Dec 16, 2009

I finally made my wreath!

SO.. I finally found the time to make a wreath for my mom for Christmas based on the beautiful wreathes I saw on Eva's blog not too long ago.
It is no where near as pretty as hers or Rebecca's which is in the top 8 of over a 100 entries into Eddie Ross' wreath challenge! Vote for her.. wreath #6!
I decided on garnet/red and gold for my mom's wreath because she and my dad are FSU fans. I think it is just really Christmas-y, too. I may change the bow and get my very artsy sister to make me a new one... but this will do for now!
Merry Christmas Momma!

put my feet in the sand

As I sat down to write this I laughed a little.
I was planning on writing about how much I am looking forward to my cruise for my birthday coming up this friday, because I need girl time, a good tan, a tropical drink, dancing, travelling and so on.. the funny part is that it is 85 degrees here during the day. (Summer decided to kidnap our winter this year.)
I could have gone to the beach today, December 15th; how does that make sense?... you cannot tell me Global Warming is NOT real. Just so you know, there has been a temperature increase in the past century, about 1 degree. Whether or not you care or even know anything about the Earth's climate, I will tell you: the cold hard facts are that yes, the Earth is getting warmer. The US alone, accounts for 1/4th of all carbon emissions. Surface temperature is projected to rise by another 11 degrees in the 21st century, at current and projected levels of emissions and activity. Why the US hasn't signed the Kyoto Protocol... I don't know.
I am going to be a little blunt when I say Americans in general are lazy, ignorant and uneducated. There is an overall lack of motivation from people to preserve and protect their Earth. I will acknowledge recent efforts to Go Green have been promising but using your recyclable bags at the grocery store isn't the only way you should respond to our changing climate.
I am guilty of this as well, but I would hope that the phrase "White Christmas" wouldn't be something future generations only know about because their grandparents tell them.
(Not that FL has seen one in the past 20 years anyway!)

Dec 7, 2009

'tis the season..

In light of recent events, i.e. college football bowl games, I felt the need to express my complete disappointment in college football fans and followers. And for the record, I'm not just talking about the recent loss the Gators experienced playing Alabama this weekend.
Let me first say, ever since I can remember I have been a college football fan. It is in my blood. My sister went to FSU, my mom went to FSU and FL and my family is literally obsessed with football. Every saturday in the Fall we watch Football, we cheer for teams we like (mostly FSU and since I got into UF in 2007, we do a little cheering for the gators, too), and we dress in full team spirit. There are alot of people who consider me a "traitor" for cheering for the Gators because I grew up wearing Garnet and Gold and cheering for the 'Noles, but the truth of the matter is I just love college football. I have other teams I like too, not just the Gators and 'Noles. I like alot of different college sports too, not just football.
So call me a traitor if you want but I don't think it's a crime to cheer for your school. If I didn't go to UF it would be a little different if one day I woke up and said, I think I will start cheering for the Gators...but would it really? Don't we have the freedom to cheer for who we want? So what if they are arch rivals or enemies?
Even I understand, that yes, it is more than just a game to some people.. it is a lifestyle. My sister would describe herself as an FSU fan through and through, she says her blood runs Garnet and Gold (and I totally believe it!). This doesn't mean we can't enjoy watching multiple teams win (or lose, in FSU's case.. just kidding) But seriously..
My point is, football can be fun and is meant to be enjoyed! We can make it a healthy aspect of our lifestyle or in some cases.. unhealthy. It is when people start becoming angry and viscious towards other teams, and doing alot of smack talk that it really makes me mad.
For example, just this Saturday as I got on Facebook, I saw 100s of posts saying GO GATORS or ROLL TIDE. This is all fair and well till you look at who is posting this... fans who intently cheer for the team playing the one they dislike.. where is the fun in that? Why would you wish for someone to lose? I understand the whole standings thing- trust me- but if you are an FSU fan and you are hoping for the Gators to lose.. it really isn't going to help you out anyways so why wish for them to lose???
Also, after the game when the Gators lost to 'Bama.. congrats to Bama by the way (Reppin' the SEC in the BCS game!) all of these bitter and annoying "fans" started tearing apart the losing team in anyway possible. What kind of sportmanship is this? It's not sportsmanship at all. I want to cry when I think about how mean people were about Tim Tebow crying. Nobody can talk about him until they put as much of their heart and soul into a game and do as much for a team as Tim... if you or anyone you know has done that.. please let me know.. otherwise have some respect. That is all on that subject. :)
All in all- I think the malicious talk and disrespect that goes on in facebook posts or in everyday conversations needs to stop. The fall football season has made complete idiots out of people and left me feeling completely hopeless when it comes to finding a good group of people to enjoy football with.
Where is the love? Why can't we be respectful of other teams and share in a good handshake after a game like they make you do when you are a little kid after your soccer game?

