Monthly Archives: December 2010

No More Guilt.

2010 is almost over and it seems like every blog I follow has been filled with New Year’s Resolutions or new things they’d like to try in the upcoming year.  I’m not usually big into this kind of stuff, mostly because every year I say that I’m going to give up chocolate or Coke or whatever other sickening thing I’m munching on at that moment, and I completely cave in by January 10th.  I set myself to fail every year, and this year I’m just gonna skip the whole ordeal.

However, with the end of the year drawing close and with all of the exciting things that are coming up in 2011 (IT’S WEDDDDDDDDDING YEAR!!!!!!!!) I can’t help but try to use January 1st as a fun little kickstart to a few things I’d like to change.  My resolution this year to end my guilty pleasures. But not in the way that you think.  I’m not at all saying that I’m going to stop having guilty pleasures…I’m simply saying that I’m not going to feel guilty about them anymore.  I’m embracing them..every single one of them. And as lame and embarrassing as most of them are, they are a part of what makes me, and I’m not feeling guilty about that anymore. 🙂 So, as a declaration to blogland, here’s step one to embracing all of the things that make me, me.

1. I’m an avid watcher of MTV’s Sixteen and Pregnant. I could watch this show for hours on end, and there have been more than a few episodes that have made me reach for the box of tissues.

2. I love John Mayer’s music. As mainstream as he is, and as arrogant as he can be, I just can’t not listen to it. I own every album he’s ever released, and going to his show was on my bucket list.

3. I eat extremely non-healthy things for breakfast almost daily. Cold pizza, last night’s cookies, potato chips, cold spaghetti, ice cream, kit-kats, and the list goes on. It’s horribly unhealthy and I’ve been told time and time again (mostly by CMB, I’ll add) that I should stop, but how could possibly turn down a cold slice of Hawaiian?

4. I ride with my gas light on for as long as possible. And, I actually ran out of gas in my neighborhood a few weeks ago at 10PM and CMB had to come to my rescue. He laughed. For days. Since that incident, I’ve tried to be a little better about it, but the little gas pump still shows up on my dash pretty regularly.

5. When my iPod is dead, I pretty much only listen to country radio. It’s pretty embarrassing. I’m not at all saying that I think the songs are brilliantly written, nor do I think that some of the singers are that amazing. But, maybe it’s because there’s still a little bit of a Georgia girl somewhere inside me, or maybe it’s because I grew up listening to it (along with Christian radio), I just love it. I’ve been secretly getting music snob, CMB, to convert, and secretly, he has. I have more fun singing and dancing along to country radio with CMB than I do with songs that are made for those sorts of things. And he does too, even if he’ll never admit it to anyone.

5. I love to sing. But only when I’m alone. CMB are about to get married and he has still never heard me sing for real.  Because I don’t like to sing in front of people, I think I’ve developed a slightly decent talent with mouthing the words to songs.  It’s almost as much fun as actually singing.

6. I’m not one of those people that finds joy in cleaning things. I do love coming home to a clean house, but I’m not really a fan of doing the actual work. There are few times when I get really into cleaning, but during those times, I get really in to it. I clean and clean and clean and then if I haven’t satisfied the cleaning monster that has raged up, I will RE-clean what I just cleaned. It’s ridiculous.  CMB happens to be more toward the end of the “joyful cleaners” spectrum, which we think is God’s sense of humor.

Anyway, there they are. Those are the things that make up part of who I am.

 

And I’m not sorry. I’d challenge you all to let go of the guilt that makes you who you all are too. 🙂

Madlove.

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Love Actually Is.

Well, hello there. Let’s just skip my apologizing for not posting, you’re all too used to hearing that. 🙂

I suppose another update is in order, as much has changed in the last few months.

I’m days away from starting my last semester of college, and although I’m beyond excited to put this behind me, I can’t even express the dread I feel for the upcoming weeks of work. It appears that my last semester will be loaded with six classes and lots of outside work.

That being said, in sixteen weeks, I’ll be “out in the real world” whatever that means, and there are certainly times when I feel apprehensive about what life after May means for me.  See, I’ve majored in Education, but honestly have no desire to do anything related to that for at least the next few years.  I know it sounds like I just wasted years of college education and stupid amounts of money on something that I don’t even want to do, and I should suck it up and get a job that requires me to use at least some portion of the information that I have soaked up in the last few years.  But for now, I don’t feel called to that profession, and I think it would be stupid for me to sign up for a job that sometimes requires sixteen hour days full of things that I most times sometimes loathe.  So, on April 30, 2011, I’ll be a tired and fearful graduate, fresh faced graduate who has no idea what the next step will be.

The holiday season is almost over and I can honestly say that this year was probably the best year of celebrating that my family has had in a long time.  It was a nice and refreshing week of laughing and relaxing without the eerie cloud of grief hanging over our heads.  And, while there were times that it still felt wrong to be celebrating without one of us, it felt more right this year than it has since one of us left.

And now for the reason that I have been unashamedly absent from blogland..

CMB and I got engaged.  Because I’m the worst blogger, I neglected to share this news with you for almost three months. With our crazy schedules and with all of the new things that seem to come with being engaged, my free time has been spent stalking following some wedding design blogs, and even though my “drafts” section for this blog has filled up rather fast in the last two months, I’ve just never gotten around to posting anything.

