Thursday, March 31, 2011

Decision Time

Yesterday afternoon, I did something that I never thought that I would do. I quit track.


Yes, you read that correctly, I did quit track.

It was definitely one of the hardest decisions I have ever made in my life, and it took quite a bit of consideration. In all honesty, it was probably a long time coming, considering the fact that I was very unhappy with the whole situation. The fact that I will not be able to attend Regionals because of All-State Quiz Bowl (which is a WAY bigger deal, anyway) was basically my deciding factor. I decided that if I couldn't go to Regionals, which is the qualifying meet for state, and the only thing we work for in track, there was no sense putting myself through the misery of practice. I also had a few personal reasons for wanting to quit. My personal reasons mainly revolved around a few people, who will remain anonymous. I felt like the majority of the people on the team didn't really take it seriously, which irked me. Also, I felt like we really didn't have much of a team unit. Not many people were very supportive of the rest of the team, which I also didn't like.

Perhaps, making All-State in Quiz Bowl was the sign I needed to quit, because it my only legitimate reason for quitting. Everything else was stuff that I could've dealt with. I do not regret my decision at all, nor do I think I will in twenty years. I am at peace with my choice. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Thankfully, I have amazing friends, family, & boyfriend who all supported my decision, and gave me the reassurance I needed. No one really pressured me into quitting; it was a decision I made by myself.

As I mentioned in my last blog, my only motivation for staying in track was my friends. They made it fun for me. But the thing is, I can have fun with my friends anytime that I'm with them. Perhaps if my friends weren't in track, I would've quit a long time ago. It sounds bad, but it's the truth.

I am not completely gone from the track scene, though. I do plan on going to one of the track meets at Chisholm that is on a Saturday, just as a spectator. I also want to be the team photographer, because I feel like there are never good pictures of the track team in the yearbook. (Team photographer isn't my official title, it's just something that I plan on doing.) I might also go to another track meet for the Jr. High & HS teams that happens to be at Covington, so I can get some quality JH pics, also.

On the up-side, I now get to come home after 6th hour. This means that I am at school even less than I was before! How I love being a senior! I know that I made the right choice, and I have no regrets whatsoever. I am at peace.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One Last Birthday Present...

Today was my first track meet of my last track season. Besides the fact that it was entirely too cold for a track meet, it went pretty well. I only had to run in the two-mile, and I ended up running it in 16:15, which is a great time for the first track meet, and in cold weather! I am pumped about that! (I didn't place, but I really don't care if I do or don't, to be perfectly honest, I just want to improve)

Anyway...when I got home, my mom gave me some great news (she has been the bearer of good news for the past few weeks!)... I found out that I made the All-State Quiz Bowl Team!!!!!!!! I am really, really excited. I have been in Quiz Bowl since I was a 4th grader, and ever since the first day, I have had a natural talent for that type of competition. Not only have I been successful from the get-go, I have also had lots of fun with it. Some of my best memories from the past eight years are from Quiz Bowl. It is the perfect completion to my year! After the disappointment of not making All-State in Band, I feel like this makes up for that. Although it is a week late, it is another birthday present!!!

There is one thing, though...The day of the All-State Tournament/Banquet coincides with the day of the Regional Track Meet. Regionals is the qualifying track meet for state. Although I am not as concerned with making state in track (also, I'm fairly certain that I won't), it would be a great way to end my track career...
I know for a fact where I will be on April 30th. I will be in El Reno at Redlands College at the All-State Quiz Bowl Tournament/Banquet. Making All-State is a HUGE honor that I am very lucky to have received, and I know for a fact that I won't make All-State in track. I am truly happy during Quiz Bowl competitions, as opposed to the time at track meets. The only reason that I have any type of fun in track is because all of my best friends are there for comic relief. None of my best friends have ever been in quiz bowl with me during the past eight years, and I still love it. The choice is pretty simple, although it leaves me in a bit of a quandry about track in general...Perhaps I'll leave that one up to God.

In other news, I have successfully recovered from Prom/After Prom. The whole night was really fun, thanks to my best friends & Tevis! There is so much that I could say, but nothing could accurately capture it...I will suffice to say that it was a great memory I will have forever. Also, it was much more fun than last year's Prom was!

