Monday, November 28, 2011

Blah Blah Blah: Ramblings of a Nostalgic College Senior

So I think senioritis has a hold of me in a few different ways.  The main way it is affecting me is making me really emotional.  I honestly didn't think this would happen to me.  I mean, I was really sad to graduate high school when most everyone else was happy and excited.  Then I got to college and didn't like it that much at first.  I was really frustrated because I couldn't decide where to go, and when I finally did, I changed my mind and decided to transfer to HPU.  Well, I regretted that soon after because the whole reason I transferred was because I wanted to live AWAY from home...but after transferring once, it didn't work out to transfer again without losing too many credits, among other reasons. 

So I was sour about being stuck in High Point while most of my friends from high school went off to college in different cities and states.  They were out on their own, having fun, and I was stuck living with my parents.  Looking back, it seemed a lot worse at the time than it really was.  But I made the biggest fuss about it, and complained all the time.  I always thought, "I can't wait to just graduate, and maybe then I can go to grad school where I really wanna go." You can imagine how I felt when I found out I'd graduate a year late.  "An extra year of misery." I thought.  It did cross my mind, however, that once I finally made it to the end, I'd regret the way I acted and be sad.  In fact, I knew it would happen. That's just how I am.  Knowing that, though, couldn't help me shake my attitude.  I just couldn't.

Well, now that my senior year is here (finally), things are different...Im starting to really enjoy HPU and connect with some cool people and get more involved.  Wouldn't you know that I would be the one to sulk my way through college, grumbling and complaining half the time, and then decide that I actually love it in my fifth year??

Also, in the past few months, I've decided that I really do enjoy living at home.  I don't know if this is one of those things that has happened because I realize I'm so close to a life change, or if I really did enjoy it all along and I just wouldn't let myself believe it.

Everyone always made a big deal of me going to college so close by and living at home.  "You can't get the full effect of college unless you live on campus" they said.  (Or at least away from home, because most state schools won't even let you live on campus after your freshman year.)  I wish I hadn't let others' opinions get to me so much, but I know that at the time, I really did crave a more colleg-y experience, and so my complaints were legit.  I knew God was keeping me here for a reason, though.  Maybe it was to spend so much time with my grandmother during her last few years.  Maybe there's a reason that I still don't see.  In any case, I can't regret it. 

Looking back (again), I didn't just now start having a good time, though.  During the fall of 2009, I started doing my own campus radio show, and that was fun.  But I still wasn't getting very involved with others.  Spring semester of 2010 is when I really started having a good time.  I had a radio show with two cool people, Shannon and Nick.  They are both from High Point too, so I didn't feel lame around them haha. 

Since then, I really haven't hated HPU at all.  Have I been ungrateful? Yes.  Could I have gotten more involved? Definitely.  Do I regret not getting very involved until this year? YES! But I can't dwell on past mistakes.  Everything I did seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  Besides, I think at this point, no matter what I did my first three or four years, I still wouldn't be ready to graduate and I would still want more time at HPU. 

This semester started off a little shaky.  After my grandma passed away, I felt really depressed and didn't wanna do anything.  Luckily, that only lasted a couple weeks.  Then I realized that she's so much better off now, and I started to do more to get involved on campus in an effort to "move on" (for lack of better phrase).

I'm down to like a week and a half left of this semester.  Next semester I'm student teaching, which means this is like my last week and a half of regular undergrad semester I will simulate my "big girl job." 


So, this is my last week and a half to:
-have hours of freedom during the day
-work out after my 8:00 class (and by that I mean watch Full House on the elliptical in Slane)
-eat lunch with friends
-go shopping with friends during the day
-take Honeygirl for morning walks
-take naps
-hang out with my mom during the day (don't call me lame!!)
-watch Kathie Lee and Hoda
-run errands in between classes

This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but as a college student, these are things that I've gotten used to being able to do! It's gonna be a big adjustment to go from this kind of freedom to teaching high schoolers from 8-3 every day...and I'm terrified!

Honestly, this whole thing has really gotten me down over the past month.  It really has.  I'm not big on change, and I was voted "Most Likely to Stay a Kid" in my high school class, so naturally, I don't wanna grow up (thanks guys). 

I feel pretty nostalgic knowing that I can't be lazy and live off my parents for too much longer.  It's sad! It's all I've ever known! I love it! You can call me lame for that.  And pathetic.  Whatever.  It's just the way it is for me.

Next year (fingers crossed), I'll be going to grad school at Appalachian State.  I'll have to live on my own, and I know that once I do, it won't seem like such a big deal anymore.  That's how it always is with stuff like this.  I get allllll worked up, anticipating and being apprehensive about a big change, and then once the change happens, it's no big deal. 

