We’re at 60!

60 blog posts! Crazy! I have a lot to say so I’m not really sure I should be surprised! This is big though, not just because of 60 but because I am 8 days away from moving back to Kentucky. It seems like I have been looking forward to this day for a while. I’m happy, anxious, at peace, proud, with a little hint of scared (not doubt or fear). I knew when I made the decision to move I would have to defend it some. I also chose to keep most of the reasons I’m moving close to my heart. That I didn’t need opinions on them. That I didn’t need anyone else to decide for me what I should do. That’s part of growing up isn’t it? Making decisions, for yourself. I am proud to say I fully believe with everything in me I’ve made the right decision. I didn’t make the decision for anyone else. I made it for me.

With that said I think it’s only right to look back at this time in Indianapolis in a positive light! I’ve learned so much, I’ve grown as a woman, I’ve realized dreams, and found some of my dreams weren’t meant to be. That failure isn’t so bad, that I need to be ok with who I am, I’ve grown in confidence, I’ve tried new things, I’ve let go of pain, I let go of my old beliefs, I learned how to accept love, I’ve learned what I want in life, I’ve absolutely learned to never say never. I know I never want my heart to grow cold, I know that no matter how many times I’ve been hurt I never want to shut people out, that I always want to accept and forgive. I’m also learning though when giving too much of myself can hurt me, that it’s not selfish to put myself first once in a while. To stop and say I need a minute or I need some support. I’ve learned that when I think I’m going to break I find that last little bit of strength to get me through. That I’m a better person when I’m reading my Bible and doing the things I’m supposed to be doing. My heart is bigger and more open than ever before. I’ve learned how to handle hard situations and how not to handle some things. That some friendships aren’t meant to last forever, people change, we grow and not always together. That forgiveness is one of the best things in life.

I’ve learned who my true home team is, who the roots in my life are, and where my heart feels most at home. That at 25 its ok to just realize that your passion might not always be what you thought. That I can make changes and not be a loser. That having a family and career at this moment wasn’t meant for me. But that I’m ready more than ever for those two things. Sometimes it’s about being ready and my timing isn’t always ready. That I’ve experienced and moved and traveled and that’s been a good character builder, a good learning opportunity for me. Moving home isn’t giving up, it’s getting something right and allowing myself to be the person I am meant to be.

I’m sure more thoughts on this will come throughout the next week and I’ll write more then but for today I leave you with 2 of my favorite John Steinbeck (not sure how I haven’t read him until now but better late than never) Quotes that relate to my life perfectly these days:

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

“Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens – The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

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Ashley!

I’ve decided that April is probably one of my favorite months! Not only was my momma born in April but two of my best friends! Yesterday we celebrated Brittany’s birthday and today we celebrate Ashley’s! Along with Brittany, Ashley is one of the other constants in my life during this past year. (I know I’m a pretty lucky girl!)

Let’s start off with a picture…or a couple! There are so many to choose from with Ashley and I, so I’ll go with the birthday’s we’ve celebrated.

This was the first of her birthday’s we celebrated 23


This is the second birthday celebration 24

25!

Unfortunately I couldn’t be there for 26 or this year 27 (so if you’re counting Ashley and you’ve gotten your birthday card I definitely counted wrong so this is 5 birthdays not 4 we’ve celebrated….SORRY!)…BUT I will be making up for missing those birthdays in a couple weeks when I move back!

Ashley and I met at work…seems to be where I meet a lot of my friends ha ha. We worked at Toys R Us, during Christmas season. Crazy. She was just graduating college and I was in my junior year. I honestly can’t remember my life without her. It was that spring we decided to be roommates, we celebrated the first of her birthdays together, and that summer when she got her first love, Zuko.

We celebrated our move in the 1021st with a party! It was a HUGE success! Party started at 7 (well for Ashley and I at 5) and ended at promptly 10pm. Ha ha. Success!

We had a Rob and Uncle Jerry dance battle..I think she won.

I do not know where to begin with our stories and adventures. There are so many that are my favorites. Most of my memories in the past 5 years of my life have involved Ashley. From graduating college, to our cruise, to beach trips, to straight free expression, to taco bell drive thru’s, to find a broad on the ripple, to the blue moon, to UK football games, and so many more.

Here’s a few things you should know about my friend:

She is an inspiration to me

I have watched her be one of the best sisters you could ask for.

She does a great Michael Jackson dance impression, I think their spirits are connected

One of the best at Missy Elliott Karaoke!

She always makes me laugh and absolutely helps me smile during down times

I honestly can’t even put into words the way I feel about my friend, I just know she is true and good and her friendship is one that will last a lifetime. As we grow older (which is a little scary, we’ve grown together and I hope I have been as good a support system as she has been to me) I see our friendship only getting stronger.

Sometimes life doesn’t end up like we want it to but Ashley always makes the best with what she has.