'Till next season...

Go Gators! :)

Nov 4, 2009

Yikes! It's been a while...

<---- My dance show is this coming Tuesday, the 8th at 8pm at the Phillips Center!

So, it has been way too long since I've updated this. My last post was in August at the start of the semester and here I am just a little less than a month away from being finished with the semester!
A lot has happened since August-
  1. My best friend Stephanie and I committed to Chrysalis team a few weeks ago and were home pretty much every weekend going to team meetings for that. It was a fun filled and spirit filled weekend. God did some amazing things in the lives of everyone participating!
  2. I started baby sitting for a family in Gainesville which is a HUGE answer to prayer because I was in need of a job terribly! I pick up a 5 yr old boy from school everyday and hang out with him till around 530 when his parents get off work. I have loved spending time with him. Currently I am teaching him to tie his shoes... It hasn't been very prosperous yet, any suggestions?
  3. I have a boyfriend. He is wonderful. His name is Steven. (Need I say more?)
  4. I am 18 days away from being 21 years old- can't believe that!
  5. I am going on a cruise on the 18th of December with 3 of my best friends! BAHAMAS or BUST!
  6. Finals have begun.. and I am more than ready for them to end!

Aug 27, 2009

Start of Something New

Monday marked the beginning of the first day of Fall semester. My classes are pretty good and I am over flowing with joy that I am FINALLY done with General Education classes and can focus on my major and minor.

Monday ALSO marked the beginning of a new venture for my dance group on campus. Every year student groups audition to be the entertainment for Gator Growl. And just in case you are asking what is Gator Growl I will tell you. Gator Growl is the largest student run pep rally in the country, and happens during homecoming week here in Gainesville. The show is held in the stadium and usually includes a band and comedian in addition to whatever student group performs.

Dancin' Gators is auditioning this year. A group of about 40 dancers will perform a medley of songs for about a 5 minute performance featuring jazz, contemporary, and some hip hop. I am in three of the four sections. :)

We started practice on Tuesday night and will be practicing about everyday until the audition, which is two weeks away! With light of all of Dancin' Gators recent accomplishments and growth in membership I think our group has improved alot and has a great shot at winning!

Besides classes starting and dancing everyday, I am preparing for Graduate school!
I am applying to UNF for their Public Administration program. I should be graduating from UF in either the summer of 2010 or Fall 2010.
I think the degree would be helpful in my pursuit to work in non-profit organizations- and keeping my fingers crossed that I find enough time to study for the GRE and get the scores and grades I need to be accepted!

May 4, 2009

Time for Summer

(my RA staff 08-09)

As another year of college comes to an end, I am reminded once again that time is passing so quickly.
This year has been really great and of course, despite bumps along the way I am overall very happy with what has resulted.
Although the end of the semester was way bumpier than anticipated- I have positioned myself in a place I feel will be best for the next couple semesters of college.
I am REALLY excited to see what adventures the summer brings and into next fall, living in an apartment for the first time.
I am thankful for everything happening the way it did and have learned so much about myself, and life in general.
I am thankful also for the great people that I have met and am blessed to call my friends, and for the people I got to know working as an RA this past year.

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Mar 31, 2009

The present.