Sometimes it takes me  f o r e v e r  to get adjusted to one thing/chapter in life, and when I finally do, I'm so comfortable that I don't wanna leave.  Then, I move onto the next thing and wonder why I got so worked up. 

So I shouldn't get all worked up!!!!

I'm just a super emotional, nostalgic, sentimental, memory-lovin' person I guess.  I'm surely not the only one.

BUT, knowing that I have a limited amount of time to do certain things has caused me to make the most of every single day and live it all up.  I try to thoroughly enjoy every day.  I make plans with friends, my mom, to-do lists, etc.  It's satisfying to me. 

I just don't wanna have any more regrets.

If you've read this far, I commend you.  I'm not trying to entertain, per say.  I just need to let these things out!!

Do any other college seniors feel this way? I feel like I'm a special case haha...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

My Thanksgiving actually turned out really well, after fearing that it wouldn't. 

I love watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  There's nothing else like it.

I love having lunch at Granny's house.  There were a lot of people there this year, including my cousin's new little baby, Ellie.  She is so freakin cute and I love holding her!!

 my brother and Ellie. AWW

After lunch, Zach and I went shooting at his house.  I shot a handgun for the first time! haha

At dinner time, my dad, brother, Zach, sister, and I went to the homeless shelter to help feed people.  It was truly an amazing experience.  There wasn't that much for us to do, since there were so many volunteers, but I plan on going back and helping serve dinner at least once every other week.

After that, we went to my mom's friend's house (her family is like family to us).  She had made deer meat and we also had barbecue.  Mmmm. Good food, good friends.

After coming back home to rest, Zach, Ashley and I headed out for Black Friday!

We went to Walmart at about 11. TOO CROWDED.

We stopped at McDonald's (only place open haha) and got food.  We took it to my Grandma's house and ate it at her dining room table, just like I had wanted to.  (If you don't know, this is our first Thanksgiving without my Grandma, and we used to always have holiday dinners at her house, at the dining room table.)  I wasn't so sad, since people were with me.

We went to Macy's and met my brother and Katie there.  My friend Brooke and her husband Justin and cousin Jonathan were also there.  Basically all we did there was try on hats and take pictures while everyone else was on a misson hahah.

I went back home and got into my pajamas and headed back out - to Belk's with Zach.  This is the one place I REALLY wanted to go for Black Friday.  And it was insane.  I love all the hype though.  It's so exciting! I like to just go and watch all the people scurrying around.  We did get some good deals though, and had a lot of fun.  Our first Black Friday shopping adventure together!

After going back home and sleeping a couple hours, I went to the oral surgeon and had my wisdom teeth taken out.  After my surgery, my mom and Zach were there to help me to the car while I threw up blood all over my new white jacket :( Why did I wear it to my appointment anyway??

Ever since then, I've been sleeping, eating jell-o and mashed potatoes, indulging in Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger, editing pictures, painting my nails, finally reading the first few chapters out of my Kathie Lee Gifford book, and talking to my friends.  And I've been letting my mom take care of me, like I'm a little kid again.  It's really nice.  She's so sweet.

It's nice to be really lazy and not do much of anything for a couple days.  But at the same time, I am being productive - I'm getting stuff done that I want to get done, like writing and reading and editing pictures.

So that was my weekend so far; hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving weekend!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Up at 6am on Thanksgiving so I Might as Well Blog

Very early on Thanksgiving morning.  Not gonna lie, I'm excited to go back to sleep after I write this, watch the parade on TV, have lunch at Granny's (we've always gone there for lunch on holidays) and see my little baby cousin, and whatever else we do.  There's a new little person in our family that wasn't here last year.  And she's adorable and I'm excited to see her.  But there's also someone missing.  Someone very important.  This is the first Thanksgiving without Grandma.  The first major holiday without her at that.  This is a day I've dreaded for years, being the worrywart that I am.  I knew at some point, she wouldn't be with us anymore and a holiday would come when we couldn't go to her house at supper time and eat all of her delicious food that I love so much and will never truly experience again.  I think it was a lot harder to anticipate this day when she was still alive than it is now, although I am getting a little emotional.  I've been so strong these past two months...I guess today will be the test. 

This isn't actually the first Thanksgiving that we haven't had supper at Grandma's house, though.  Last year we spent Thanksgiving in the hospital with Grandma because that's when she started having all of her health problems.  So in a way, this week is an ugly reminder of the beginning of her health declining.  Then we didn't have Christmas at her house because she had just been moved to the rehabilitation center so we went there.  Looking back, I'm really glad that I didn't know that Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2009 would be the last that we would spend traditionally eating dinner at Grandma's house.  I think it's easier that way.  It's easier to deal with today knowing that we didn't have Thanksgiving at Grandma's house last year.  I guess it was God's way of easing me into the change...because He knows that's what would be best for me.  But that doesn't mean this will be easy.  It's still hard to know how much Grandma wanted to have Thanksgiving at her house last year, and how she had planned on it and didn't wanna be in the hospital.  She even had her cornucopia napkins laid out on her dining room table, ready to be used for last year, and we never got to use them.  Sounds silly and corny for me to bring that up, but little things like that really get me.  I'd give anything to be able to have Thanksgiving with Grandma tonight.