Tomorrow is the day that we will turn in my Senior picture proofs. It was a really hard decision to make, because almost all of the 81 proofs were good pictures. After much deliberation, I think that my parents and I have come to a consensus.

Finally, this weekend is my final YAB meeting. Before our meeting, we plan on going through Alabaster Caverns (I've been there once, but can't wait to go back), and eventually to Woodward for our actual meeting. I'm sure that it'll be a sad weekend, in the fact that it'll be the last time that I'll see almost all of the people ever again. Surely, I'll manage to post something about it Sunday evening...I hope!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: My Birthday!!!

In honor of my birthday yesterday, this Ten on Tuesday is devoted to my birthday!!!

1. My birthday is my 2nd favorite day of the year. It falls second only to July 3rd, for reasons I will discuss at a later time. I absolutely LOVE my birthday!!! Usually, it falls during Spring Break, but it didn't this year. Because it is usually during Spring Break, no one ever really knows when my birthday is, which saddens me, because I have to end up telling people that it is my birthday, and then they give me the obligatory happy birthday. Oh well, such is life!

2. As of yesterday, I am now an official adult by all technical terms! Go 18!!!

3. I have yet to do anything that I couldn't do when I was 17, and I really have no desire to as of yet. Although, I did realize today that I need to register to vote! I'll add that to my to-do list...

4. I had a great party on Sunday with my parents, Gina & Emily and their families, my Mimi, and Tevis! (He got home on Friday night) Before we ate, my Aunt Pat & Uncle Paul also dropped in to give me my present! (a bracelet/necklace set that Uncle Paul made) The food was fantastic, as was my Italian Cream cake and raspberry sherbet. Tevis finally got to meet Emily, Scotty, Cody & Kyle, and my Mimi. Thankfully, the weather was nice (although extremely windy, though it was to be expected) so all of my nephews didn't have to be cooped up in the house. On a related note, all of my nephews think Tevis is the best ever since he played Red Light, Green Light and Tag with them, and he also pushed them on the swing and let them jump on him. Needless to say, it was a great day for all!

5. I received a few gifts, but my absolute favorite was from my parents. They gave me the forewarning that my gift was for both my birthday and graduation before I opened it. As it turned out, I got a laptop!!! They decided that I would get quality use out of it during college, and just for fun! I love it!!! My other favorite gift was from Tevis, who is a good gift-giver, by the way. He brought my gift back from Honduras. He got me a Honduran soccer jersey, which I thought was cool, since he spent Spring Break playing soccer with Honduran children, and he also got me a bracelet that he got from a street vendor. It is a typical string bracelet with a leather strip on the top, which he had engraved with my name! I thought it was just so cute, and I love it! I also got a beautiful ring from Emily that had my birthstone, Aquamarine, in it. She gave it to me early, and I happened to wear it in one of my senior pictures. Gina gave me a gift certificate to get a pedicure whenever I wanted! I haven't gotten a pedicure in quite a while, so I think I'll redeem that one pretty soon!

6. As of 9:15 PM yesterday, I have been alive for 6574 days (including leap year days), or 157,776 hours, or 9,466,560 minutes, or 567,993,600 seconds...and counting!

7. I had another small party yesterday night with my parents & Gina and Emily's families. It was pretty impromptu because Gina & Emily went camping this past weekend, and they happened to have some hamburgers/bratwurst left over, and they didn't want them to go to waste. Hence, another party for me! My dad grilled the burgers and brats and we had leftover sweet potatoes and cole slaw from Sunday. It was all so delicious!!! (Also, I didn't have to cook!) My mom made a birthday brownie for yesterday, since there were only about 2 pieces of cake left. It was a great evening, and I got to play a few card games with my nephews, minus Andrew, after supper.

8. After everything settled down, my mom remembered something. When I was born, my parents gave out cigars and chocolate bars to people to celebrate my birth. The Hershey bars all had a special label that said "It's A SHE!" in pink writing with a little stork beside it. She wanted to save one for herself, but because she breastfed me, she didn't eat chocolate. She then decided to save the Hershey bar for the two of us to share when I turned 18. She put it in a Ziploc bag, and placed it in the freezer. Eighteen years later, she went out to the freezer and returned with the very same Hershey bar in the same Ziploc bag. It made it through a couple of refrigerators and the ice storm, so it had to be pretty tough. When she gave it to me, I opened it quite delicately. (I felt a little bit like Charlie Bucket when he opened the Wonka Bar with the Golden Ticket.) When I finally removed the wrapper, there was the Hershey bar. It was a little bit cracked, but nonetheless unscathed. I shared some with everyone, even with little Andy, and as it turns out, Hershey's chocolate keeps pretty well! It tasted just as good as if we would've put a brand new Hershey bar in the freezer. My mom and I are now considering writing the Hershey company to tell them our story!

