!! I really, really, really did not want to write that paper, and now it feels as if I have a huge weight lifted from my shoulders! During the time that I was trying to summon the energy to work on my paper (that's how much I DIDN'T want to do it), I was not a very pleasant person to be around. However, my only incentive for completing it, besides a good grade, was that I would return to writing for pleasure on my blog ONLY after I had finished my paper. As I mentioned earlier, I had to write four to six pages, double spaced, on the drinking age. I poured my heart out, I fluffed, and I got about 5 1/2 pages worth! I am pleased with it, and now I just pray that my hard work will be reflected in my grade! Speaking of grades, I am surprised by the fact that the paper is only worth 75 points, which is less than an actual test grade, but still quite a few points nonetheless.

Really, the last couple of weeks have been wonderful...so much stuff, where to start? (Yes, it has been too long since I have last blogged.)

Last Thursday, Veteran's Day, we had our annual Veteran's Day assembly at school. It was a great tribute to those who have served our country, as always. As a STUCO officer, I played a (somewhat) important role in the assembly. I was in charge of the guest speaker. (Well, not entirely, but I was the first to find someone, and Mrs. Golay thought that he would be a good speaker.) At the assembly itself, I got to introduce him. I think that everyone enjoyed his speech.

Friday, was very exciting for me. I went out on my first official date with a guy from school. His name is Tevis, and he has been in my class since the 3rd grade, and I have liked him for quite some time, so I was pretty pumped about getting to go out with him. :) We ended up going to see a movie, but there is a better story that came before we even left. Friday morning, when I made sure that it was okay with my parents, my dad informed me that if Tevis wanted to go anywhere with me, he would have to come and pick me up. At the moment, it seemed a bit problematic because 1) It had rained quite a bit in the previous days, making the dirt roads to my house muddy, and 2) Tevis drives a Firebird, which sits pretty close to the ground, and isn't exactly built for driving down muddy roads. For a brief moment, I figured that our plans would be done with then and there, because why would anyone want to risk getting stuck, or anything else, just to go see a movie? So, I told Tevis what my dad said, and he had no problem with it. His only questions were how to get to my house and whether or not he would get stuck going down the muddy roads. He was more than willing to come and get me, which I loved. I wrote out the directions to my house, and he told me that he would try to get there around 5:30 or 6. After I got home, I rushed around and did a little bit of last minute straightening up, and then got ready. It was about 5:35, and I was beginning to get a little antsy, but I knew that he'd be there soon enough. It was almost 5:45 and my phone rang; it was him. He told me that he wasn't quite sure where he was, but he thought that he was pretty close. I had faith that he could make it here just fine, but when about ten minutes had passed, and he wasn't there yet, I started to worry a little bit, so I called, and he got a little bit turned around, but I helped him to get on the right track. He was at my house by 6. I felt bad because the directions I gave him didn't include the fact that I live off of 114th street, which, apparently, would have been tremendously helpful. He did hold that fact over my head (jokingly, of course) for the rest of the evening. All in all, we had a lovely evening together, and now, we are officially dating!!!! :) He really makes me happy, and he is a great guy, and I couldn't be happier!

I also had a history test today that entailed a lot of writing, and, as I mentioned, I finished writing my paper earlier, with that in mind, I have written A LOT today, so I think I'll save the rest of the events of last weekend for my next post!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Senior Moments

The past week has been jam-packed full of almost everything under the sun. I am finally beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel with Thanksgiving Break getting closer and closer, but there is still about two weeks until it comes around. A round-up of the events is as follows...

Halloween was nice, fairly uneventful, as usual, but still nice. My dad's birthday happens to coincide with Halloween, so my day was spent with family, enjoying a lovely birthday dinner for him. One thing that I dislike about living in the country is the fact that I don't get to spend the evening admiring costumes and handing out candy. The only trick-or-treaters we usually have are my nephews, which is nice, but I still wish that we were more accessible to more people. Perhaps it's a good thing too, I'm not sure yet.

Last week, I went to my last Academic Banquet. We had a nice meal, and enjoyed listening to my friends in Choir sing. It really wasn't a sentimental occasion, but it was a nice evening, nonetheless.

Friday was the last home football game, and, as it turned out, the last game of the season. This year was the first year that we had an honest shot at the playoffs, but it just didn't happen. Somehow, life goes on, I suppose...I digress. Since it was the last home game, we celebrated Senior Night. Up until last year, the celebration was only for the Fast-Pitch and Football. Last year, however, it was also extended to the Band Seniors, who play at every home game. So, I was among the honorees! We enjoyed a hilarious pep rally skit that included the senior football boys dressing up as cheerleaders and doing a few cheers for us. Before the game, we celebrated the Seniors with each of our parents. I think my mom got a little bit sentimental when I gave her her rose, even though she knew well in advance that she would receive one. As I mentioned above, it just wasn't in the cards for us to win the game, as we lost 60-14 (I think). However, the evening wasn't a total loss because we had a 5th quarter dance! I was pretty excited about it, as were many of my friends. I enjoyed the dance, although I didn't particularly care for the music...it just wasn't my kind of dancing music. Nonetheless, I had fun with all of my friends, and made a few more memories of my Senior year.