My dad and I had decided that after Grandma passed away, we would help serve at the homeless shelter on Thanksgiving, so I think we're gonna try to do that.  We also have great friends to spend the evening with after that, so I know it's still gonna be fun.  Just never the same.  I actually did think about getting some Bojangles and taking it to my Grandma's empty house (and whoever wants to go with me haha) and eating dinner at her table, like we always did.  Just to indulge in my own emotions and some self-pity for a little while.  I know it would bring out some emotions, and that may be what I need right now.  I don't always have to pretend that I have it all together.  Granted, most days I do have it together.  I know Grandma is having the best Thanksgiving ever right now, and there's no need for us to be sad or mourn or eat at her house.  That's what my dad said.  But I'm just the kind of die-hard traditional person that would do something like that, so we'll see haha. 

But for right now, I'm going to make a list of what I'm thankful for instead of being sad.

-of course, Jesus, and God's unfailing love and grace
-my amazing parents and their constant support and love and wisdom
-my brother and sister and laughing and having good times with them. built-in best friends.
-my sweet Granny and being able to spend lots of time with her
-a fun and Godly boyfriend
-the most wonderful and fun friends
-the cutest beagle in the world
-being able to go to a great school
-good health
-FOOD (my stomach is growling, ughh!)
-good music
-being able to attend an awesome church
-America: a free and beautiful nation. proud to call it home.

And especially today, I am choosing to put aside the sadness and be THANKFUL for the 23 years I got to spend with Grandma, and all those Thanksgivings with her wonderful food.  I am thankful for the constant Godly influence she had on my life and her love and support for all of us.  I've been blessed more than I can express by her and all she has done for me.  The memories we shared will be with me for the rest of my life.  God blessed me so much with her. 

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.  There's so much to be thankful for.  And of course, I'll post later about what I actually did today!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Funday

So today was a great day.

I had breakfast at McDonald's with Zachary.

I felt Christmas in the air.

Well, not temperature-wise...

It was like 70some degrees, and it. Was. Amazing.

I got to relax, watch TV with Honeygirl and the door open to let the fresh air in.

I found out I got an A on my American Humor paper. 

And my teacher left a really nice comment on my paper.  It was very encouraging.

I took a nice nap.

I had fun in my education technology class.  Cool people.  Cool teacher.

(That's not to say I won't fail it. Fingers crossed.)

I laughed with my brother at work.

I found a pearl in my oyster at work.

Got an email that said "Joe Don Rooney has requested to follow you on Twitter."

He's one of the Rascal Flatts...yeah.

Oh, and Thanksgiving break...that starts tomorrow!

And I had a  f a n t a s t i c  hair day.

Not bad for a Monday :)

Lots to be thankful for! God is soooooo good.

What are you thankful for?

Song of the day: "Promised Land" by Elvis.  The perfect mix of country and rock & roll (we like to refer to it as "Rockabilly" or "Southern Rock").  Love it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Little Things: Scents of the Season

Yesterday my sister and I went to the mall and while we were there we stopped in Bath & Body works because I needed some hand soap for my bathroom.  I LOVE when they start putting all the Christmas stuff out!!!!!! We had a coupon for a free item with a $15 purchase, and the soaps were on sale, so I got four soaps (in holiday scents - Winter Candy Apple, Vanilla Bean Noel, Pink Sugarplum, and Gingerbread), a lotion for Ashley (Pink Sugarplum because that's her new favorite. So cute) for $15, and my free item was a bottle of my favorite - Winter Candy Apple. This was great because I'm running out of lotion, and I love Winter Candy Apple.  It's nothing big at all...B&BW does sales like that all the time.  But it just made me super happy yesterday...and today because I used it this morning and I've been smelling it the whole day.  It's just a tiny thing that goes a long way in getting me in the Christmas spirit!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Confessions of a Shopaholic

So yesterday I bought these brown "riding" boots that I've wanted for a while from Target.  I was really excited to finally get them, and I had a gift card, so I didn't feel like I was really spending money...til I was walking out of Target.  See, I need to really start saving my money because next semester I'm student teaching, so I won't get to work nearly as much, if at all.  I'm pretty much counting on trying to sell my artwork and kinda live off of that money, at least for frivolous things.  My parents will give me money for gas and food, but I just feel weird letting them pay for my stuff after working and paying for all of my gas, food, and clothes since college started.

