Monday, December 22, 2008
Yes, this is my negative blog for the month. I absolutely cannot bear this weather. I was so cold driving last night, I'm surprised I didn't have a wreck. Flashes of New York began to haunt me. I remember standing on the street corner with tears in my eyes because I was so freaking freezing. It's just not right. Bring back the balmy temperatures! Forget about a white Christmas. I'm dreaming of a tropical Christmas!!!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Rest for the weary,
He'll meet you wherever you need.
Cry out to Jesus.
I feel compelled to share this simple truth on a cold Sunday morning. No matter how dark the day is or how deep the hurt may be, there is hope in Jesus. It may be today, tomorrow or 10 years from now, but keep the faith. There is life, and it is abundant.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
There are many things that people don't agree with, facts about my life that I used to apologize for, but today, as a bit of personal blogging therapy, I'm going to make a personal declaration that I've accepted and am proud of these facts and will make no apologies for it. So, without further ado, here goes nothin':
1. I'm beyond proud for being born and raised in Texas. Many of your want to leave...you think things are too boring here...we're too conservative...I happen to be proud and I'm not sorry.
2. I have loads of students loans from college. I used to think I wouldn't get married because of these loans. I used to be embarassed to admit my debt. No more. Those loans contributed to an awesome experience in New York that is priceless. I will apologize no more.
3. I like Pei Wei...a lot...in fact, I could probably eat it every night. True story. No need to comment how there are many different cuisines that I should try...I like the vietnamese chicken salad rolls...deal with it.
4. I currently have a job that requires no higher level thinking...at all. I have duties that actually include taking out the trash at night. But I don't dread going to work every day, so I'm not sorry.
5. I rarely make my bed (Crystal and Meagan can vouch for that). I just don't and I probably never will. It seems unnecessary to me. Feel free to make yours. That's totally fine. I'm not knocking you. I'm just not sorry I don't.
6. I hate putting on make-up, so I now only do it on special occasions. This is my face - take it or leave it. I won't apologize.
7. I hate beer. Plain and simple. I used to pretend to like it, but couldn't figure out why. If I'm at a bar, I will order wine, and I'm not going to apologize for it. I like wine, and I loathe beer.
8. Speaking of bars, I don't like them. I would much rather hang out with my friends at someone's house, so I don't have to dodge the "overly friendly" (i.e. grabby) guys passing behind me. It's not fun, period.
9. If it's warm enough, I'm going to wear flip flops, regardless of the date. I don't care if you're not supposed to wear flip flops in the winter. I dress for the weather, not the day on the calendar.
10. Finally, I require a lot of sleep. I don't know what it is about me, but I simply don't function without an adequate number of hours in bed. You can call me lazy, slothful even, but I'm not sorry. It's just the way I was made.
So...if this sounded like a rant, you're probably right. I just needed to get some things of my chest, but from this day forward, I will never be sorry about any of these facts again. It is what it is. End of story.
Monday, December 15, 2008
This quote is on a little plaque (courtesy of Cryssie) in my little apartment. I loved it the moment I saw it a couple weeks ago, but this morning I truly reflected on the words. I tend to find myself harboring resentment, quite a bit I'm afraid, for not having the opportunity to travel to culturally diverse places or not achieving the career aspirations I once held in such high regard. However, sitting here at my computer this morning, I find myself so incredibly grateful for the little things in life. Just last night, I was almost in tears laughing so hard with the roomie (Cryssie) for no reason at all. And just last weekend, I had a total blast with my fousins quoting the same movie lines over, and over, and over...you get the idea. I can remember so many fun times with them just driving around in the car, blasting our music and singing to the top of our lungs. I cherish the times I've had with my sister and Pearl (AKA Haylee) just hanging around the house, watching Dora and dancing to the Backyardigans theme song.
