18 December, 2008

Tagged... by about 3 people

I'm a big fan of the game of "tag." Actually, I take that back. I liked the physical game of tag when I was a kid, but now that game somehow morphed into a game of "phone tag." I hate phone tag (is that strong enough for you? Hate.. don't use that word much). However, this is a game of tag I can get behind.

Nae and Mandy, being the sweet friends they are, tagged me. Anna, bless her heart, did the same survey but didn't tag anyone (you rock). So, to complete Nae's request:
1. Choose the 4th picture folder on my computer
2. Choose the 4th picture
3. Explain the photo
4. Tag 4 others

Here it is! It was actually from last weekend in NY. I've always wanted to go to NY to see the Christmas lights, and made a vow that I would once I moved to DC. We made an impromptu trip, stayed at an apartment we found on Craigslist, and did the Christmas thing all weekend. As you can tell by the red nose and rough face, I was sick the entire time. But, we had a blast!

Now, for Mandy's tag. 6 Random facts about Amy (the Christmas version):

1) When I used to decorate the Christmas tree at home, I had 3 "ugly" ornaments that I always put in the back of the tree. No lie- they were gross and scary.

2) There is one light display that I must see whenever I go to Wichita for Christmas. I saw it last year, and it was just as breathtaking as when I grew up. It's a house in the Riverside area that puts baby Jesus on the roof. So many childhood memories.

3)I cannot make molasses cookies.. I determined this last night.

4)Favorite Christmas song: O Holy Night

5)As much as I love the season change, I miss wearing flip flops around Christmas time. The South spoiled me.

6) To me, the beginning of the Christmas season is marked by the red cups at Starbucks. Once I can buy a gingerbread latte in a red cup, I can start Christmas shopping.

There you go! So, now I'm tagging Em, SB, Eeka, and Meaghan. Have fun!

11 December, 2008

Best of the Box

Let me tell you: working the regular 9-5 comes with some interesting perks. Salary. Vacation. Benefits. Boxed lunches. Wait.. you weren't thinking about lunch choices as a benefit of working a full-time job?

My coworker Dawn and I discovered that we have this affinity for bringing the ready-made lunch each day to work. We are also slightly obsessed with eating out, but we realized the economic need to cut down on that activity. It all started with Trader Joe's macaroni in a bag, and then grew to include Lean Cuisines. Now, we're branching out and we'll tell you all about it.

Best of the Box is our Zagat-like guide of what is wonderful or inedible in the easy to make lunch category. We will critique everything from flash frozen meals to lunch in a can.

So check out our blog and tell us what you think! You never know what you might find for lunch.

27 November, 2008

What I'm Thankful for

One of the main reasons for this blog is to maintain the community that I know and love and connect with those that I don't see every day. After moving quite a bit over the past 10 years, I always find it more difficult to make sure and spend time relating the day's events to people I care for. The blog is also an outlet for me to speak what is on my heart without other's comments. It's just a pure sense of me - the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

In the tradition of others' "Thanksgiving posts," it seemed appropriate for me to create my own. This is the first Thanksgiving that I haven't been surrounded by family in 27 years and I miss you all terribly. But, distance shouldn't stop us from sharing love. So, other than the many phone calls I'll have today with you all, here is a list of things I'm incredibly grateful for.

1) My family (obvious, huh?) who has been there through thick and thin, good and bad. They've watched me fall, I've watched them fall, and we all seem to help each other stand on our own two feet again. I'm loved so much that they can let go and know that I'll be fine.

2) My friends whom I have laughed and cried with throughout some really fun and difficult circumstances. Nae and Eeka, who taught me the beauty of being a godly woman with all of it's ups, downs and inbetweens. (haha..I'm thankful for Nae who poisoned me with peanut butter the first time I met her, unexplainably creating one of the strongest friendships I'll ever know - remember that?). Amanda, who is one of the biggest encouragers I know. For friends who I'm eternally tied to just by the way God created us - ahem, Mandy. For the most recent friends, S and Em, who have taught me how to break out of my shell and realize the full potential that lies within each of us. And friends that I miss dearly and just want to go run with - Anna... we NEED to plan a time to see each other!

3) For the iPod for dying on me to show humility and that I don't get everything I want. (I HAD to put in something material!)

4) For God's incredible and unexplainable provision over the past year - and a job that amazes me every day.

5) To live in a country founded on freedom, integrity, and principle.

6) That I didn't completely lose all of my music trying to clean out my Macbook (I had a small panic attack about that last night...)

7) The ability to take risks, to find the rewards, and be able to not succeed but learn by trying.

8) REALLY good coffee from M.E. Swings - the main thing that has kept me going over the past few months.

9) The fact that I didn't completely butcher the sweet potato casserole! (Amazing, isn't it?)

10) Facebook - It has kept me connected to people that I, unfortunately, haven't called since I left Baton Rouge. I feel really guilty about it, too.

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so incredibly thankful for you!