Today gave me yet another of my "Senior Moments." We had our panel pictures at the Blunck's studio today. There is a back story from yesterday that I should probably include, as well. About three weeks ago, I had tentatively decided on a shirt to wear for my panel picture. It was a lovely maroon sweater with 3/4 length sleeves, and a nice glittery design on it. I already had the shirt, and I liked it, and it was a cost-effective solution, so I was happy. However, yesterday, my mom told me that she was going to take me to town to look for a different shirt, because my sisters got new shirts for their picture, and she just wanted to treat me to it. It was preferred that our shirts were a more subdued color with nothing too flashy, and not low-cut. We began our search at Ross, where we found many nice shirts, but none that fit our needs. We went on to Old Navy. At first sight, we didn't find much, but that soon changed. We went back to the Clearance rack (my favorite place in the store), and found a lovely black sweater. They also had the sweater in red and purple. I decided to try them on. I liked the black the best. While I was trying the sweaters on, my mom also found the sweater in orange. After I tried the orange on, my mom and I were stuck between the orange and black, and my mom decided that since they were both clearanced out, I looked equally nice in both, and I could use them for my other senior pictures, we got them both. Nothing too mindblowing, but I thought it was nice.

Back to today...
It was decided in advance that we would meet at Varsity Square at 8:30 this morning, but my plans were slightly altered. Since it is Monday, I have two hours of college classes. Because Blunck's is right here in Enid, and it would take at least two hours to take the pictures, I didn't have to miss my classes. It would've been nice to be able to leave a little bit later, but it would've been more of a pain than it was worth to miss my classes. When I arrived at the studio, I was whisked away to the dressing room to sit and wait for my pictures. Really, it was more of a primping room than anything else. My pictures went well, I think, now I'm just waiting to see how they turned out! After we were done with the individual pictures, we went to our "surprise" location (Government Springs Park) for our class picture. That went well, besides the fact that there were some vicious (not really, but to me they were) looking ducks that were lurking in the pond. After all of the pictures were done, we were driven to the mall for our choice of restaurant. I went with Shea, Tonisha, Ana, and Whitney to IHOP. Today was the first time that I didn't get a breakfast item to eat at IHOP. I decided on a Turkey Bacon Club Sandwich, that was quite tasty. I had loads of fun, as usual, with my friends.

I still have an argumentative paper to write, which I REALLY don't want to do, but I need to do it so that I can get that out of the way; it constantly lurks in the shadows of my thoughts. Hopefully I can get mostly finished by this weekend.

Saturday is my Regional Quiz Bowl tournament, which will be held in Fairview. I am looking forward to the competition, but not the verbose questions that the directors have decided to use. As long as we finish in the top four (which we should), we will move on to the Area tournament that's in January. Hopefully we will have a good day on Saturday!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All-State Auditions

As many of you know, my All-State tryouts were this weekend. The tryouts were in Tecumseh, which is a good three-hour drive from Enid. For that reason, Ms. Lohmann and I left out on Friday night, so we could get a good night’s rest in preparation for the big day that was before us. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Alfredo’s Mexican CafĂ© off of I-35 in Moore. For the restaurant being packed, we had exceptionally quick service and good food. After getting a good night’s rest, we got up and made the short drive from Shawnee to Tecumseh. When I got there, Ms. Lohmann told me to go find my tryout room and the warm-up room. She also told me that if I didn’t want to go to the warm-up room, I could use her car for warm-up space. As we got out of the vehicle, we were greeted by the cacophony that is better known as a warm-up room. While walking into the school to find my room, I lost every last shred of calmness I had when we pulled up. It was very much akin to the way I felt playing in front of the band. I knew that the first thing I had to do was to CALM DOWN! My hands were shaking horrendously, and my stomach felt the same way it does when I go on a roller coaster. We found my room easily, and at about the time that we got there, the lady was posting the cuts for the etudes for both prelims and finals and also the major scale that was required. As a note, the prelim tryouts only included cuts from both of the etudes, no scales or sight-reading! I was thrilled about that, and was also confident in the fact that I could make it past the first round. The second round/finals included different cuts from the etudes, sight-reading, the chromatic scale, and the specified major scale, which was Concert Eb…the easiest scale besides the Concert Bb scale for a clarinet! (It only has 1 flat!) I can’t lie, the cuts for the prelims were about as easy as it could’ve gotten, all things considered. The cuts for the finals were a little more difficult, of course, but they were basically what I expected them to be. After knowing all of that, I had a much better feeling about everything. With that in mind, I decided to go give the warm-up room a try.