For your birthday Ashley I wish you nothing but the best. I hope your smile never fades, I hope you know how much I appreciate and love you, I hope you know I can’t wait to be roommates again, I hope you get everything you wanted for your birthday.

Know that some funfetti cupcakes are on their way (well at the beginning of May) I’m sorry I can’t be there to celebrate but know I’m there in spirit and we’ll do plenty of celebrating to make up for the time lost!

Brittany aka B-Unit

Oh my dear friend Brittany!

So today is Brittany’s 26th birthday! What better reason to dedicate a post to her!

We’ve been friends for oh about 6 years now and I’m so very blessed to have her in my life. She is so level headed and honest and supporting and just the girl who will be there through anything with me friend. I had no idea though when we met that our friendship would be where it is today!

See Brittany and I worked together the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college. We worked at a doctors office and quickly we knew we were meant to be friends. Between the wheezing laughs, dropping sodas and peanut the dog our friendship grew. It was that summer that Talladega Nights came out. A-unit (miss you!) and the two of us drove the Tomater (this fabulous car her dad let us borrow for the night) to the movies. We could have taken a new Suburban but we chose like a 70’s Chevy something car to drive.

Since then our friendship has only gotten stronger. This past year I have seen her become such an amazing young woman. She is diligent in her work, but believe me she knows how to have fun. She bought a house! CRAZY! She has also taught me many many valuable lessons…I’ll list a few:

1. If you want to hide food…hide it on top of the fridge.

2. Never, ever, never go out in Broad Ripple without your sunglasses on.

3. There are plenty of fish in the sea 😉

4. Most importantly she has taught me how to be a great friend.

In what I’ll call one of the toughest years of my life I can count on my hand the number of constant supporters I had and she is one of them. She went above and beyond to celebrate my birthday when my life really went haywire. She has opened her house to me so that I can take the time I need to find a job but still move back home. Every time I visit she has opened her door and said stay. As long as you need.  She cares deeply for her friends, and I try to tell her daily how thankful I am!

So Brittany on this day, and really on everyday, celebrate yourself. Know how loved you are, know what a gift you are to your friends, know how strong a woman you are, and know that I’ll never have to worry about anyone eating my rice krispie treats because I know where to hide them!

LOVE YOU BRITTANY!

Influential People

There are people that come into our lives and who have no particular intent change us and influence us. I’ve recently met one of these people. I was introduced to her by a friend of mine in Lexington, he thought she would be a good person for me to get to know and maybe discuss some of my faith questions with. He was absolutely correct. What I have found is a person who doesn’t judge me, invites me into her home anytime I need to get away, answers any questions I have, and listens to my issues. Her spirit is so loving and kind that I’m absolutely sad that I’m moving away from her in 3 weeks.

I started going to her house because I just didn’t know where else to turn. It was about 2 months ago when I hit a rock bottom. I’d let myself down, I’d let God down, and I just wasn’t sure where life was headed. I knew going in circles wasn’t good for me. So when he suggested I try this church and meeting her I said why not. The first day she let me just sit on her couch and cry and say what was in my heart. That I wasn’t sure how my God could love someone like me and how I could ask for forgiveness…this woman sat there and told me her story and then she did something great she quoted some scripture to me. She told me things I’ve heard all my life and just helped me see. I’ve seen a great improvement in my spiritual life and my attitude since spending time with her and going to her church.

What I realized is I’ve been so lucky to have influential women in my life throughout some of my biggest developmental years. Early on I had Cindy, Carole and Doris. I can’t and would rather not imagine what my life would be like without them. I still rely on their love and support probably more than they realize. When I’m home those three women are the ones I want to see at church, that I specifically look for. I’m so thankful that God has placed now 4 very special role models in my life. Women that love me and want nothing but the best for me. My last couple weeks here will be spent tying up loose ends, visiting with Sue quite a bit more, and continuing this growth. It’s truly is a great way for me to end my time here in Indianapolis!

Thoughts on hopefulness and being optimistic…

I struggle sometimes to feel hopeful and optimistic…if you aren’t hopeful for things to happen it lessens the blow if they don’t. These past two days though have been different. I have been hopeful and optimistic that I’m making the right choices. That it will all work out ok. Maybe what I want isn’t best but what I’m going to get is so much better than I’ve ever dreamed. I just believe that…

Today someone asked me about moving back and my answer was that I was so excited because of all the possibilities. I can’t name them all but it’s endless. I’m optimistic for a change and it’s good. I’m hopeful that this opportunity I was introduced to today will work out. I’m hopeful that other situations will resolve themselves rather quickly once I’m back. This sense of optimism is nice. It’s refreshing and it feels like a long time coming…

To quote Florence + the machine…”it’s always darkest before the dawn” I feel like dawn is coming and this dark cloud is thinning out.

It’s nice.