23 November, 2008

A sad day for this music lover

For anyone who takes the Metro to work, their iPod is their lifeline. Unfortunately, this
now flashes this on the screen

Needless to say... I am distraught.

I fixed it about a year ago when it did this the first time. I found a great web site that told me how to pop open the cover and tinker inside. I was elated when it started working again. In fact, I remember crying. Not that I'm attached to the iPod or anything...

But now, the iPod has a final resting place. I can't bear to look at the screen anymore, with it's sad face and caution symbol. After four years, I think it had a full life. So, I wanted to pose this question out to all of you:

1) Does anyone have great suggestions on how to fix it? Any words of wisdom?

2) If I do decide to get a new iPod, which one should I buy?

19 November, 2008

Social Experiment

I'm a psychology major at heart. I love watching people find common bonds and see how one person relates to another. During many conversations, I can hear both the words that are said and visualize how the people communicate with each other by arrows and colors. Call me weird, but I've always been this way. I love social experiments - throw a few people in the room together and see if they like each other. My birthday party was somewhat like that. We merged 4 groups of people together at Mr. Smith's, a piano bar in Georgetown. Everyone had a blast and I had an excuse to sing at the top of my lungs.

So, in the realm of social craziness and potentially awkward situations, I did the unthinkable...I signed up on Match.com for a free 3 day trial. I went on Match during my 4 years in BR simply because it was incredibly difficult to find guys that I would date. I'm not exaggerating. I figured I would spice life up a bit and went out on a bunch of dates with Match. All of the guys ended up with nicknames (girls, you know what that means.. they were horrible). I figured that Match didn't work in BR because of the pool to choose from.

I decided to go back on Match for three days just because I heard so many others talk about it here in DC. I don't really want to date someone off of an internet dating site, and I'm not looking to date lots of random men. But, what I found completely shocked me.

In 2 days of a "live online profile":
*My profile was viewed 453 times and "favorited" 4 times
*I've been winked at by 53 men
*The average age... drumroll, please.....is 41. (yes, that is a big 4-1. I'm not kidding. I was appalled and really sad).
*By their emails, It was incredibly apparent that none of them really looked at my entire profile enough to start a decent conversation.
*I received 8 emails that only said "cute dimple"
*I received 1 email that said something derogatory about meeting me.

The free trial ends tomorrow and I don't think I'm going to renew. At least it was interesting while it lasted! I'm just glad to rely on the good ol' fashioned way of meeting guys.. striking up a conversation and seeing what they're all about - in person.

10 November, 2008

Another year, another thought

This Thursday marks the 27th year that God has blessed me with the ability to walk on this earth. I know that seems a bit weighty, and nevermind that some years were better than others. Every year, I like to reflect and see what all has happened (I think my dad instilled this in me- we also do this, just him and me, at New Years). Some years, I look back in awe of all that has taken place. Other years, I look back in relief, grateful that the specific year passed. A few of those years, I have cried...yes, cried.. because it just felt like I was too $*($& old. (Yeah, I know, I have no room to talk - the old feeling comes mainly from the singleness.. you know what I mean).

This year is a bit different than others. It is a mix of gratefulness and anticipation. If I look back, the rap sheet is long: earned a Master's degree, started a job, moved to a new city completely out of my comfort zone, watched family changes, friend changes, traveled to new cities. I was healed from past hurts, able to mend wounded relationships, and could walk away from a specific situation with my head held high, knowing that I took the best route I could. I was continually reminded that I fail, fall, and am consistently redeemed by grace and mercy. I have been disappointed and hurt, longing for something so much more than what I have in certain situations. I am secure in the woman I've become, yet I don't want to remain the same throughout the next year.

And while all of these thoughts could still classify me as the "walking contradiction" I'm sometimes known to be, I'm so grateful for the people in my life who help me to realize that I need focus and keep reaching for my potential. I'm encouraged by those who never let me quit and don't like to hear me whine; those who make me think for myself to know what is best and challenge me to take risks. To those who believe in me, even when I don't, I love you dearly and I would not be here without you.

02 November, 2008


"Only the truth in truthfulness can save us..."

I've been listening to Sara Groves and this line really struck me. It is so simple, yet incredibly profound.

"Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?

He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
who speaks truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man,
who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things will never be shaken." - Psalm 15

I fall so short...

11 October, 2008

Mama needs a brand new pair of shoes

One thing I love about living where I do now is that i can see the seasons change. The past two weeks have been wonderful as the weather became a bit cooler, allowing the first leaves to fall and rustle around outside my front door. We have had absolutely beautiful weather, but the temperature change in the mornings made me come to a stark realization:

I need winter clothes!

I haven't needed a heavier coat or more sweaters for four years. I've lived in the South so long that I forgot what cooler weather felt like and replaced most of my wardrobe. There is a list of "needs" and not "wants," which is unusual for me. Plus, I am a thrifty shopper - bordering on incredibly stingy at times. I never buy things unless they are on sale, and I usually don't buy all of what I need. Given our current economical crisis, I should applaud this trait. However, walking out my door and being incredibly cold because I never bought that coat- that's a problem.