So I had the boots, and while I was driving home from Target, I thought of all the other things I could've gotten with my gift card that could've benefitted someone other than myself.  The truth is, boots are the VERY LAST thing I need.  To be totally honest, I have an entire linen closet full of shoes on every shelf, and I have so many boots it's not even funny.  But I justified this purchase by saying "well almost all of my boots are cowboy boots, so I need some riding boots because those are different."  Cowboy boots.  They are not cheap.  And I have over five "real" pairs.  I'm not sharing this information to brag.  I'm opening myself up to admit a problem on my part.  It almost makes me sick to think of how much money I've spent on shoes/boots/purses/clothes/etc. And how many children in High Point go to bed hungry almost every night.  It's a problem!!! WHY am I living in excess with over 150 pairs of shoes while there are children who don't have shoes that even fit? Why do I buy purses "because they're just so pretty!!!"???

I can tell you why.

It's a little sin called GLUTTONY.  One of the seven deadly sins.  It is SINFUL to have so many shoes!!

All my life I've said, "I'm a good kid.  I don't do what he/she does.  I'm living right!" OK, that's good! I've never been tempted to do the stuff that a lot of adolescents fall into doing.  I've had friends ask me, "why is it so easy for you to do the right thing? Aren't you ever tempted to do what we do?" And all I can say is no.  "Well then what is your downfall? Do you have one? Doesn't everyone struggle with something...some sort of addiction?"

Finally I realized, after a little denial, that I battle materialism daily.  It's so hard not to!! We see advertisements every day saying "You need this!" or "This will make you cooler" or "This will make you more attractive" or "These are so IN this season!" We also want to keep up with celebrities and girls in movies and on TV.  And I feel like being a female in college, it's 100x harder (especially where I go to school haha).  Girls always have the latest handbags, clothes, whatever.  It's like a constant race or competition.  We don't necessarily mean it to be that way, but it happens! It happens everywhere to girls our age.  We want to fit in and have the latest.  And keep up. 

Now, since I was in maybe middle school, I've sort of made my own style, while incorporating the latest trends.  I've never been one to say, "I don't like this, but since it's 'in,' I'm gonna wear it." No...I've actually worn some things that went totally against the norm because I've never been one to try to totally conform to any type of style.  And I always say I am NOT going to carry a handbag that costs enough to feed a third world country (or a few hungry families in High Point).  But sometimes the trends do get the best of me.  I'm just as guilty as anyone else.  I say I won't carry an expensive handbag, then turn around and buy boots that could be hocked to have money to buy groceries for a needy family.  And I justify it by saying "well they're REAL boots, so I can wear them for years and years and they won't wear out" or "No one else has these, so I'll be trend-setting." Okay, that's fine, but EXCESS is NOT!

Constant "competition" among girls as far as style and material things leads to something even worse: ENVY.  Envy is the green-eyed monster that stems from materialism and trying to keep up.  Someone is always going to have more than you.  I'm not a rich person by any means, and no matter how much money you have, it seems like someone always has more.  The battle to "keep up" is never won.  I can't let myself get caught up in that stuff.  Envy is a very very dangerous emotion that leads to even bigger problems.  And just think, all of this stems from wanting more possessions.

I go shopping a lot.  It releases chemicals in our brains that make us feel good (don't quote me on that).  That's why they call it retail therapy! It really can make you feel better.  But how long does that feeling last before you want something else? It's just like any other addiction.  I'm so guilty of it, it's not even funny.  Even though I know the only TRUE and LASTING key to happiness is JESUS, I go shopping to make myself feel better sometimes.  Okay, a lot of the time.  Even if I don't buy much...and even though 90% of the time, I only buy something if it's on's still a problem.  Especially if I constantly feel like I need to justify it.  It can make me feel good and bad at the same time, like a drug.

Okay so let me sum it all up.  Don't think I'm crazy and I'm saying that shopping is JUST like doing drugs.  There is NOTHING wrong with having cute clothes and nice accessories.  I've strengthened a lot of friendships while shopping because it's a fun activity for girls to do together.  (Safer that way, because I usually don't buy as much when I'm with friends)  All I'm saying is that I recognize that it can get out of hand, and lead to materialism and envy, and I need to be wiser about it.  Excess is not good.  The preacher always says, "Anything that takes up more of your time and more of your thoughts than God is an idol."  If you're constantly dwelling on the next item you're going to buy, it's taking the place of God.  Materialism is IDOLATRY.  I'm guilty of it! I need to start saving my money and stop being so selfish with it.  How many kids could I feed in my city if I used my shopping money to buy them food?? Christmas is coming up...there are kids in High Point who don't get gifts at Christmas.  Should I really complain that I don't have a certain type of jeans or that I drive the car I drive?  Should I ask for more when they don't even have the minimum? More importantly, I should never let anything get in the way and take up time that I should be spending with God.  I need to find a way to put some of my time and money to better use.

Just something to think about.