I realize now, so crystal clearly, that it truly doesn't matter if I ever make it to Greece, or become an executive, or attend a black tie affair. What matters are my precious friends and family that I get to spend time with. They are the "little things" that are really the "big things" in life. So to all of you (who are actually reading this), I treasure you as the "big things" in my life. You are SO much more than a vacation destination or a job title. I count you as my greatest blessings!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Christ came on this day so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Unfortunately, it has warped into an excuse to create lengthy wish lists that in turn, create crazed shoppers so frantic they don't even remember why this "holiday" is even on the calendar. What a travesty we, as a culture, have committed! Instead of sharing Christ's love with those hurting around us, we blindly (but ever so dilligently) press on to the next store in hopes of finding the next item on our never-ending list (and hopefully finding something for ourselves along the way). You must know that I am not preaching to you, I am preaching to myself. No one needs to hear this more than I do, and no one is more guilty of blind consumerism as I am. While it may be true that I search out the good bargain and am quite frugal when it comes to purchases, I am ashamed to admit that even in my most sincere efforts to keep perspective, I still have a closet bursting with clothes and so many shoes they don't even fit into their designated space. Just because the shirt is 6.99 does NOT mean I need another 5 of them to add to the almost 100. Forgive me...I know better...we all do.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
All this to say that as I'm driving home from work last night, I'm pretty sure it was sleeting. What? We had a tornado Monday night, and now it is sleeting Tuesday night? Only in Texas!
P.S. A BIG birthday shout-out goes to Peter today! Happy, happy birthday! I hope you have a great birthday and an even better year!!! Have some cake for me! :)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The following blurb is from www.adventconspiracy.org.
The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.
So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.
And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?
What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?
Welcome to Advent Conspiracy.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I'm simply writing to let you know that it's about 3 weeks until Christmas, in case you didn't realize how late Thanksgiving came this year on your calendar. This is why I broke down and began listening to Christmas music a week and a half before Thanksgiving. It is also why I began watching Christmas movies weeks before I stuffed myself with turkey. Granted, I'm typically a stickler when it comes to maintaining the integrity of each holiday (i.e. you're not supposed to put up Christmas decor prior to Thanksgiving). However, I could not reconcile the fact that I would only be able to listen to the NYSNC Christmas CD for a mere 25-27 days. That was simply unacceptable. Ere go, I began the Happy Christmas celebration a bit early, but don't fret my friend, it's not too late for you to get in the Christmas spirit. My recommendation (or prescription for your Scrooges out there): get yourself to the nearest Starbucks to purchase a festive drink in a bright red holiday cup, pop in some Christmas tunes (I suggest something from the pop genre - NYSNC, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, 98 degrees...), throw a Christmas tree up in your house (doesn't matter if it's big or small) and wish at least 5 people a "Happy Christmas" today.
If this doesn't get your bells jingling, I'm afraid I can't help ya!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
In all honesty, my dream job involves interaction with people, where my efforts ultimately contribute to something positive for the world's population, where I feel appreciated and I don't dread going to it in the morning. I don't feel that's a lot to ask, but I haven't found it yet. I'm open to suggestions, and I feel I'm very open-minded to all job prospects/possibilities. I don't seek money, fame or power. I seek to make a difference. I seek to make my life matter, and since we spend a majority of our life working, I think its important that my work means more than just deriving a paycheck.
So, faithful reader, what's your dream job? If you could do anything, what would it be? Remember, we can't take any money, material possessions, status or fame with us, so where do you want to invest your efforts? Towards what cause do you want to be working?????
Thursday, November 27, 2008
1. my dear sister Michelle, who also happens to be my best friend - I honestly don't know what I'd do without her and I am forever grateful to be able to count her as one of my biggest blessings!
2. my precious family - parents who are still married, 2 sweet grandmas, aunts & uncles, amazing fousins (friends + cousins = fousins)
3. Haylee Grace, my 2-year old niece who has injected me with new life
4. my future nephew/niece to be born in June - I'm so grateful for your future life
5. my health
6. my eyesight that allows me to see amazing sunsets, gorgeous flowers and my beautiful friends & family
7. my new apartment w/my new roomie crystal - thanks for being a loyal friend since I was 8 years old
8. my education - so many in this world are unable to even receive an elementary education - what a luxury I have been given to make it through college
9. Watermark community church - the pastor, staff and members have taught me the meaning of being a Christian - we are to be like Christ in that we seek to serve, not be served!
10. faith, hope and love
12. 2 functioning legs that allow me to walk, run, jump and dance
13. Andi - my trusty old civic - she might not be much to look at, but i'm so fortunate to have a functioning auto
14. falling gas prices :)
15. trials in my life - james 1:12
16. my inspiring, loyal and steadfast friends - kori, hailey, cryssie, meg, stal, brookie, my sissy, michael -- you mean the world to me
17. a good bottle of white wine & a cheap bottle of champagne
18. black beans from Gloria's
21. my comfy bed
22. a dishwasher & washing machine
23. starbucks coffee
24. my hearing - it allows me to enjoy music, carry on a conversation & know when I need to shut my mouth
25. coke zero & diet dr pepper
26. my future - i'm grateful that the Lord know the plans that he has for me, plans to give me a hope and a future!