Which brings me to why I love Mr Christopher Columbus. Not only did the man accidentally set roots on this great continent, but his "discovery" translates to a day off work and deep discounts on retail products! Oh Columbus... how I love thee!

Today, E and I went to the outlet mall and bought a few necessities:

A bright orange rain "trench" coat... notice the fact that it wouldn't cover my left arm...

..and wine glasses, just because they have a wonderful name.

No really, I bought neither of these items, but we did purchase a lot of good work winter clothes that I desperately needed. And, we stimulated the economy. We rock.

07 October, 2008

The Bucket List

Everyone has a bucket list, whether you want to admit to it or not. It can be scribbled on a napkin or permanently etched in your mind, but the bucket list is a compilation of all you want to do before you kick the bucket. I’m not expecting to die anytime soon, but it seems that I’ve been doing more things on my bucket list lately. Last weekend, I made it ¾ of the way up a very tall rock climbing wall. I was fine until I looked down, seeing everyone below me as if they were ants, and I decided to get down as fast as I could. The problem, however, was that the rope always feels a bit slack before you drop and it catches to lower you down safely. I freaked out… oh yes, I did.

But, that was nothing compared to last week’s bucket list adventure:

Driving in NYC gridlock.

Now, mind you that I’ve only visited NY once before, and that trip was literally for 22.5 hours. It was all overwhelming and completely over my head, literally. I had enough time to navigate the subway system and remember how to count from 1 to 52. For the photo exhibit that I helped put together with a team at the International Center for Journalists, I had to do the unthinkable: deliver 28 framed photos (valued at more than $20,000) to 52nd Street between 5th and 6th Aves in the middle of the day. I had a nightmare on Sunday night, just thinking how crazy it was going to be.

At the risk of sounding snotty, I must say that it wasn’t as horribly difficult as I imagined it would be. It is terrifying that cabs surround you at every turn and that you constantly feel like you’re going to run over a pedestrian at any moment. But, it took me about 20 mins to get there in high traffic after exiting the Lincoln tunnel. The real trick was trying to get around Grand Central Station and find a parking garage.

Knowing me, I had to document the occasion with pictures. I will post them soon. Hopefully driving in NYC will not become a frequent occurrence, but I'm glad I gave it a shot! Next time, I'm taking the train.

17 September, 2008

"I Saw What I Saw"

I've been drawn to Sara Groves' newest album "Tell Me What You Know" lately. Her heart and desire are visible in her genuine lyrics, and her words resonate in all of my heart. I love the fact that you can see exactly where she is in her life, as if she were your closest friend. She draws you close with her melody. Plus, this song keeps Africa on my heart...

"I Saw What I Saw"

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me
What I am afraid of,
And what I know of love?

07 September, 2008

Cupcakes Galore

On Labor Day, S, E, and I decided that we would take a day and explore. We started with a picnic at the Iwo Jima memorial that none of us had visited before. We then stumbled upon a concert at the Netherlands Bell Tower and were able to watch the carondelier play for a while. We then checked the Old Stone House off our to-do list. It's the oldest building in DC and is still standing in Georgetown. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

But, I think that the best part of the day was something that Washingtonians are fascinated by:


And we're not talking your typical cupcake. We're talking about the richest red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting that you've ever tasted! There are so many cupcakeries around this city that you could spend a day visiting them all. If I did that, I swear I'd gain at least 10 pounds in a week. They are sooooooo good, but the three of us felt soooooooo sick after we indulged.

So, if you're looking for a good cupcake, here are a few places I have tried. You can go with your standard Georgetown Cupcake. I hear they have "bliss baked daily" there, and I would have to agree. On Labor Day, we went to the diamond-in-the-rough Baked and Wired in Georgetown. If you're in the Dupont Circle area, I highly recommend Hello Cupcake. They are brand new, Penny, the owner, is incredibly sweet, and how can you beat a line out the door and around the corner on opening day? Thanks to Daily Candy for pointing out these treasures!

03 September, 2008

Africa on my mind

I got on the Metro today, just like any other day, and grabbed my spot near the door. iPod in my ears, Blackberry in my hand, large purse on my shoulder and the day running around my head. I was spent and tired, fulfilled, yet exhausted. When I ride on the Metro, I usually close my eyes and hold on. I don't know why, but I do. When I opened my eyes, I was reminded by one simple truth...

...I still have Africa on my mind.

It all started in January 2007, for some unknown reason. All I came to see was Africa. Africa on tv. African countries in the (Product) RED campaign that I studied for my Master's thesis. Heck, when Compassion International sent me children to sponsor, they were always from Africa. Everyone seemed to be going to Africa for one reason or another. My friend Mandy has been a few times, my other friend Mandy was leading a team that summer.