When walking in there, I was greeted with the usual dissonance that is heard in any warm-up room. Of course, it’s in a gym, so the acoustics really aren’t there. Also, there were many people playing the clarinet etudes that sounded WAY better than I did, or at least could take the etudes at a tempo that I would never dream of. Nevertheless, I sat down, ran through my scales, and cuts of my etudes. I felt like the odd one out, because I was the only one from my school, but I figured that that was the least of my worries. I felt a little bit calmer, but not much more, so I decided to go back to the car. While I was in there, I began to feel much better. I said a silent prayer that I could just calm down and play like I was at lessons. By the time I left the car to go sit and wait, I was much calmer. My hands weren’t shaking at all! I sat outside my room and began the never-ending process of waiting that characterizes these events. Any time that I sit alone in a public place, I love to just watch people, listen to the things they say, and pick up subliminal clues about them. As I sat there, I realized that at this level of competition, there are many people who make this a part of their entire being. There are many people who are much more dedicated than I can ever dream of being. There are many people who make this their life so much that, I would guess, they don’t have much of a life outside of this. I finally got my audition card, and I was contestant number 83. I was in the second room that started with number 43, which meant that there was much more waiting in store. As I sat there, I began talking with three different girls, all of whom were Sophomores. I got the feeling that two of the three were trying to play head games with me, by trying to psyche me out. I have you know that, if they were using that tactic, I did not fall prey to it. When it was finally my turn, about an hour and a half later, I went in as ready as I could be. I felt that I played about as well as I could have played it. When I left the room and was waiting for my green sticker that signified that I went to the next round, a guy who was standing at the door informed me that I played wonderfully. A few seconds later, I got my card back, with a green dot! Then it was on to the next phase of waiting for a chance to play in the final room.

There was a large herd of people waiting for that. I took that particular opportunity to go back to the warm-up room to go over my etudes once again. Ms. Lohmann, who was judging French Horns, came and sat with me to wait once again. We figured out a somewhat strategic placement for my tryout. We immediately decided that I shouldn’t follow the girl who had been first chair at both Small and Large School All-States for the past few years. Also, I didn’t want to follow another guy who sounded amazingly good in the warm-up room. Finally, I decided to just go. I went in and played both scales, and did well on that, only with a minor issue with the highest note on my chromatic scale. My etudes came next, and I honestly felt that that was the best that I had ever played them. I played with as much heart as I could, and I didn’t feel disappointed in the least with that part of my audition. The sight-reading was decent, and it was probably the only thing that I could have done better on, but it is sight-reading, and no one ever gets it perfect, so I was content. When I was done, Ms. Lohmann told me that I sounded great, and that she was pleased with what she could hear of my audition. After that, we left to go eat lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Shawnee. We ended up taking the scenic route back to Tecumseh, and I decided on two things. 1) The town of Shawnee is not very visitor friendly if you get in the residential area, and is very hard to navigate. 2) I have no sudden desire to go to college there, either. (My parents should be happy, since there are only private colleges there.)

After we finally got back to Tecumseh, we went to the results room. It was the moment of truth. Naturally, there was a crowd of people surrounding the results sheet. Ms. Lohmann was slightly in front of me, and I could tell my results by her body language. As she looked upon the sheet, her shoulders dropped, and I knew. I didn’t make it. Of course, I was heartbroken for the moment. Tears came, and Ms. Lohmann gave me a hug and told me that I really did a great job, and there was nothing to be ashamed of by not making it. In fact, they really didn’t take that many clarinets. I was in the top thirty which was still a pretty big accomplishment. After I composed myself a little bit, I called my parents. I also called Mr. Holland. According to him, the judges obviously didn’t know talent when they heard it (You’ve got to love Mr. H!). He also told me that it didn’t take away from any part of my being as a musician, it only added to it. He also told me to keep my head up and to go get first chair at All-Area. On our way home, Ms. Lohmann enlightened me on an interesting fact. Both she and Mr. Holland, two of the best musicians I know of, did NOT make All-State when they were in high school. I thought about it a little more, and there are lots of other people who didn’t make All-State. Lots of people never even tried out. Gina and many of her friends tried out for All-State and didn’t make it, and I still think that they were fantastic musicians, and the fact that they didn’t make it to All-State didn’t take away anything from their being as musicians at the time. And really, at the end of the day, it’s just another honor. In the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that big of a deal. I still wish that I could have made it, but it’s okay.