The journey we’re on is definitely fun and it’s so stinkin’ exciting, and honestly, I still have to pinch myself sometimes. Planning the wedding has been so much fun, and even though it has it’s moments of unwanted stress, we’ve been blessed to only encounter people who want to help us and who encourage and uplift us with every step.  I still have many moments every day when it all “hits” me.  In my moments of self reflection, I still keep asking myself why it is that CMB chose me. I feel so completely undeserving of this incredible gift and when I imagine life after walking down the aisle, I usually need a kleenex.  I’m obviously pumped about wedding day, but if we’re being honest, I’m a thousand times more excited about the day that follows wedding day, and the day after that, and the day after that.  I’m excited about all of the little day to day things that I’m gonna get to share with CMB.  I’m excited about grocery shopping, traveling, and even sharing laundry…yeah, I said I’m excited about doing laundry. I can’t wait for the years of laughter, tears, ups, downs, and memories that I’m gonna share with my best friend.

CMB and I are gearing up for our monthly travel (or at least it seems like we travel that frequently). We’re heading up to Nashville in a few weeks, and I am so excited. We’ll be up there to take care of some business for CMB, but I’ll let him tell you about that. Anyway, this trip is the first of many giant steps of faith, and even though I’m positive that there are obstacles already in place, I’m not even nervous.  I’m so excited for CMB and my little heart swells at the thought of how life changing this is going to be for us. (I’ll fill you guys in after CMB breaks the news to blogland).

Anyway, I think that about sums up the update.  Now, on to my reason for posting..

On Christmas Eve, CMB and I had to venture out to the Atlanta airport to pick up his pop. If you’re at all familiar with the Atlanta airport, you probably know how incredibly crazy it can be. But, despite it’s craziness, I think it ranks on my top ten list of favorite places.  The place holds a lot of memories for me, and it has often times either cured or spurred on my travel bug.  I’ve visited the place many times to pick up someone or say goodbye, and each time has been completely different.  It was in the atrium of the Atlanta airport that one my dearest and most tender memories came to be..dropping CMB off for his solo trip to Peru. Time and time again, the airport has taught me something..

My most recent trip to the Atlanta airport (other than Christmas Eve) was just a few days prior to that. I flew in for the holidays and I’m seriously not over exaggerating..when I stepped into Concourse C, I took in a breath like most do when they step into fresh mountain air. Yeah, I know I’m a weirdo. I was so pumped about my short little journey to baggage and to my mother who was awaiting my arrival.

So back to Christmas Eve. We got there about thirty minutes prior CMB’s dad’s scheduled arrival, and soon discovered that his flight had been delayed a few minutes.  So, we grabbed a bagel and I convinced CMB that we should pick a spot to stand and watch people coming up the arrival escalator to greet their loved ones.  Let me just tell you, if the Atlanta airport wasn’t on my top list of places, it certainly is after that half hour or so of watching people find their people. Because the Atlanta airport is so huge, there are so many people from every culture imaginable and it was one of my all time favorite things to witness their greetings.  CMB stood next to me and laughed as I cried with each new family or couple or friend finding their person/people. I don’t know if you guys have ever seen the movie Love Actually, but the opening scene is from London’s Heathrow airport, and the narrator says this:

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.

I got to witness that on Christmas Eve. Not a single person who got off that escalator yelled at their person. No one spoke about stupid stuff going on in the world. No one threatened another person. No one argued. No one stormed off. No one scowled. No one hashed out old regrets. No one was welcomed with hateful greetings.

Instead, the travelers were often greeted with spouses or significant others tackling them out of their pure excitement and joy of seeing and touching the others face. They were greeted with cheesy signs that their families had made that let them know that they were loved. They were greeted with tears of joy and love.  CMB and I felt like we were standing in a little pocket of existence where it seemed like no evil actually existed.  I stood there, rooted in my spot, crying as the old Indian man greeted his grown son with a kiss to the top of the head. I listened to the family beside me laugh and eagerly anticipate the arrival of their beloved college student.  I watched the family break the barrier that we stood behind as they rushed to the middle of the hallway to greet their grandparents and sons and daughters that had just arrived from a distant country. I watched the soliders come up the escalator and look around only to find that the loud clapping and cheering they were hearing was for them.  I watched the army man return home to a fiancee who couldn’t hold back the tears. Over and over and over again we stood there and watched tangible love happening all around us. There is seriously nothing better in the world than that. Those thirty or so minutes will be something that I cherish for the rest of my life.

If you’re questioning if love exists, or if it’s something that can happen in your life, I’d challenge you to root yourself to a spot and just watch the world pass you by for a few minutes.  Love exists wherever you choose to see it. Go beyond all of the dark and hateful things that seem to rule our lives and seek out a little ray of light.  Go love someone. Let someone love you. Seek out the ultimate love in Jesus, and walk in His ways. Hold on to love and pull out that ray of light whenever the darkness closes in.

Hold tight to the goodness of love and when you’re in the darkest of seasons, remember that “love actually is all around.”

Madlove.

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