May you have much to be grateful for - whether big or small! And may we seek to serve this holiday season!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My sister is pregnant!!! I found out a little bit early than her planned announcement, but living in such close proximity, these things are bound to come to light. She is just about through her 1st trimester and is due June 1st. We are so excited and can't wait to meet the new member of our family!
We also quasi-celebrated my sister's birthday, but unfortunately, she wasn't quite feeling up to par on her birthday....so...I don't even have pictures from the celebration because she refused to let me take any pictures. What can ya do? Nonetheless, here's a super belated shout out to my sister: HAPPY 29TH BIRTHDAY!!! You've got one year left to enjoy your 20s...YIKES!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
For time's sake, I will give you faithful readers just for a quick update on the world according to Rachel...after all, it is the title of my blog.
I have cut back my hours at the bakery (much to my family and friends' dismay), and have begun working at Francesca's in Plano. Feel free to come buy and purchase loads of cute clothes, distinctive jewelry and fun gifts! I've only worked there a few days, but so far so good. As usual, I enjoy working with the customers and don't so much enjoy cleaning, stocking, taking out the trash, etc. I know you're shocked!
As for my living situation, I will be bidding adieu to the 7118 which has served as my home for the past 13 months. There have definitely been some ups and downs, but the last couple months have been really enjoyable and I will miss my old upstairs roomie...Meg, I love ya. Thanks for always checking up on me, sharing your wine, letting me use your straightener, loaning me toilet paper, and always telling me goodnight. :) You have such a big heart, and I hate the thought of moving...however, I am doing my best to keep my chin up despite my homeless status. My sister (and Nick) have been gracious enough to extend their home as a temporary living situation for me and my pit bull, Brody...okay, so j/k on the dog part...I know I really had you going. It is much too generous of them, but as long as their offering, I'm jumping at the chance. Pearl - be forewarned that Aunt Rachie's moving in...no more midnight bedtimes for you!
I did have an adventures in mommyhood moment about a week and a half ago. I played mommy to my almost 2-year-old niece, Haylee (alter ego: Pearl) while Michelle and Nick were living it up in Cancun for 4 days. I know, I know. Just call me Saint Rachel. It was certainly an eye-opening experience, and I only hope to one day be able to shake the Backyardigans theme songs out of my head...pray for me!
As for me...I will be celebrating yet another year in my life in the not too distant future. I will be the big 2-1 this year. What? You don't think I'm telling the truth? Okay, I'll level with ya. I'm going to cross over into my late-20s. I will be 26, and loving every minute of it. Who cares what the number says on my cake? I still look like I'm 16 and still feel like I'm a teenager living in a big kid world. I still like to do cartwheels in the yard, swing on the swings at playgrounds, and would kill for a spin down crocodile mile (the coolest slip-n-slide I never got when I was a kid).
I guess that's it for now friends. Cheers to you and may God bless you richly, so that you might in turn, bless others!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
For those of you who have not been paying attention to the greatest TV event ever, otherwise known as the 2008 Summer Olympics, you've been missing some incredible feats of athleticism. I've become enraptured with this year's games, and urge you to tune in if you haven't already.
Anyway, on to my point...over the past week or so, the U.S. women's gymnastics team has competed in prelims, team finals, individual all-around and event finals. Throughout these events, despite phenomenal performances, we (yes, as an American citizen, I consider myself an integral part of this) have repeatedly been underscored and blackballed. I've been able to overlook these indescretions, but after last night's seemingly deliberate debaucle, I am no longer able to ignore the superfluous errors that continue to plague the gymnastics competition. In yesterday's Olympic coverage, Nastia Liukin (the current Olympic champion, mind you) competed in the uneven bar event finals against the seemingly perfect, (according to the corrupt and defunct judging) underaged Chinese gymnasts. Although she tied for the highest score in the event (even though she clearly outperformed her competitors), she was not awarded the gold medal. Instead, a ridiculous tie-breaking formula was inputed to break the tie, which resulted in Nastia receiving a silver medal. She was ROBBED! What kind of operation are these people running? Who do they think they are fooling? Well, I tell you this, they're not fooling this girl! Their continuing bias in favor of the Chinese gymnasts has officially gone too far! This is an outrage and I can only hope our coaches are challenging this decision...and with that, I shall end my diatribe.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 5 songs you are embarrassed to admit to others that you like and tell why.