Today at church, Fr. Joe had a wonderful homily that I felt related to my situation. He talked about a tennis player who, by the age of seventeen, had won Wimbledon. He was the greatest professional tennis player in the world at that time. One would have thought that he would be on top of the world in excitement. In a later interview, he was quoted as saying that although he had the fame, fortune, and the honors, “he had no inner peace.” Here is the greatest tennis player in the world, and even after he had won the title to prove this, he still had no inner peace. Perhaps had I made it, I might be in the same boat. I might have stressed about the music I would have to play, or the chair tryouts that would occur at the Clinic, I might not have been completely satisfied with my chair. (I doubt that, but it could have happened.) I figure that there are many more people out there who deserve the honor much more than I, and I’m okay with that. Perhaps it will help someone receive a scholarship that they really need; there are many possibilities. Nonetheless, I am pleased with the fact that I made it to the second round, and I feel that I am a better player for everything, so it’s okay.

“Give the world the best you have, and it may never be good enough. Give the world the best you have anyway.” --Mother Theresa

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An All-Around Good Day

Today was a good day for me. There were all sorts of random things that happened, none really relating to each other, but they all added up to a wonderful day.



The first thing was the STUCO District 2 meeting, which was held at Kingfisher High School. About 15 area schools were there. It was fun, although I did think that it was slightly rigged to the larger schools that have more active STUCO groups than Pioneer does. After going to this, a part of me wishes that we could do some of the things that the other groups do, particularly going to the state STUCO convention, but it's just not in the cards for us, what with the cost of travel and lodging these days. After we got settled, everyone was randomly split up into small groups comprised of kids from other schools. They had some outdoor games and indoor discussion groups. My group went outside first. There were eight people in my group, and no one was from the same school, which I think helped so that no one immediately cliqued up. I happened to know a girl in my group who was from OBA, which was nice. The outdoor games that my group got to play were pretty lame in my opinion. We only got to do three games out of about ten and they were probably the three most mellow games out there. The games were Electricity (the guy did a bad job of explaining it, and it was very anticlimactic), some sort of partner relay, and a Human Knot. I liked the human knot, though! Our indoor discussion groups were pretty good, and when we had some extra time before we rotated, we played Ninja. Ninja is the new game that people at schools play, a bit like how Hacky Sack used to be. It is interesting, and I enjoy it, even though I'm not that great. (It's hard to explain, but I'm sure that there is something about it on YouTube; it's pretty entertaining to watch, actually)

After we left our groups and joined our school group again, there was a guest speaker named Jamie Scammahorn. She was an OK state teacher of the year finalist, and she is currently the counselor at Piedmont. She was very energetic, even though she was going hoarse. She talked about how she has hope for my generation, despite our negative portrayal by the media. She also talked about the issue of in-school bullying. She pointed out that even though administrators can make all kinds of rules and conduct standards regarding bullying, it will only stop when the students decide to make it stop. It really made me stop and think about a few people at my school who endure the constant stream of negative words hurled towards them with each day. It's sad that just because they don't stoop down to the level of pettiness, or they're not considered to be as "cool" as everyone else, that they are belittled and beat down. I don't feel that anything really separates them from everyone else, in fact, I think that they are much more interesting people to be around as opposed to the "cool kids." I try to always be kind to everyone, especially them, because they might need a friend more than anyone does. I'm not trying to sound preachy, or like a compulsive do-gooder who does all of this just to make myself look better as a person. I just wish that lots of other people would take the time to at least get to know the people before they make fun of them or anything else that hurts the other person.

When I got home, Wyatt and Andrew were here. When I walked in, Wyatt told me that he was happy that I got here before his mommy did, so he would get to spend some time with me. Little things like that really make my day!