9. Although I mentioned some birthday gifts earlier, I got an even better gift today! I found out that I received the President's Leadership Scholarship from NOC! I will now have two years of college paid in full! I am excited because I believe that it will be helpful in two years when I go to transfer to another college. This ensures that I will have an active role during at least the first two years of college, and it will open doors to being active later in college. I think that it is the best fit for me, for the time being, for the simple fact that, although I am ready to move out into the world, I am not quite ready to be completely away from my family. Accepting the scholarship means that I will live on campus, mostly for the convenience factor, so I will not be living at home completely. I still get to experience dorm life, and just all-around college life. I have spent many hours praying that God would help me to decide where I should go to college, and also that I would have to pay very little, if anything, to go to said college. I believe that this is the answer to my prayers, and it is all part of the bigger plan that God has set out for me. I am happy with this, and I have no apprehension whatsoever. I am excited about next year!

10. On a final, unrelated note, Prom is this Saturday! I am excited about it! I think I will get my pedicure from Gina on Saturday, so I will have it for Prom. I am also getting my hair done, since we haven't already had to shell out money for a dress. (I love my free dress!) My friends and I and our dates plan to go eat at Napoli's, which is an Italian restaurant in town. I am somewhat disappointed at the fact that our Prom is at a place in the mall, again. I'm not a big fan of the Enid mall as it is, and I really don't want my Prom to be there, but I guess that's life. The after-prom party should be lots of fun, though, because it is at the Y, and they have all sorts of activities planned for us...It should be fun!

Hooray for Birthdays, and Happy Spring!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mimi!

Today is my beloved Mimi's birthday. Although I have mentioned it before, I think it is necessary to reiterate the fact that she turned 93 today. Not only is she 93, she is also independent, healthy, happy, and still lives at home. God has most definitely blessed her with all of those things. I have never really mentioned much about my Mimi, so I think I'll take this opportunity to pour my heart out over her!

I should begin by pointing out the fact that I am one of very few almost-18-year-olds that has a 93-year-old grandma. (I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just pointing out a statistic.) Most of my friends' grandparents are somewhere between 50 and 70 years old. The reason for this age gap lies in the fact that both of my parents are the youngest in their families and were born when their parents were in their early forties. I, in turn, was born when my parents were in their mid to late thirties. With that in mind, I never got the chance to meet my Grandpa Hladik, because he died back in 1987. I also didn't get as much time with my Grandpa Rudy or my Grandma Hladik, because they both died in 2004. Therefore, it is easy to see why I am so close with my Mimi.

She was born back in 1918, and she has seen many changes in the world in her lifetime. She has seen the emergence and evolution of electricity, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, motor vehicles, farming equipment, telephones, and all sorts of other technological advances. She lived as a teenager during the Great Depression, and lived through the traumatic time better known as World War II. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school, and she still is an advocate for getting an education. When she and  Grandpa Rudy got married in 1942, they lived a very simple life.They made their home on a small farm and remodeled an old chicken house so they would have somewhere to live. Eventually, she was blessed with four children, and later, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

If anyone was to ask me who my hero is, I wouldn't hesitate to say that my Mimi is. She is undoubtedly one of the greatest people I know. I have never, ever heard anyone say anything bad about her. It's really just her personality. She is so laidback, and just genuinely happy with life. Probably the thing I admire most about my Mimi is her undying faith in God. I believe that it is this that has gotten her through all of the adversity she has been through. Be it floods, sickness, the death of my grandpa, or her bout with breast cancer, God has carried her through it all. She always prays for everyone that she is remotely close to, and even those that she isn't. My mom has always said that Mimi has a direct prayer line to God. Once, someone told me that if Mimi doesn't make it to Heaven, then no one will!