Tag 5 people at the end of post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
So...let the mortification commence.
#1. "I'm Leavin'" sung by Jesse McCartney - I'm particularly embarassed when I sing the incredibly articulate refrain (if you could even call it that) which consists of "no stress, no stress, no stress, girl you deserve nothin' but the best, no stress, no stress, no stress...yeah, that's a lot of stressing!
#2. "You Oughtta Know" sung by the intensely bitter Alanis Morisette - I don't know why, but anytime this song comes on, you can bet I'll be singing along at the top of my lungs like the scorned lover that I am clearly NOT...ha ha.
#3. "Fergilicious" sung by Fergie Ferg - I honestly can't believe someone actually had the audacity to label themselves as such, but I can't help myself from belting out the empowering lyrics..."My body's stayin' vicious. I be up in the gym just workin' on my fitness. He's my witness." Yeah, those are some powerfully insightful and truly riveting lyrics! I hope you catch my subtle sarcastic undertone.
#4. "Tainted Love"...gosh, who sings that? It is by far one of my favorite songs to warm up to when taking dance classes. I get so into it, and yeah, it's pretty embarassing.
#5. "Way Back Into Love" sung by Hugh Grant and the pop singer in the movie Music & Lyrics. Yes, if Hugh Grant is singing, it has to be shameful...and I happen to love the cheesiness of it all!
So, there you have it. I could go on and on with this list, but I will stop myself at 5 as instructed by the tag. Please comment on your shameful secrets...as it applies to songs. I don't want to know the sordid details of your love life.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
- I love getting to wear flip-flops everyday
- I love throwing on shorts and a tank top vs. layers upon layers of coats and other superfluous articles of clothing
- I love walking outside barefoot, especially in the grass
- I love barbeques outside
- I love hanging out at the pool with a frosty beverage
- I love frosty beverages
- I love sitting on the patio for dinner
- I love sitting on the patio, period
- I love that with the summer, comes a casual laid-back attitude, not felt once fall hits and everyone's back in school and planning for the holidays
- I love going to the lake
- I love drinking ice cold lemonade (it only seems appropriate during the summer)
- I love the smell of people grilling in their backyard
- I love getting my drinks at Starbucks iced, instead of hot
- I love that the summer makes people want to linger outside after dinner instead of hurrying to their car
- I love the way the sun feels on my skin after I've been inside an icy building
- I LOVE SUMMER!
I could go on and on, but I will spare you (yes you, the ones that love winter and wish Texas had 4 real seasons). Just know, that the 1st time the temperatures dip below 70, I will most likely be shedding a tear...mourning the last days of summer...
Kori and I enjoying the pool
Enjoying some time at the Hula Hut on Lake Travis
Haylee on the 4th of July
Friday, July 18, 2008
I'm fully aware that I did not attend NYU to work in a bakery, but I have finally realized that the only person I need to please (in terms of my career), is myself. It has been a 4-year process, but I can finally say that I've come to peace with my place in life.
So here's to you and finding a job that you can honestly say you like! I truly hope each one of you finds it...
Monday, July 7, 2008
It all comes back to perspective. Sure, my little Honda Civic (who happens to bear the name
Andi) might not be anything compared to my neighbor's Porsche, but I have a car! So many people in this world cannot say that. I may not have True Religion jeans or Christian Louboutin heels, but I have so much clothing that I actually have to make a decision as to what to wear in the morning. My God - how many girls around the world would kill for such a predicament! How quickly most of us lose perspective when we are driving in our cars and miss a light, or we hear the alarm go off in the morning and immediately loathe the idea of going to work, or see our friend's new big-screen TV and immediately feel inferior...or worse...begin to resent them for it.