And the senitment didn't fade, either. When I couldn't figure out what to do for an internship last summer, I was ready to pack my bags and move to Africa for a short term trip. Where? I didn't know. Why? Because I loved them and wanted to know the people. How? Only God knew... I had no clue.

Of course, that didn't happen. I planned on going to Rwanda and Uganda this summer with friends from church, and that trip fell through as well because of my move to DC. I was really disappointed because it was like I was always saying yes, and God was always saying no. I really had to struggle with that because I've never been so willing and had the doors close.

Well, Africa was buried as I moved to DC...kind of out of sight, out of mind. I hadn't thought about it until the last month. I met some amazing Rwandans in the airport coming back home on Sunday. I work at a center for media professionals around the world and frequently talk about Africa and health alerts. I have friends who work in other non-profits focusing specifically on Africa. But the final kicker today was to watch this mother and her young son on the Metro. They were from Uganda. His head rested upon her shoulder as he slept. My heart melted.

Who knows what this means, but I hope it has something to do with a new passport stamp and an amazing experience.

20 August, 2008

Be Still

I love nights like this...

We had a great weekend hanging out with friends and relaxing. There is nothing better than a day of pampering, a hair cut, beautiful weather, having a blast with friends at the boathouse, and watching Michael Phelps make history.

I just needed a weekend to be still. I think that there's a lesson in that somewhere. I've been running around like crazy since I moved here and I haven't really stopped. I don't know if its because I'm really excited to live in a place with lots to do, or I'm avoiding something. Either way, I just don't know how to sit still.

This weekend was a good reminder just to .. be. No agenda, no to-do list, just be. I need to continually learn that lesson.

07 August, 2008

In the middle

For a long time, I've felt that I've always been the one in the middle. I'm always in the thick of the action, now living in the center of the biggest city I've ever known. I'm generally the mediator and messenger between friends and family when there is conflict or misunderstanding. During this transition, I've also felt in between one chapter of my life and the brink of the next.

This week, I realized how "in the middle" I am in my personal life. I've reconnected with people from high school. A majority of them are married, and many of them have children. I also live in a city where twenty and thirty somethings aren't ready to settle down yet. Marriage and kids are the farthest things from their minds as they focus on their career and living life. I quickly realized that I'm stuck in the middle there too. I live in the city and get to breathe it in, but deeply desire a relationship, a mate, a family.

And, I realized I wasn't alone. In a city like this, it's so easy to feel as if you're the only person who feels as you do. No matter how much I feel stuck in between two stages of life, I've learned there is always someone else who is right there in the same place. I sat on a park bench in Farragut Park and it became clear that being in the middle was ok for me right now. I'm content with being in the middle - I just don't want to stay here for long.

14 July, 2008


One thing I've learned in the past few weeks is the power of words. As weird as it may seem, it really made me rethink a few things. I've been struck by how a simple word can make my day. I think I really caught the idea when I saw my boss edit something over and over, meticulously thinking about the influence of one word over another. After analyzing the sentence for about 5 minutes, she finally realized the exact word she wanted to use and put it in the passage-conveying exactly what she wanted to say.

Even the simple fact of what words are used and which ones are omitted makes a difference. Why do we choose to say "pick" instead of "grab?" Why do people smile (or smirk) when I say "y'all" instead of "you guys?" How is it that you can be remembered for emphasizing one word more than another? Why is it that when someone chooses to say one word instead of another during a conversation with me, that I overanalyze the conversation to know why they made that decision? How can a simple phrase, like "guard your heart," evoke so much meaning and memories - and yet be so difficult to explain?

I've never had to pick my words more carefully than a painstakingly crafted email this week. There was so much I wanted to say, but couldn't. Too much that I needed to get off my chest, but knowing that if I said it, the words would burn down a 27 year old bridge. So, I didn't say it and decided it was the best option. In another conversation, I decided not to explain something fully and ended up wondering why I made that choice. Omission is a weird thing.

What it all makes me realize is that I need to choose my words carefully. I need to really be creative in how I express who I am, but also cautious of how it might be perceived by others. It is truly amazing how many references there are in Proverbs of how praises should flow from our lips instead of deceitful lies - and that is just Proverbs. Because He knows all that comes from my mouth before I say it, I pray that it is all honoring

"The wonder of all You've made
Foundations Your hands have laid
Bringing me back, to my knees...
I'm lost for the words to say
Lost for another way
Ruined for anything
Other than Your love
I'm desperate to know You more
Desperate for what's in store
Finding my hope in only You, only You
Take me beyond this door
Lead me to something more
Open my heart up for more of You, more of You
I'm lost for the words to say
Left here in disarray
Waiting on true love, waiting on You
I throw reason overboard
Knowing that there's still more
I don't yet believe it.. I can't yet perceive
I can't seem to understand, can't seem to find my way
Its over my head... over my head"
- Starfield, 'Over My Head'

30 June, 2008


I've had a lot of great experiences over the past few weeks. There was the first time to see pieces of the Berlin Wall. There was also E's first trip to see me in DC.