(The picture is from Ashton's Baby Shower)
At this present time, so much is happening. I find it hard to wrap my mind around it, because I am often consumed with the dreams and hopes I have for the future.
I am beyond excited about my summer plans; I am an intern for Community Outreach Agency in Jacksonville, run by the FL Methodist Conference. I will be spending my summer hanging out with youth groups, planning and organizing church events, serving at homeless shelters, and taking part in planning a camp for inner-city kids that will happen at the end of the summer.
I think one of the best parts is that I won't be sitting in an office doing monotonous filing or typing everyday; I get to do mission work along side youth and other people from the community.
Before that all begins, I will be doing the first summer session, taking two classes and subleasing Beth's apartment. Which by the way- will be my first time every living in an apartment! Kind of exciting!
Beyond the fact that this will all be very exciting in the months to come- I have so many great things happening now! School is great, dance is great, and overall I am learning so much about myself and loving where I am.
I can only imagine what it will be like 1o years from now when I am graduated and working.. maybe married, looking back on what I've been through and what I've experienced. I want to remember loving and living EACH and every moment. Life is too short not to, and we aren't even promised tomorrow, anyway.

Mar 19, 2009

The luck of the Irish

(left to right: Jacki, Kristi, Me, Steph)
Right before your eyes are my three best friends.
And I am lucky enough to call them that.
This st. patricks day I got to spend the night with the three of them and enjoy the company of some other friends from Jacki and I's soccer team.

I think St.Patrick's Day is a funny, and strange holiday once I sit back and look at what actually happens on this day:
1. Almost everyone you know becomes "irish."
2. Drinks are green.
3. Everyone wears green, and if you don't- you are subject to pinches. And not everyone is gentle!
4. People dress as "leprechauns," and some claim to actually see these creatures.
(which was a disney creation in all actuality)
exhibit A:
5. Getting lucky has a whole new meaning.
6. Glasses, hats and shirts have a sudden botanical theme: the four leaf clover,
a.k.a. shamrock.
7. Many of the "traditions" of this holiday weren't even made up by the Irish; the corned beef meal was tip from the Jews in the neighborhood when the Catholics needed something cheap to eat for the holiday.
8. Green was actually considered unlucky in Ireland, so why are we wearing it again?
Kids wearing too much of the color feared being captured by faeries.

But Happy St.Patty's none-the-less!
Check this out for more:

Mar 15, 2009

welcoming warm weather

The sun has been shining over Florida consistently for a whole week: that means no rain, and best of all it is warming up!
(the pictures are of stephanie's little cousins that joined us for two days at the beach!)

I am convinced that I am a Floridian through and through. Though I loved the snow the couple of a times I was around it, I am a friend of the beach and the sun.
On my first birthday and during that week was the last time Florida saw snow. I have a total of maybe 5 pictures of the snow in my backyard, and there I am bundled up in my pink hat and jacket ready to explore this strange, cold white stuff on the ground. The only other times I have played in the snow was when I went on a ski trip to VA when I was 15, and when it snowed on my spring break trip to New York when I was 18. I remember being excited at the sight of the snow, but after 24 hours the fun wore off. Especially in NYC we had to walk through it and face the blistering winds that accompanied the icy stuff falling on us.

My memories of the beach arent all great either, like getting caught in the ripe tide when I was 12, or getting stung by a couple jellyfish in the Bahamas when I was 15. I mean, both the snow and the sun have their perks... and their downfalls.

I choose the ocean any day though!

Thankfully, I spent the majority of my spring break exploring the shorelines and sitting by the pool.

Gainesville forecast:
Today: high of 85, low 58
Monday: high of 81, low 58
Tuesday and Wednesday: high 76, low 50

Mar 5, 2009

It's not fairytale, take it from me.. that's the way it's supposed to be.

I have learned alot this year, as I do every year.
I think the lesson I am learning currently is humility, and thankfulness. I recently applied for a group on campus here at UF called Campus Diplomats that does programs mainly for the Dean of Students Office and I got really pumped thinking about being a part of this organization. I thought for sure that with my RA experience and leadership roles in the past, among other things that I would slide on in. I fell in love with the people and the idea of being a part of such a great group.. but little did I know I wasn't going to get to experience it after all. I wasn't picked. I don't know why except that God obviously has other plans for me. I think the hardest part is wondering why not me? I had multiple other RA friends in the organization and my best friend made it in and I didn't. Don't get me wrong, she TOTALLY deserves it & I am more than happy for her but it was really hard to be content with the outcome. It was a dissapointment for sure.
I am not saying anything bad about the group, nor that they made some mistake in not picking me.. I just have to remember at a time like this that EVERYTHING happens for a reason and that each person that was picked no matter how fair or unfair I think it was, they were also put there for a reason.
I needed to take a step back and look at why I was so dissapointed too. Had I placed myself on a pedastool above even my own friends? I have my own talents and abilities, and I know that I need to accept that they might not have been right for this group, this time.
I know one thing for sure, just because one thing goes wrong- doesn't mean I have to beat myself up over anything else that may also be going wrong at the time. There is so much in my life to celebrate. SO MUCH.
I have met so many great people this year, my dancin' gators girls, my RA friends just to name a few. I have experienced so many great things and learned so much as well. My life is great.