10 things for the weekend!

1. This week was the end of One Tree Hill. I’ve probably never followed a series as close as I have this one … ever. Well maybe Criminal Minds but watching the end of One Tree Hill was good. I was happy with the way they tied every thing up…also I was introduced to this song by Gavin DeGraw, which I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of before. I like this new cd of his though.

2. I was introduced to this band Fun. by one of my favorite writers Shauna Niequist. I have been listening to them quite a bit this week and I am quickly becoming a fan. Not my usual type of music but I can’t stop listening.

3. I have had a very up and down week. For various reasons I found myself experiencing multiple emotions at the same time. It has its good and bad because it’s good to grow and learn but I hate the pain. But in the end I know it’s worth it. I know that God wants to create a wonderful life if I just let Him.

4. I also found in the past two months to catch up with some people from my past. It has been a very rewarding thing and I’m so appreciative of it.

To Ashley M. in the past we’ve known each other because of Casey but it’s been really good to see you and talk to you, quite a bit over this past month. Casey is lucky to have you in her life!

I also caught up with my former youth pastor Chris. I was reading his blog and came across this post. God looks good on you. I can honestly say it touched me so much. It had the wheels in my brain going a mile a minute and something clicked. All this time I’ve been focusing on the bad in me. What I need to change and I get so overwhelmed. What I should be focusing on is living in the same manner at Jesus did. To have a grace and love filled spirit. To show people through my actions. I think it is the greatest compliment to have someone say that God looks good on you. And it was good to have a new mindset for a change.

5. My goal for this weekend is to work on 501 project. I have 16 books to do a bibliography for…which does not sounds fun at all and it’s not but it’s got to get done.

6. Also, this week I realized I believe in Love more than ever. It’s a constant theme in my life. I had a pretty in-depth conversation with a friend about everything going on in my life and how I am finally just letting some things happen and not trying to control them.

7. Since the GRE is over I’ve been very much wasting some time, which is not good, on pinterest and finding the most exciting things to cook/bake! Like this, oh this, and this. The last one will be cupcakes for my friends birthday…this is always my birthday treat to her but this year they will be from scratch!

8. This week is my mother’s birthday, Tuesday to be exact, I got her a pretty sweet card I might say.

9. And I’m not really sure how I haven’t written about this yet BUT my wildcats, yes those Kentucky Wildcats are National Champions! It was probably one of the best nights of my life. I cried. I was happy. I was so proud of those boys. I can’t imagine how they feel. To have accomplished so much with a lot of people rooting against you because you are the favorite. AND to go through 3 teams they had already played this year was pretty fantastic. Now I’m just sad because there is no UK football or basketball to keep up with…and I live in Indiana (for 27 more days) so no horse racing…what to do with myself.

10. Well I don’t really have a 10th thing. So just have a wonderful weekend! Happy Easter to everyone!

When My Mind Enters that Dark Space.

So I can’t really complain. Nothing seriously bad is going on. Just the normal homework, work, looking for jobs happenings yet I find myself in this mood today. A mood I’m desperately trying to shake off. This dark space in my mind where my thoughts go sometimes. It’s never helpful, it’s never good and it never brings a smile to my face. It’s dark and dreary and filled with the worst possible solutions. It tells me I’m not good enough. It tells me that my waiting is in vain, that my hearts going to get broken, it tells me they don’t care. This place is the worst. That’s where my mind is right now and I’m trying to pull myself away from it.

So I’m doing what I know best these days. I write. I put my phone away. I turn some music on or today turn on KSR. I figure it out. I start thinking of things that I’m grateful for, good things. Funny things.

1. I’m grateful for coffee. I know trivial but I am seriously thankful for coffee. I should probably be specific and say good coffee but these days I’ll take any coffee. I feel like it sustains me a little bit and keeps me going.

2. I’m grateful for my friends and family. I feel like I say that a lot but they circle around me in these moments. They tell me I’m not crazy. That its ok. But they tell me what I need to hear as well. That sometimes waiting is the best. That I’m not alone.

3. I’m grateful for “killa in da house” … that’s his nickname … no he isn’t a killa. He’s a really funny kid that never fails to brighten my day. One of the absolute nicest people you will ever met. I will definitely miss him when I move.

4. I keep on thinking back to when I brought my pops home from the hospital on Tuesday after his surgery. He was still a little sedated and had just been given a Loratab. It was hilarious. And still providing me many laughs.

5. I’m grateful for my health. I have no major problems and have come to mostly enjoy working out.

6. I read an article today about 25 ways that it’s ok to be girly…like resort to being 8 again. It was great. Like having sleepovers because we all need those sometimes. Thinking about things like I did when I was younger…puts a lot of stuff in perspective.

7. I’m thankful for moments like this when I have the resources to wait, take a breathe, look inward and upward to pull myself out of these holes. I’m not hopeless.