I have a Botany ID test tomorrow, about which I am not really excited. I basically have the scientific names down, with the exception of a couple (silly Bur Oak and Western Ragweed). I have three trees in this group that I couldn't exactly remember what their leaves looked like (that's what we have to identify). I planned on looking up the pictures on the Internet at some point this evening, but that didn't happen because of what happened next. I have my plant collection with all of these leaves, but it is at school. Not because I forgot it there, but for circumstances beyond my control that have to do with my absence today. I was in the process of explaining this to my mom, and my dad, who was in the living room watching TV, chimed in and asked what was going on. I explained my predicament to him. After I did so, he said, "Come on, I know where we can find those trees, let's go." So, he and I proceeded to load up in his old white pickup. We drove down the road until we found one of the trees, and he stopped to let me collect a leaf, which I recognized after I saw it. He knew that one of our neighbors had the next tree, so we stopped in, and they let me have a leaf for the road. The only place he knew of that had the last tree was at our church. I figured that we'd try to find one slightly closer, but before I knew it, we were at church, and I got the last leaf I needed. As we were driving along, we talked about random things, mostly about my upcoming All-State audition. It is times like these that help me to realize the immense love my parents have for me. The fact that my dad was willing to just get up and go, all because I needed three measly leaves, just to help me pass a test, when I could've gone and looked them up on the Internet (A fact that my dad actually pointed out during our trip), means a lot to me. Our trip today is something that I will probably never forget. I hope that it will be a story that I can pass on to my children one day. Sometimes my dad is grumpy, but I know that deep down, he means well in everything he does. As a Senior, I treasure this moment, because I know that if I decide to leave to attend college, I won't be able to have as many moments like this with him. It also made me realize how much I take my dad for granted, with his random knowledge of this stuff. In a way, it also made me sad to think about Abbey, Able, and Audra, and many other people who are still experiencing much grief due to the loss of their dads, and the fact that they don't have this opportunity anymore. Poignant moments like this are things that I live for.
On an unrelated note, I am happy to hear that Zane's surgery went well yesterday. I love the fact that everyone is able to be updated almost instantly thanks to the techonologies of today. My thoughts and prayers still go out to Zane and all of his family, as they all enter into the healing phase of this journey.

Finally, my tryouts are incing closer...almost at the 48 hour mark. I have found that I am fine playing in front of my family or Ms. Lohmann, and also in my room by myself; however, when I play for everyone in Band, even just sitting in my normal spot, I panic. My hands were literally shaking. I went from perfectly serene to full-on basketcase in a matter of seconds. My tone was bad, I rushed in places that I have never rushed, I didn't have good breath support, and so on and so forth. I REALLY hope that this doesn't carry over to Saturday morning! That's the absolute last thing I need to have happen to me. Once again, good thoughts/prayers, anything would be great for Saturday morning! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Boys

Right now, I am in the midst of my Fall Break. So far, it has gone quite well, and I have no complaints. I have accomplished a few things from my to-do list, but I have also got to do something much better than that. I spent both yesterday and today, and will also spend tomorrow night, with my nephews.

I have been blessed with four wonderful, handsome, loving nephews. Each of my nephews holds a special place in my heart. Cody is the oldest, at 6 years old. He was born when I was in the 6th grade, and with each day, I find it harder to believe that he is a kindergardener...it just doesn't seem possible! But here he is, beginning to build a life all his own, beginning to understand life and everything else just a little bit more with each day. He is learning to read and write, almost able to sound out some words. Cody is the artistic one, I think. I do believe that he is right-brain dominant in most every way. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he became an inventor, because he is always rigging something up with string/rubber bands/any other random thing he finds. My mom and I have come to the conclusion that if we are ever stranded on a deserted island, we want Cody with us, because he could find a way out. He reminds me of Macgyver. He also shares my love of music. He loves to sing and whistle at any chance he gets, which I love.

Wyatt is next at 4 1/2 years old. I was a 7th grader when he was born, and now Wyatt is in Preschool. Wyatt definitely has the most vivid imagination out of the four. He is always trying to recreate scenes from random movies with anyone who will go along with it. His favorite is Monsters, Inc., particularly the scene with the scream extractor, and I'm always Mike, and he is Randall. He is very affectionate most of the time, and generally he won't leave without getting his "lovings" in. He has learned how to spell and write his name, and he loves walking around informing us that "W-Y-A-T-T spells WYATT!!!!!" Not necessarily the hardest name to spell, perhaps, but even so, I love this. Wyatt is getting to the age where he is beginning to converse with people much better. My favorite thing is when he recites his nursery rhymes that he learns from school. He is very enthusiastic about school and learning, which I really love.

Kyle is 3 1/2, almost 4 years old. He was born in the middle of my 8th grade year. Next year, he will begin school, which he is very excited about. He is very inquisitive, always asking "Why?" to everything you tell him, which can be exasperating at times, but I usually try to explain, because he just has a thirst for knowledge is all. It is evident that Kyle is the youngest, because he is Cody's shadow. Everything Cody does, Kyle is two steps behind him. From the moment he was born, he didn't act like a baby; he always thought that he was a big boy. Kyle is a daredevil. He is always up to something that usually ends with a few bumps and bruises. He is not without fear, though. He is afraid of loud noises (particularly fireworks) and cows. For some reason he has it in his mind that the cows will bite him if he gets too close. An odd rationalization, maybe, but a guarantee that he won't go out in the pasture alone, definitely. My favorite thing is that he is very affectionate. He is a lover. When I am with Kyle, at least every 20-30 minutes, he tells me that he loves me, and I know that he means it. He has a caring personality, no doubt. I wish that many people would take lessons from him on how to love and care for others, because he does both like a champ.