But the most important first, was the first trip to NYC. Granted, it was a work trip, but I was able to get a lot of sightseeing done. I've never been a tourist alone before, so this was a whole new experience. I mean, who can resist Rockefeller Center?

In the midst of these new exciting moments, there always seems to be a bit of my past that rears its ugly head. I refer to it as the "Pager Theory" when talking about past guy interests, but this theory goes a bit deeper. When life seems to go so incredibly well, the bottom appears to fall out. And, I say "appears" because it really never does- it's just a good opportunity to trust God a bit more than before and move forward.

Right now, I'm in that intersection of trying to process a situation that I've been numb to for a very long time. Over the past 10 years, I feel that I've really been put through the wringer with this relationship. 10 years of hope, heartache, and a very deep hurt that has been forgiven. However, I'm seeing that the hurt remained and emerged in a new form. And because I've forced myself to move on and divorce myself from the situation, I'm finding that I'm completely lost on how to process these new developments. I haven't had to deal with this in the last 5 years. I just ask for your patience and prayers as I try to sort all of this out.

25 June, 2008

E.T. Phone Home

For the record: I am not one of "those women" who complain about men all the time. I'm really not. I like it when a man stands up and takes charge or stands down and lets others in the spotlight. I watch a man make mistakes, and I'm not going to stand and whine. Instead, I'll help him figure life out again and fix the mess.
This post does not come out of bitterness toward a man who has wronged me in the past. It is not part of a healing process out of past wounds, and it is not said because I feel like I'm better than everyone else. It is simply a statement that, I wholeheartedly believe, men must know - no matter what age or stage in life....

Just pick up the phone and call!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know it seems simple enough,and it is incredibly difficult to do. However, guys, if you do, you will be rewarded. The girl will like you more because she sees that you're making a more concerted effort to know her. She will see that you think more of her than a simple text message. She will appreciate that you took the time to dial 7 digits. And if she doesn't, then she is not worth your time anyway.

The reason I'm on this soapbox is because I have watched some amazingly talented and beautiful girls so distraught because the only way a guy communicates with them is through texting and GChat. Newsflash...you can't really get to know someone via text message! Sure, you can make plans and yes, it is convenient. But, put in a bit more effort guys. If you call and ask her out on a date, it means that you spend your Saturday night looking at her gorgeous face instead of the robotic screen of your phone. I know lots of girls, myself included, who would love to go out on a date with someone who actually called instead of texted.

Seriously, guys.. this is a topic of conversation for girls. We get excited when you call. We want to talk to you more than you realize. Just take the chance and give the girl a call.

Ok. I'm stepping off my soapbox right now....

16 June, 2008

Lessons in DC

The past week has been an eye-opener for me in many ways. Here is a short list of the things I've learned:

1) I'm no longer afraid of using escalators

2) I have a new meaning of "Stand on the right, walk on the left"

3) Living in the nation's capitol and seeing national monuments will not grow old for a while

4) Drivers actually DO stop for pedestrians....well, most of the time

5) Even the most beloved people can die young

6) My feet will have permanent flip-flop scars

7) "Of course it is humid in DC.. it is built on a swamp, you know!?!" (Why did I decide to move from one swamp to another?)

8) I miss the comfort of knowing people and being deeply known.

9) The only place to get sweet tea is at McDonalds. Yes, you heard me correctly - Mickey D's

10) Metro = Cattle-car between the 8:00 - 8:45am and 5-7 pm

More to come later. I'm having a blast and learning a lot.

28 May, 2008


May is always dubbed a transition month for me. Each year, something major changes in May. Last year, it was the decision to move to Nashville for the summer. May 2006 was the decision to start graduate school. Somehow, May is synonymous with change.

This May is no different. I'm officially moving out of Baton Rouge, LA and taking this show on the road to Washington DC. Since January, I had a feeling that I would end up either in Nashville, Washington DC, or Houston. I just felt that God was directing life that way. So, I started searching in those cities, and God started to open and shut doors. Houston shut first because I just couldn't see myself living there. Nashville shut second. I sent out so many resumes there, had some bites, but doors started shutting in front of my face. I really didn't understand it until April.

My friend E and I went to visit one of my most wonderful friends in DC. While we were there, I just fell in love with the city all over again. In love with public transportation...history...free community events....young professional single community....all of it. See what I mean? Its very Mary Tyler Moore, don't ya think?

Once I saw that God gave peace about that situation, He started moving....fast. I interviewed for a job in April and, next thing I knew, I accepted my job and graduated the same day. Over the past few weeks, I had a place to live. Things are moving fast, but I'm so ready to be there and sad to leave at the same time.

So, thats the scoop! I'm sure there will be a few more updates before I leave, but if not, I'll talk to you from the nation's capitol!