As I said earlier, Mimi still lives by herself at home. She has told my mom on many occasions that she doesn't want to go to the nursing home, if at all possible, but she would go if it was necessary. She still cooks and she keeps her house immaculate. Every Sunday, weather permitting, she drives herself to church. On Fridays, she drives to the beauty shop to get her hair done. With all of the technological advances of the past few years, Mimi has managed to keep up. She knows how to use her TV remote (she has a newer TV, btw), and she can use her cell phone just fine. She still bakes her famous kolaches and many other yummy treats!

I am so fortunate to have someone like Mimi in my life. It is my hope that one day I can be at least half of the person Mimi has become in her 93 years. She is a true blessing from God. I cherish every moment I get to spend with her, and I try not to take it for granted. Sometimes, it saddens me to think about the fact that Mimi probably won't get to be there to see me get married or have children of my own. Then, as soon as I think about that, I feel very selfish. Everyone has to go sometime. I know that eventually she may not be with us physically, but her memory will live on in everyone who has had the blessing of knowing her, and I suppose that that is enough.

Earlier this evening, my parents and I went over to see her for a while. She was in good spirits, and she was excited to see us. She hinted at the fact that my birthday was soon. (I love the fact that Mimi and I have the only March birthdays in our family :) ) In the time that my parents and I were there, my Uncle Larry and Aunt Marla, and my cousin Michael and his family also dropped in. We all sat together and just chatted about almost everything there was to talk about. It was a great day, indeed!

Happy Birthday, Mimi, and many, many more!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Excitement!

Has anyone ever received words of wisdom that you thought didn't apply to you? Maybe something along the lines of the fact that the second semester of your senior year of high school keeps you REALLY busy, especially if you participate in Band and/or a spring sport?

Yes. That would be me. And after hearing that from all of my senior friends in the past, I just blew it off and thought that they didn't know what they were talking about and that they just mismanaged their time. I knew that that would never happen to me, so I went on my merry little way.

Lo and behold, here I am in the middle of Spring Break, and I am ever so thankful for it! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. No, I haven't forgotten about my blog, nor have I given up, but between Band, track practices (and being tired after them), and my concurrent class, it just hasn't been happening for me. I also realize that my last few posts have began in the same way, what with me rambling about how I haven't fallen off the face of the earth and all. Hopefully, I can keep up some posts in the coming months that won't include anything about that.

I'll begin with the best news! Last Tuesday, the Band made its annual trip to Cushing for the District contest. Of course, we ate lunch at the Steer Inn, and it was still just as good as I remembered. After a while of waiting (we got there about an hour ahead of schedule), we went on stage and performed. I felt like we had one of our best performances, and we ended up with straight ones in concert!!! We went on to the sight reading room, and we were faced with a daunting piece that left much to be desired. In my opinion, we did really bad. We left the sight reading room knowing that even if we knocked it out of the park in concert, we  just blew our chance at state. However, there were a two things that we didn't see coming. First of all, we forgot that the preparation time was most of our score, and we did well in that category. The other thing is that although we did not play as well as we could have, apparently, we were the best band that the judge had heard all day. (Makes you wonder how bad everyone else did...) After learning all of that, we found out that we also got a one in sight reading, which secured our ticket to State! Woo-Hoo!!! :)

Track is going okay. I'm not a big fan of my new coach at all, so perhaps that is my biggest issue. I would consider quitting, but I have invested a lot of time and some money into this since the 7th grade, and I can't live with quitting when I only have about 1 1/2 months left before I am done completely. Although I don't care for my coach that much, all of my best friends (Shea, Mary, & Tonisha) are there with me, and they are my biggest motivation and driving force behind me not quitting. At this point, I am not concerned if I make state or not, because I have been there once, and I'd rather run for myself than run to be better than everyone else. Sorry if this is becoming a bit cynical...perhaps I'm just venting...

On to better topics! My concurrent class is going quite well for me, thank goodness! Ms. McCoy is one of my favorite teachers and she really pushes me to be a better writer. I am uber excited because I got a 100 on my last essay! It was supposed to be a diversity/equity essay that essentially talked about how different groups are different or similar. I wrote my paper about common misconceptions between Catholics and Protestants, mostly from my Catholic view. Perhaps I shall post my essay on here sometime soon. My next essay is due next Friday (3/25). It will be a persuasive argument paper. I haven't quite decided if I should do it about the drinking age (in a revisit of the infamous Government argumentative paper) or how there is an unnecessary emphasis on standardized testing as means to college entrance. It only has to be two pages long, so either way, I should be just fine. Sometimes, writing two pages is no harder for me than writing a paragraph!