Andrew is nearly 15 months old. He was born during the summer following my Sophomore year. He can walk, run, crawl, and do almost any other thing you can imagine. He is little, but he believes that he is just as big as the others. Andrew is my one and only Godson, as of yet. He is very expressive with all of the faces he makes. (My favorite is when he crinkles his nose and smiles) He is beginning to talk, although it is mostly babbles or random syllables. He does understand what you say, but he doesn't say much. Wyatt was like that too, and when he finally decided to talk, he never quit, so I'm still waiting for that day! He loves his mom more than anything, and no one really stands a chance with him when she is in the room. Today we learned that Andrew & I share a love of rain. My favorite thing is when he gives me hugs, which are amazing; he gives wonderful hugs for a little guy.

Each of my nephews are different, but for each difference, they have many similarities. They all love the outdoors, having tickle fights, reading books, and, most importantly, each other. They each have a special place in my heart. At times, they might get into my things, say things they shouldn't, and, sometimes, get on my last nerve, but at the end of the day, I would be lost without them, and the pure, limitless love that lies within their little hearts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2 Months: 1st Quarter Down!

Yikes! I think that each monthly update on school will begin with my mental freakout of the fact that my time as a Senior is slowly slipping by. It is crazy to realize that it is already Fall Break, thus meaning that the First Nine Weeks of my Senior year is gone. Only three more nine-week periods, and that's it! Everything is going just as fast as everyone told me that it would. At times it worries me that everything will pass me by in the rush of life, but I find comfort in the fact that I am doing my best to live it up, and have as much fun as possible with all of my amazing friends while I still have the opportunity to do so at my/their convenience. Here's the rundown of my classes!

American National Government:
The class is going well for me, and next Friday will be our 2nd test. (I did quite well on the first one, btw) At the moment, we are discussing the Civil Rights Movement. In about a month I will have to turn in my one and only (thank goodness!) paper. I haven't quite started on it, but I'll get around to that one of these days. I have to write a four to six page, double-spaced argumentative paper on the issue of teen drinking. I'm sure that it will be interesting.

American History to 1865:
I do believe that I have somewhat adjusted to my teacher. I suppose that she isn't as bad as I had originally put her out to be. I have found a better way to take notes for her class, which has helped tremendously. I just had my second test, on which, hopefully, I did well. I turned in my paper over the Battle of Gettysburg, and I am patiently awaiting my results on that, too. My fingers are crossed!

Band:
Spoiler Alert!!! There will be a future post dedicated solely to the events of this past week regarding Band! I am finally done, I repeat, DONE, with field marching for the rest of my life! I can't yet say how we did at contest, as I will do so in the aforementioned post to come. (Really though, I think everyone has a general idea, just saying) I am thrilled to start Concert Band next Tuesday! Also, my All-State tryouts are closer than I could imagine...9 days away. Yikes! I feel prepared, but I am getting nervous. It is literally coming down to the wire. Regardless of the outcome, I promise to dedicate a post to that as well. Also, if the thought comes to anyone reading this, I would love it if you could send a few prayers my way on the morning of Saturday, October 30th. I'll need all the help I can get!!! :)

Botany:
Our collections are up to 58 different plants. Our collecting has slowed down a bit, I'm not entirely sure why, though. I would think that we would be all over that, since many/most species will be withering away in the coming weeks, but I suppose that that isn't my decision.

English IV:
Nothing new really, we did finish a unit on subject-verb agreement not too long ago. Since then, I have become increasingly aware of my sentence structures as I write. Soon I will have to decide on a new 9-Weeks novel. I'm not sure what I will choose, but, hopefully it will be much easier to follow than my previous book.

Library Aide:
Much of what I do in this hour pertains to me being on the yearbook staff. Have I mentioned that I have become the school paparazzi? Yes, that is me. Mrs. Fuxa sends me out on missions of acquiring lovely candid shots of everyday Pi-Hi. It is interesting what people do when a camera is pointed towards them. The Jr. High kids all ham it up and pose with their best buddies and make cheesy gestures. I'd say that the overwhelming majority of HS girls freak out when they so much as see the camera, usually saying, "Oh my gosh, you are NOT taking a picture of me!!!!!!!! I look horrible today!!!!" The guys are almost as bad as the JH kids, because they pose with their buddies, but instead of a cheesy gesture, they strike a tough-guy pose, or sometimes, they (try) to make mildly obscene gestures. True story.. Nonetheless, I have managed to capture some priceless pictures of my compadres.