31 March, 2008

You can now call me Master Amy

Amazing to think that after 2 years of hard work, I'm finished. I defended today and everything went really well. So, a few revisions and I'll be good to go! Whew...that was a long haul!
The funny thing is that I'm called a "Master." That is the most untrue thing I've heard in my life

24 March, 2008

D-Day minus 7

Start the drumroll, folks.....

In a week from today, I should be done with my defense and hopefully granted signatures toward my Master's degree. I honestly never thought this day would come, but it is approaching quickly. All that to say, I'm a bit nervous. I'm told it's like a firing squad... they just start barraging you with questions, one after another, waiting for you to slip. I know my committee isn't that die-hard, but you never know.

One week!!!

13 March, 2008

Not my own strength

It has been one of those months. You know the ones I'm talking about.....the one where you feel like you're going from 0 to 90 to nothing and the world has been moving even faster than you. In the past month, I have...

written the rest of my thesis (and still making revisions)
traveled to DisneyWorld
Interviewed in Nashville
Job searched
completed another paper for conference
worked for the Dean

...and that doesn't include anything of my personal life. It has been a crazy month. I've realized, yet again, that I'm a giver (Maybe it's more like "devoted" or "stubborn") I don't say that to sound self-righteous, but I give all of myself to anything I do (I don't want to seem that I've got it all figured out, because I know I have a LOT to learn. I'm also incredibly selfish at times, which is a HUGE flaw). All that to say, I have this tendency to put my problems, needs, etc., on the backburner until everyone else in my life is stable and ok. I'm really good at choosing to smile and move on, spending energy to look forward and keep marching.

It's not that I'm at an emotionally unstable point in my life right now. Things are going very well, life is great, I have everything I need. I think it's more that I tend to give to those who need extra attention from me, and I neglect my needs until, all of a sudden, they smack me in the face. Couple that with the fact that I can't sit still and be silent, and it's no wonder that I'm tired.

And I'm not just tired, but I'm empty. I have absolutely nothing to give right now, and I'm desperately needing sustenance. You know that feeling where all you can do is breathe, and hope that the rest of the body functions? Maybe I'm being dramatic, but I'm right there.

Its a great thing that Spring Break is around the corner. For the last few weeks, this verse is repeating itself over and over in my head:

" This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. " - Isaiah 30:15.

He goes on to talk about the Israelites, basically trying to take control of God's plan and not allowing Him to see it through. His writing reprimands and warns, and it's a good thing for me to take heed.

So, I'm going to be like Elijah (1 Kings 19: 1-18), waiting on God to reveal Himself in anyway He will. The interesting thing is that I remember meditating on this passage while at Summit 2004, our Challenge retreat. I was in the exact same position, waiting on Him and drawing His strength. He proved faithful, and He will again. I just need some extra "uumph" to get through :)

11 March, 2008

Gotta love surveys

This is all Mandy and Meaghan's fault... so, lets have some fun with this!

1.Link to the person’s blog who tagged you: Meaghan and Mandy

2. Post these rules on your blog.

3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
A. I crave Macaroni and Cheese.... blue box please!
B. I have a secret fear of clowns.
C. I'm not sure I'd ever move to a place where I can't wear flip flops all year long. Bless the South!
D. I will be graduating with my Master's in less than 3 months. OH MY GOODNESS- that is weird.
E. I am more in shape than I have ever been- trying to be able to run some races next fall.
F. I'm slightly obsessed with the GoFugYourself blog
G. I'm told that if I'm nervous, I tend to repeat myself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

Tag, you're it!
The Seley's

And...thats all. I can't tag anyone else 'cause no one has blogs!

07 March, 2008

Music bleeds over

Music has, and always will remain, a huge part of my life. I cannot imagine walking through my day without my iPod or a good song stuck in my head. Friends always joke, especially this week, that songs are continually rolling though my head and out my mouth. Maybe its a good thing, maybe it's a curse... I don't know....

But, this is one of those moments where music bleeds all over my personal life. I firmly believe that I have a soundtrack for my life. There are about 5 or 6 songs that permanently remain on shuffle for specific seasons in my life, and then there are some songs that transition in and out.

For this reason, I've created a separate blog to share some of the songs that touch my heart. Some of them are light hearted and fun, some are deep and reflective. All are important. I just love sharing music with others, and I especially love when music connects people in a very real way.

So, check it out! It is Lizlyrics.blogspot.com. I just posted about a Matthew West song that I've been living out over and over this week. Feel free to comment on some of the songs that are touching you and I'll definitely listen to them!

And, in the meantime.... enjoy the picture that will remain on my desktop for a VERY long time ::smiling incessantly!::...

28 February, 2008

No one else

I react to songs in different ways. If I'm really jamming, I usually bob my head to the beat or sway to the right. If I'm rocking out, my hands usually form a "ROCK ON" symbol and I'm screaming. If I'm trying to listen, I generally close my eyes.

But if I'm really feeling the music, I close my eyes, put my hand over my heart, and sway.

Last night was one of those moments....