Feb 24, 2009

I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.

This morning I took the most wonderful bike ride around campus on my new bike with a great friend of mine, Jacki. We rode past Lake Alice, watching the birds and then ventured into the Baughman chapel on the edge of the water. (I wish I had my camera at a time like that!) I am constantly in awe of nature. I love the beautiful picture God paints before me every day and the new adventures he places before my feet. On our way back we got "gator freezes" a.k.a. Icees. (a childhood favorite, UF style.) There is so much beauty around me.

I was reading up on my favorite blogs just now and recently my friend Jason's brother has been battling cancer, and I frequently read his updates through his blog. Early this morning his brother passed away. He spent his last night at home, and Jason said he was peaceful.
It's almost as if I read his blog everyday waiting for Jason to say Mike was getting better and that I would him live a happy life after overcoming cancer. I can't expect that every cancer battle ends in victory of life.
God gives us a better victory, in a sense, we return to Him and we live joyfully in his kingdom.
I am thankful that this was the victory that God intended for him and not the one I had envisioned.

So as I ride to meet up with a Colorado friend for coffee in a few minutes I am going to be thinking of Mike, and of other friends and family that have gone to be from this Earth.
I am going to make sure to enjoy simple beauties like the birds of the lake and the people I share these moments with even more...You never know when it may be your last day to do so.
Rest in Peace, Mike Renault.

Feb 2, 2009

hey you whatcha gonna do?

I take this time out of studying for four tests this week for a little life update:

I am enjoying every second of this semester. I am dancing, I am reading books (not of the textbook genre), I have time for playing sports, I enjoy and understand what my professors are telling me to learn, I have mastered the art of balance...for now! =)
There are many many great things to do and to love in this world, I think children are just about at the top of my list.
I spent a weekend two weeks ago with a church on a Family Weekend retreat in St.Simons Island, and was given the task of babysitting children while their parents went to meetings/workshops.
I am constantly reminded the joy I have in loving and being with kids... and hence, I know my calling in life is to speak up for them.. be with them, teach them, love them, guide them, learn about them and give them a chance to know how wonderful life is.
I mentioned dance. I am now part of group called Dancin' Gators where I can pursue my love for choreography for performing. Prettttty exciting. Practices start this week- should be fun to see how that plays out and how the show comes along.
I also joined in the fun of an intramural soccer team this semester with some friends. Got new cleats, and I am ready to dominate the field again like in the old days. I played well last week, but there is room for improvement and a sustained level of endurance!

I have recently contacted my Great Aunt and it is fun to hear stories of my family when they were younger, especially since the last time I saw her was 20 years ago. She is sending me some old old pics from that day and age. I like talking to people who have stories from my past and my family's past that nobody else knows about. She divulged stories to me today of my mother letting horses out of their fenced in yard, when she was 10. =)

Back to studyin'

Jan 13, 2009

Rainy Days and National Championships

Two National Championships in Football in a three year time span. Incredible.
As much as I would like to think that Tim Tebow is superman or some other equally impressive man of strength and speed, he is just an everyday guy doing something incredibly well.
It makes me think of other people who happen to do everyday kinds of things with amazing ability. I think of people like movie stars, or artists, Presidents, and other sports hall of famers. These people all do ordinary things with excellence and get paid to do so. Which don't get me wrong, is great for them.
Since when is scoring 43 touchdowns in one season held more highly than the work of a third-grade teacher though? The wide receiver is great at what he does, but isn't the third grade teacher investing in the education of children, just as great? My personal opinion is that getting 9 year olds to multiply and divide may be as daunting as running down the field and tackling someone. Just sayin'. Whatever the case, GO GATORS!

I feel like rainy days create some sort of pensive mood for me. I tend to sit and reflect on my life WAY more when there is rain streaming down my window pain than on a normal day.