For all two of my readers, I encourage you to not only attempt to find this perspective, but to constantly remind yourself of it. I am so grateful that I live in this country, and I don't ever want to take it for granted. It is truly a blessing that not one of us deserves because we did nothing to earn it.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
To anyone who has ever been there for me,
to anyyone who has ever given me a hug,
to anyone who has helped me celebrate a birthday,
to anyone who has patiently waited for me to return their phone calls,
to anyone who has ever said a prayer for me,
to anyone who has made me laugh,
to anyone who has seen me cry,
to anyone who has uttered a kind word,
to anyone who has supported me,
to anyone who has believed in me,
to anyone who has not given up on me,
and to everyone who believes this story has a happy ending:
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING A PART OF MY LIFE. YOU HAVE IMPACTED MY LIFE AND AM FOREVER GRATEFUL AND HONORED.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Yes, it's true, I absolutely love the Food Network and if I had to pick one channel on which my TV could never deviate from, it would be forevermore locked on 231. Sure, there are a few shows and hosts that aren't exactly my favorite, but 90% of the time, I turn on the channel and be perfectly content with life.
So for all of you out there who have yet to experience the awesomeness that is the Food Network, I encourage you to tune in as soon as possible. If you're looking for some recommendations, my favorites are Throwdown w/Bobby Flay; Diners, Drive-ins & Dives; Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels; Paula's Party; Down Home w/the Neelys; Iron Chef America and The Next Food Network Star. Happy viewing!
I wonder if I will ever look forward to getting up and going to work.
I wonder if I will ever be so passionate about what I'm doing that surfing the internet loses its appeal while at work.
I wonder if I'll come to a point where I don't care...
I really am trying to remain positive and hopeful that I will one day, eventually, find a job I like...at least most of the time. Until then, I am open to suggestions. So the question of the day is: what do you think I should do? :)
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
If you know me at all, you're well aware of the fact that I'm not a cold weather kind of girl. Give me the searing hot Texas summer over the blustery northern winter any day. I'll take 100+ degree temperatures, humid air and scorching heat indexes all day long if the alternative involves wearing a coat or any other form of winter garb. It's just not in my blood to face temperatures below 70 degrees. Call me crazy, but I am what I am and at least I know what that is...
Monday, June 2, 2008
So, I'm at work this weekend, minding my own business, counting down the hours when all of the sudden, I'm abruptly asked by a co-worker if I can write on a cake. I distinctly recall saying that I "wasn't really comfortable, but...I guess..." Long story short, a customer had just picked up a cake from us and discovered the birthday girl's name was spelled wrong. They did not make this discovery until they arrived at their home...in Little Elm. Well, since I'm quite the professional when it comes to writing on cakes, I was promptly sent to repair the botched cake. Yes, you read write, the customer insisted that someone come out to their house immediately to fix their precious cake. This was clearly a life or death situation. I make the trek out to Little Elm with my piping bag of yellow icing and several cake tools. As I headed up to the front door, I bravely attempt to put on my most confident face and tackle the bull head-on, like I have any idea what I'm doing. (It had been about 2 years since I'd written on a cake, but no worries.) Anyway, as I'm scraping off the letters, I can feel my hand start to tremor. It almost becomes a full-fledged seizure, but somehow, I managed to write the e and the y and bolt out of the house before anyone could object to my rudementary icing skills.
It was quite the cake fiasco I must say, but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger...or in this case, would it be sweeter?
Friday, May 30, 2008
Today, I am starting with something very near and dear to my heart...I am grateful for...drumroll please...STARBUCKS. Yes, Starbucks, in all its commercial goodness - I am so thankful for their Americano (grande, or venti if I'm feeling crazy) with caramel syrup. It makes my day a little brighter and certainly makes my eyes a little wider. So thank you, Lord, for this little nugget of goodness. It is, without a doubt, one of my most beloved vices.
P.S. Happy Friday!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I find myself using this phrase to describe the end of the school year which happens to mark the end of my short, if not tumultuous teaching career. I know in my heart of hearts that closing this chapter is the right thing to do, but it doesn't change the fact that I will miss some aspects dearly - the biggest one being my cheerleaders. They are really the only reason that brought me back for a second year, and they are one of the only reasons I feel myself getting nostalgic as my teaching days draw to a close. I know some of you (if you know me) might be incredulous that I am experiencing any sadness as it is pretty crystal clear that teaching is not my "God-given" talent. Nevertheless, I am wrought with emotion as I realize I will not be with these girls at camp, at our 1st pep rally or at any team function next year. I won't see them dressed up for Homecoming or Prom. I won't be there to see them through another year at school or to see the Seniors graduate. I just...won't...be there...
However, one thought continues to play in my head: it is what it is. And therefore, I will move on...