Shane & Shane, Starfield, and Bethany Dillon held a concert here. I've loved all of them as I've watched them mature into the artists they are today. Beth's music has always spoken to me the most. It is genuine and real, and it easily translates to many stages of my life and walk with God. She started with this song last night - just her and her guitar. Raw, acoustic, and heartfelt. I easily recognized it from Hillsong United, but she did an amazing job.

...My eyes were definitely closed, hand over my heart, swaying.

None but Jesus

In the quiet
In the stillness
I know, that you are God

In the secret
Of your presence
There I am restored

When you call I wont refuse
Each new day again I’ll choose

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring him praise

In the chaos
In confusion, I know
You’re soverign still

In the moment
Of my weakness
You give, me grace to do your will

So when you call I won’t delay
This my song, through all my days

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring him praise

All my delight is in you Lord
All of my hope, all of my strength
All my delight is in you Lord

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring him praise

25 February, 2008


I think that yesterday was one of the most fun days I've had in a long time. Yes, it had to involve Disney's Magic Kingdom, but there is nothing like taking you 5 year-old nephew to DisneyWorld for the first time.

So the fam is in Disney. My nephew, C, isn't really a Disney fan, but we're here as a family vacation. I desperately needed vacation, I think the rest of my family did too. What is amazing about our family outings is that everything always seems to fall into place. We got in early for our character lunch reservation. The family received a day fast-pass that got is directly on rides. We bypassed most of the crowd to get a prime spot for the fireworks. Every time we decide to do vacation, things just seem to work out seamlessly.

It was all worth it to see C's face as we entered the Kingdom on Main Street. As we walked through the main gates, he sees this large show going on right in front of Cinderella's castle. He looks at me and says "Aunt Amy, I can't see." Well, what was I supposed to do? Deny him an amazing Disney experience? Heck no... I picked him up and lifted him as high as I could. The look on his face was priceless.. jaw dropped, eyes transfixed, huge smile. He saw Mickey. And Nana T got it all on video.

What is amazing to me about this place is that the Magic never dies. For C, it was seeing Mickey the first time. Plus, he was a trooper yesterday riding Big Thunder Mountain, his first major roller-coaster. He freaked out at the ghosts in Haunted Mansion, and loved Buzz Lightyear and how they made all the toys come to life. He stood on his chair and was ecstatic when Pooh and Tigger came over to see him during lunch. It was magical.

For me, it was Tinkerbell. I remember the first time I saw Tink and the fireworks. Dad and I jetted over really quick to ride some extra rides when I was 11. Grandma paid for the entire family to come and stay at Disney for a week, so Dad and I didn't get to ride most of the rides we wanted to. We sprinted in the main gates and booked it through Main Street until, all of a sudden, I stopped. Dad looked back and saw me staring at the castle, and then glanced back to see what I was looking at. At that moment, the castle glittered and Tinkerbell flew from the Castle to a point in tomorrow land. He said I had the same look on my face that C had on his face last night - in awe, wonder, amazement. All of a sudden, the magic was real. Tink could fly, and I could do anything.

Fast forward about 15 years, and we're back. Dad, me, a new group of people and experiences, waiting on fireworks again. Ry picked a good place to sit, and we all went to grab some dinner. Once the lights dimmed in the park, the castle lit up. As I'm looking through my camera, struggling to understand the "night snapshot" feature, I see something twinkle from the highest point at the castle. That twinkling became brighter as I dropped my camera and realized that Tinkerbell was flying overhead, right above us. I felt like I was 11 again. The magic never gets old. It took my breath away and put tears in my eyes.

As we're leaving, dad was asking C what he thought of the fireworks. C looks at him and says "Man, that Tinkerbell is one brave lady!" Priceless.

Off to see Animal Kingdom!

19 February, 2008


I'm not sure if you've heard her name before, but you've definitely heard her songs. In fact, if you watch any Old Navy commercials, you know "the Sweater Song" (even thought that isn't it's official title). I am addicted to Ingrid Michaelson because of a generous gift from one of my fave friends Sarah for Valentine's Day. What is amazing to me is how much music stills and quiets my heart more than anything else, especially on a day when it seems to turn my heart upside down.

But, enough about me.... let's talk about Ingrid.

She sang on Joshua Radin's latest release (who also has a great hit "Amy's Song"- wonder why I love that one). She's circled the talk show circuit, spending lots of time on Good Morning America and Jimmy Kimmel this week. One of her more popular songs "Keep Breathing" was a key feature on the end of Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy... (Yeah, you remember the part - Christina, after Burke left her, trying to tear her wedding dress off so that she could breathe. That was powerful!)

What I love about her is her genuine transparency. She has an ability to convey so much feeling and emotion in so little words. Her melodies flow back and forth, allowing you to enter in the music and let it wash over you. There is a keen truth and honesty in her lyrics and a strength in her voice that resonates. She talks about good and bad, strength and weakness. All in all, I haven't been able to get her album off of my iPod. And the awesome thing: She did it all by herself. No label, just Ingrid. Selling her love on iTunes.