I will reach a resolution in my college dilemma in the next week, hopefully! Last Wednesday, I interviewed for the President's Leadership scholarship at NOC, and, if I get it, I would get a free ride to NOC. That would mean that I would have at least half of my college paid for, and that means quite a bit to me. I have yet to hear from UCO regarding scholarships, although I really don't anticipate hearing anything until the end of next week. Honestly, if I was to get the President's Scholarship to NOC, the only way I would go anywhere else is if I got all four years paid in full. I honestly believe that it would be just fine to stay home for a couple more years as opposed to leaving right away. However, nothing is set in stone, and I have yet to make any decisions, so I'll just have to keep waiting and praying! I know that God won't fail me!

My Spring Break is going quite well. It has been unlike my previous breaks in the fact I haven't spent the entire break wasting away at home! My time has been occupied quite well for the past three days! Monday was my least busy day, as I had an eye appointment in the morning, and didn't do much else for the rest of the day. That Shrek when I make waffles) Cody is quite handy in the kitchen, and he really did make the process go quicker. Right as we were about to feast on our waffles, strawberries, and chocolate milk, Wyatt and Andy came over for a little while. They joined Cody and me for some waffles. Eventually, Cody and Wyatt headed outside to soak up the nice weather.

After lunch, Cody and Wyatt went back to Wyatt's house with Jeremy, and Andy stayed with my mom and me and ended up taking a 2 1/2 hour nap! In that time, Kyle came home with my dad, and Jeremy swapped Cody and Andy. Cody, Kyle, and I went outside for a while after that. They accompanied me while I filled up the cows' water tanks and also picked up some sticks from around the yard. My dad was doing some spraying on the fence lines, and suddenly he pulled up and told my mom that we needed to go look on the north side of some trees at my house. My mom took the boys and me over to the trees, and we found a tangled mass of balloons and pieces of paper. We untangled it all from the trees and read that the balloons were released at a wedding in Okeene last Saturday (the 12th). There were a total of 14 cards, and what we assumed were the remnants of 14 balloons (actually, 3 were still mostly inflated). The cards gave instructions to send them back to the given address if they were found, along with the location where they were found. It really added a sense of excitement to my house!

Today, I finally got my senior pictures taken! I was pretty excited about getting my pictures done. After much deliberation, we decided to get them done at Moto Photo. As it turned out, my photographer was the same guy who took my baby pictures about 18 years ago! It was loads of fun, and we also got the proofs back today. We have two weeks to decide which poses we want, and it'll probably take that long to narrow it down, as there are 105 to choose from!

Tomorrow should be pretty exciting, because Tonisha, Mary, and I have planned a sleepover at Tonisha's house. (Shea is in California at the moment, or else she would've been invited too) Right now the plan is for us to meet at Tonisha's at 5:00, then go eat at Cafe Garcia, a local Mexican restaurant. After we eat, we plan to go rent some movies and get some popcorn and have a movie night at Tonisha's! We would've gone to the movies, but it is much more affordable to rent movies and stay home.

I'm not certain what Friday will bring just yet. I know that I plan to visit Mimi at some point in the day, because it is her 93rd birthday! Other than that, I have no idea what else Friday will bring. I am also excited because Tevis has been in Honduras for the past week on a mission trip, and he will be back on Friday! Perhaps I will get to see him at some point this weekend!

I've been mentioning lots of exciting things, but I feel like there's something missing...OH YEAH...My birthday is on Monday!!!!!!!! :) I will probably celebrate with my family on Sunday afternoon, just because it will be easier to get everyone together at a reasonable time. Right now, the menu is rotisserie chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, and some random veggies. My mom promised to make my traditional birthday cake, an Italian Cream wtih cream cheese/pecan frosting that is my absolute favorite! Also, I will have my other favorite, raspberry sherbet! Hopefully, I will have all of my family and Mimi there to celebrate with me. Also, if Tevis can come, it'll be just great!

Don't forget to wear green tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day!