Very soon, I will begin offseason practice. I will be entering a world of pain, tight muscles, and Icy-Hot.  I am trying to mentally prepare myself for this, but it's always much worse than I can force myself to remember. Each year, I am convinced that this is what it will be like as I age, which makes me dread that process even more, although I believe that the achy joints and pain beats the alternative by a long shot.

Other Highlights:
We recently celebrated Spirit Week, during which I had a load of fun! We had decent days this year: Monday was Redneck Day, which was highly misinterpreted as Western/Hillbilly/Redneck Day. Nonetheless it was good for some laughs. Tuesday was Favorite Team Day, which the Senior Class didn't participate in due to the fact that we were off collecting Carnival prizes. Wednesday was Stoplight Day. The code to the day: Green=Single, Yellow=In between/Talking to someone/It's Complicated, Red=In a Relationship. There were a few people who took it literally, and dressed in the whole Stoplight motif (those were my favorites, FYI). As for me, I totally rocked the Green Light look! Thursday was Halloween Day, another good one. Shea, Tonisha, and I had a cool group theme. Somehow, Shea managed to get ahold of two authentic Garfield County Inmate tops. So, Shea and Tonisha were inmates, and I dressed as a prison warden. Many people said I could've passed for the whole "Walker, Texas Ranger" look, but it was fun, no less. Friday was, of course, Spirit Day! Once again, Shea, Tonisha, and I made group t-shirts that spelled out PHS/Go, Fight, Win. I thought that they were pretty nifty, if I must say so myself.

Also, my class has another achievement to add to our list: We are the only class that has never, EVER, won Carnival. Not once. We usually came close in grade school, but in years past, everyone just had bad morale, and usually our candidates weren't that motivated, either.

Before I know it, it will be three months, and everyone will be in preparation for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

YAB Weekend

I am coming to the end of a busy, fun-filled weekend. I'm barely hanging on, but I wanted to jot these thoughts down before I got too busy in the buzz of everyday life and put it off, and then never exactly get around to writing about it, because some other cool thing happened (You know how that goes...) I digress...

My weekend was literally kicked off at our Homecoming game on Friday. Spirit Week was fun, and I posted pictures on Facebook, which I think should suffice for that. We played Wellston, and we actually won the game! The final score was 70-49, which I thought was amazing in and of itself. I must say, the game took FOREVER. It wasn't over until about 10:45, which cut the dance short. I was glad that I got in for free (one perk of being a STUCO officer), or else I probably wouldn't have gone. It cost $5 to get into the dance, which I thought was highway robbery. The dance, although short, was loads of fun. I enjoyed some fun times with my friends. After I finally got home, I was out for the count, that's how exhausted I was!

Yesterday (Saturday) was an all-around awesome day! After I got up and around, I headed over to the church to get things set up and ready for me and my fellow YABers. Around 2:00, everyone started showing up. It was exciting because not only would I get to see old friends from last year, but also meet all of the newcomers. After everyone got their things all squared away in the room, we began with some ice breaker-type games to allow everyone to get to know each other better. There were 17 of us, with 5 "veterans" from last year, myself included. Perhaps it's the fact that everyone was getting to know each other all at once, but I honestly feel like this year's group is a much better fit than last year's. Although, my situation was different since I joined in the middle of the year, and everyone already knew and was comfortable with each other. Maybe that had something to do with it, I'm not sure. Anyway, I met so many amazing people this weekend, and made at least 12 new friends. Everyone was so positive and friendly, and I am already looking forward to our next meeting!

Some highlights from YAB:
-We prayed the Stations of the Cross at about 9:15 at night, outside. (For those of you who don't know/forgot, we have outdoor Stations of the Cross, that are illuminated at night.) It was a wonderful, prayerful experience.
-Among the 12 new friends I made, was a girl from St. Mark's in Norman. Last November when I attended the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Kansas city, I was roommates with three girls from St. Mark's. We spent about three days together, but in those three days, we became wonderful friends, as if we had known each other for years. It was sad to say goodbye, because we knew that, from a logistical standpoint, that we wouldn't be able to see each other for probably quite some time, if ever again. Of course, thanks to the Internet, I am able to keep them in my life in a different manner via Facebook. The girl I met this weekend was just as sweet as my roommates were, and I feel that we will be just as good of friends as I was/am with my roomies. Now this is nothing against any of my other friends I met this weekend, but I found it quite interesting that Celeste (my new St. Mark's buddy) is, like me, of Czech heritage! It is such an oddity, and I always am excited when I meet a fellow Czech! You see, these things are just meant to be :)
-Fr. Joe dropped in and gave a nice little talk. While he was there, he gave each of us a medal of Pope Benedict, which was blessed by none other than the Holy Father himself! I attached it to my St. Christopher's medal necklace, which I think is a nice touch.
-I think we had enough food for a small army. The ladies of the church were ever so gracious to provide us with nourishment for the weekend. Everyone ate so much, and there are still gobs of food left over!
-Thanks to me, 16 more people know how to make rosaries! (One guy already knew how to make them.)
-I also got at least five more people interested in making rosaries, and spreading it to others, as well.
-Everyone got to enjoy some relaxation in the "boonies." (LOL)