So, here's the track that has been in my head this week. I think it speaks to a lot of people I know... myself included at times.


Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

You fasten my seatbelt because it is the law.
In your two ton death trap I finally saw.
A piece of love in your face that bathed me in regret.
Then you drove me to places I'll never forget.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

15 February, 2008

Peace and Purpose

Peace and purpose.  For some reason, this is a very hot topic when you get around twenty-somethings.  We all are figuring out where to move, what to do, what adventure is next, and who we are going to experience it with.  It feels like this has been the week for talking about peace and purpose.  

I was sitting with a friend this afternoon and the topic inevitably wandered to peace and purpose.   A lot has changed in both of our lives over the past six months, and we were both trying to grapple with it on a drizzly Friday afternoon.  For my friend, it was about if this place was truly the place for her.  She is confused because of where she is in life, and if that is truly where she's supposed to  be.  

So, I asked the question.  "When was the last time you encountered peace and clarity with life?"

Her answer: When she decided to go back to school.

And life seemed simple for that moment.  In college, a wise friend of mine revealed many quirky, but true phrases. "God doesn't like to push a parked car" was one of them.  Another was "If you're ever confused about where God is taking you, think back to the last time He made Himself perfectly clear."   For B, it was the decision to get a Master's.  

So I had to ask... when was mine?

Easy: The decision to move to Nashville last summer.  I remember that decision like it was yesterday - I looked at my savings, wondered if I could swing it financially, closed my eyes and stepped out.  Within a week, all of the details were worked out and I was living more cheaply there than I was here.  God was faithful. I was extremely vulnerable and, sure, the move was full of risk.  But, God is faithful.

it was a little reminder that I needed this afternoon. Obedience is rewarded.  Clarity comes for those who seek Him.  It is ok to be vulnerable with people and life situations. Life can get really confusing, and sometimes you just need some clarity.  

Currently Listening: "White as Snow" by Jon Foreman, the Winter EP

25 January, 2008

Inspi(RED) with Seeing (RED)

I promise.... I'm going to be better at this blogging thing.  Mac has made it even easier for me to blog by creating a Blogspot widget.  All I have to do is move my cursor to the bottom right of the screen, and voila!  There is my blogger!  Still... I'm not all that wonderful at updating these posts.

So, it's my last semester, and I'm seeing (RED), literally.  It's a scary and wonderful time, full of insecurity and room for God to move. But, as I approach that, I keep hearing the same question: "So, A....what is your thesis about?" What am I supposed to say to that? I mean, people want to know, but they definitely don't want to know details. If you bust out with a "well, it's about blah blah blah...," then they discover either a good way to get out of convo, or a blank stare.  

For all of those who really care, this is my thesis in a nutshell (enter Zoolander reference here):

Product (RED) is an interesting case study.  As you know, the initiative includes all those red Apple iPods, Converse Shoes, Gap T-shirts, AmEx cards, Hallmark Cards, Motorola RED RAZRs, Armani sunglasses and watches, and now Dell Computers and Windows Vista software.  Bobby Shriver and Bono approached the Global Fund and wanted to create an economic initiative to find relief for AIDS in Africa.  So, this is a classic Cause-Related Marketing venture in a new form.

The Product (RED) initiative intrigues me because it is created to be more of a non-profit licensing business for the campaign (at least, thats how it seems to me right now). It provides social responsiblity actions on behalf of the corporate partners, which is beneficial for their business.  Each corporate partner enters into their unique business agreement with different parameters, but each company is both making money and donating money at the same time.

So, what I want to do is look at the campaign from a public relations point of view.  I want to interview the creators and partners to see  their decision making process when initiating this effort. I want to look at their communications to see what messages are communicated. Most importantly, I want to see how they evaluate the success of the project. I make no judgements, and I'm not trying to blow the lid off of the campaign. I just want to know how it all was started and how it will continue.

So, thats it. And, since starting this venture, I now own a few RED shirts and continue to buy a few more products. In fact, all of my Valentine's Day cards will be from Product (RED). If they're raising money to help an area of the world that I love, then it has to be great. Hopefully someday this will get me one step closer to meeting Bono :)

21 January, 2008


Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long
No matter what I said I'd do
I still feel you here, 'til the moment I'm gone

You hold me without touch
Keep me without chains
I never wanted anything so much
Than to drown in your love and not feel your pain.

Set me free...
Leave me be..
I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am, And I stand so tall
Just the way I'm supposed to be
But you're onto me, all over me.

You loved me 'cause I'm fragile
I thought that I was strong
But you touched me for a little while
And all my fragile strength is gone.

I live here on my knees as I 
Try to make you see
That you're everything I think I need
Here on the ground
But you're neither friend nor foe
Though I can't seem to let you go
The one thing that I still know is that 
You're keeping me down....

You're onto me, onto me, and all over..

Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
~ Sara Bareillis

Sometimes songs just say it better than I can