I really needed this weekend of retreat. I was getting to the point where I was just needing some time to just slow down and take some time for myself, and this weekend was perfect for just that. At the reception for the Marian celebration, (which was wonderful, I might add) I spoke with a wonderful woman. We shared our tales of heartache, for reasons that are different, yet the same. She gave me great insight, and more than anything, a sense of peace. She reminded me to just put it in God's hands, and let His will be done, and it will turn out for the best. Sometimes, one needs someone else to just reinforce what you already know and believe. The thing about the reinforcement though, it helps you to realize that there is truth in your beliefs, and that you are doing the right thing. We shared our stories, smiles, laughter, and a few tears (well, I did). We had a wonderful chat, and I am truly glad that I took the time to visit with her. 

All in all, I believe that it was a wonderful weekend, full of fun, friendship, and faith. It was exactly what I needed to help me regain perspective. Sometimes, in the daily grind of life, one gets so caught up in everything that has to be done, and they become so worn out and burned out that they forget to take the time to truly enjoy the little things that make life worth living. I have another busy week ahead of me, but I think I can do a better job of taking some time out to just enjoy everything a little bit more.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fun with Surveys

As I was perusing Facebook earlier, I happened upon this survey...Nothing too terribly interesting/note-worthy, but something I enjoyed nonetheless :)

Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to Ten Different People:

1. You are the most loving, generous person I know of, and I wish you would do more for yourself; you deserve it!
2. I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for you and all of your wisdom...
3. You are my best friend in the world, and I only want the best for you in the future.
4. I still love you...even if you never truly loved me.
5. Things haven't always been the best with us, but I believe that everything has worked out for the best and I wouldn't trade our friendship for anything in the world!
6. I wish I hadn't even given you the time of day in the first place.
7. You really need to lose the drama in your life.
8. You are such a strong, amazing person, and I hope that I can be like you, one day.
9. I hope I get to see you again...I believe that good things could happen if we got the chance to know each other.
10. I'm glad things didn't work out with someone, so that we could be such good friends :)


Nine things about myself:
1. Ever since I was born, I have lived on a farm.
2. I love random trivia!
3. I absolutely love the color of my eyes, my mom says that they are the exact same color as my great-grandma Hajek's and she's so glad that one of her children got her eye color :)
4. I love the rain, and nighttime.
5. I enjoy running, for some odd reason (Lol)
6. I am Catholic and proud of it!
7. My family is everything to me
8. I love to write!
9. I have a nearly photographic memory. (Notice the nearly I put in there, because I am not without fault)


Eight ways to win my heart:
1. Have a good sense of Humor
2. Share a common love of many things.
3. Be a good listener, but also be able to carry on conversation
4. Be Honest, Loving, Caring, and Polite.
5. Remember the little things
6. Have a positive, cheerful personality
7. Be a little bit of a nerd, like me :)
8. Don't smoke, do drugs, or drink

Seven things that cross my mind a lot lately:
1. Which college I should go to.
2. If I should even consider becoming a teacher or not.
3. Scholarships, and how I feel like I haven't accomplished that much while filling them out
4. Zane's upcoming surgery
5. The uncertainty of life.
6. Random homework assignments
7. Unfortunately, him.


Six things I do before I fall asleep:
1. Put on my pajamas
2. Brush my teeth
3. Take out my contacts
4. Reflect on the past day
5. Pray
6. Daydream about random thoughts as I'm drifting to sleep

Five people who mean a lot to me:
1. My parents
2. My Mimi
3. My sisters
4. Tonisha
5. Shea


Four things you're wearing right now:
1. A Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" T-shirt
2. My comfy gray track sweats
3. Socks
4. My St. Christopher medal

Three songs that you listen to often:
1. Wonderwall-Oasis
2. When The Stars Go Blue-Tim McGraw
3. Little House-The Fray
Two things you want to do before you die:
1. Travel to a few places in the world.
2. Find my true love, get married, and build a wonderful, happy life, full of people I love.


One confession:
1. I absolutely hate when people assume that because I am a good student, I have no life, and can never be "popular" like they apparently are. No, I don't have a bustling social life, but I AM happy. I believe that high school popularity is no gauge for success in the real world.