Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Big Herd.

I just got back from visiting my family in North Carolina, and as usual, I returned feeling unusually blessed. Honestly, I couldn't ask for a more fun family.

Not only do I have two amazingly hospitable grandparents who love me (and are so very hilarious), but I am the oldest of 12 grandchildren. I realize you're probably cringing at that thought. Don't.

Being the oldest has always seemed some what of a nuisance, but over the past few years, I've grown to appreciate it and even love it. I have six gorgeous little girl cousins and three handsome little boy cousins, well technically one of them is a teenager, but she's still little to me.

They all have unique relationships with me, but they're all equal in my eyes...

One of the girls is relatively new to our family, like her mom, they don't know me too well yet, but we're all growing on each other.

One of the boys is my mini-me. Everyone says we look alike, but we often think alike too. Whether it's excelling in school or stressing over everything, he's a blood relative. No doubt about that.

Another of the girls, the teenager, has been with me since I was little. I love her to death and she knows it, and even though we're older now, we're not afraid to act like kids around each other.

The two youngest girls are still trying to get my name right, but they're beautiful little eyes light up when they see me, and I know they love me just the same.

The youngest boy is the "rough and tough" one one, or at least, he wants everyone to think that. But deep down, I know he's just as sweet as any of the others.

One of the girls is basically one of the guys. She's tough, loud, and opinionated, but she's beautiful and girly at the same time. I hate using Hannah Montana as an allusion, but this girl really does have the best of both worlds.

The last boy and girl are twins. The boy is probably the funniest kid I've ever met, both when he's trying and when he's not. We're best friends and always will be. The girl is a little genius. Seriously, I see her one day becoming a scientist or a novelist or something that requires alot of critical thinking. She could totally handle any of it. While twins, they are vastly different from one another.

Everyone of them is special in their own right. Everyone of them is very loved. That's my family, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mentally Legendary.

So, this kid I met this week? He was the epitome of the phrase, "legend in his own mind".

Honestly, I doubt anyone can love themselves more than he did. In a love-yourself contest, he would destroy anyone and everyone who got in his way without causing any potential danger to his face. Because if his face was to become in anyway harmed, the quality of all life on Earth would be HEAVILY DEGRADED.

First, I sat through his life story...twice. He proceeded to inform me that he had been kicked out of every school in Tennessee and California. As to why he chose those two states, I am not certain. But being the kind person I am, I pretended to buy the crap he was force feeding me. After a few times of saying "Oh, that's nice." and "Wow. That's interesting.", I gathered that in his fantasy realm he has beaten up over 35 children resulting in his expulsion from every school he's ever attended, but it's "not his fault, it's the schizophrenia and Tourettes."

He also claimed he'd won the fights. All of them.

Now, I need you to look at the width of the text you're reading. That's around the size of his arms, give or take a few centimeters. He probably weighed 75lbs soaking wet, and the people he claimed to have practically killed with his amazing strength were all described as much larger.

His greasy hair in his face and beanie told me several things about who he was...or pretended to be, so I asked him if he skateboarded.

Big mistake.

He then told me about his "career" as a pro-skater, surfer, snowboarder, AND golfer. According to him, Pluto "pays him to skate for them" because he's just that good. Oh, and he also claimed that he was supposed to be in last month's Sports Illustrated, but he couldn't make it for the photo shoot.

Darn. I was really looking forward to reading that article.

After listening to him for awhile, his nose was growing far too large for the tiny room we were in, and my IQ was dropping by the second, so I tried to wrap it up by asking a very broad question:

"So, with all of these obligations, how do you work everything into your schedule?"

And I swear to you, he said these exact words:

"Well, when you're a superhuman like me, you really don't have any limits to what you can do."

OH! A superhuman! I feel so honored to have been graced with your presence! I can't wait to tell all my friends.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Knowing Your Place.

Last night at church, I had the honor of listening to Mike Smith, a missionary to Russia. Despite having an extraordinarily normal name, Mike was quite possibly the most charismatic person to ever grace our church's stage. He exceeded human decibel limits, and while that would typically repel people, it only made him more interesting.

His message was one of encouragement. In between his descriptions of the people and land in Russia, he would stop to stress the fact that he "had no clue what he was supposed to be doing." For almost a year, he had been preaching to an empty room. Every Sunday.

He and his wife went out on long expeditions into the surrounding towns on outreach with no response. No matter what they tried or where they went they faced rejection. Naturally, they prayed and prayed for months that God would show them what they were supposed to be doing, but like the people of Russia, He didn't seem to respond.

Finally, when the Smith's had all but given up, God gave them a peace about what they were doing and even began growing their church. Taken aback, Mike couldn't understand why God would put him through an entire year of failure. The whole time, his family was exactly where He wanted them to be, so why would God not bless that?

It was at that point in his story that Mike slowed down and became very quiet. His face lit up with excitement, but he remained completely serious when he said:

"That's when I learned that sometimes God just steps back to see what you'll do."

His words are still floating around in my head, and they make so much sense. All too often, we stop what we're doing when our prayers aren't immediately answered, but we fail to realize that God has His own will and His own schedule.

So, rather than being so quick to give up, when Heaven is silent...

...keep going.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It's actually warm outside.

How'd that happen? Two weeks ago, I was in layers, and now I feel like donning my shorts and a t-shirt.

I'm not complaining, though. This has been one of the longest, coldest winters that I've ever had the "joy" of experiencing. For the first time in my life, I don't feel like I was jipped of snow, sleet, ice, or any other type of school-closing weather. Our area got a good mix of all of it, and for that, I am happy.

Although, on the first genuinely warm day, I had to drive 200 miles to the freaking auto dealership to get mud guards on my car. Don't get me wrong, I love anything remotely related to pimping my ride, but sitting in a waiting room for 2 hours? Not so much.

What was even better about my trip was that in the checkout line, I was accosted by a derranged man who felt he needed to share every interesting fact he'd ever learned to the group of complete strangers standing in line.

Looking over at my car that I so desperately wanted to get the keys to, he informed me that my car was voted one of the worst named cars of all time because it was spelled "Koup" instead of "Coupe". Because God forbid Koreans take any liberties with the naming of their automobiles.

But seriously? THAT is what you felt an overwhelming desire to tell me?

I just shrugged and muttered, "I honestly don't care, so can you just finish so I can pick up my poorly named car and leave? Thanks."

I blame my outbursts on the heat.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One of those days.

Today, waking up was so totally worth it.

The Kia Forte Koup I was fawning over? It's in my garage now. Figuratively...

...technically, it's in my driveway where I park, but still. It's within 25 feet of my house and for that I am most certainly happy. I drove it around today, and called people via Bluetooth for absolutely no reason at all. My best friend and I took a mostly unneccessary trip to Walmart to prolong actually getting out of the car. Actually, each time I entered or exited the vehicle, I sat for about five minutes in silence with the engine off. Just dwelling on the fact that it's mine. MY car.

Honestly, I prayed at the beginning of this week that God would somehow bless me and remind me why I bother getting out of bed everyday, and remind me why I should try my hardest, and remind me that life isn't all guns and sadness. I asked Him to specifically show me why I should give a crap. I did. Seriously.

And He reminded me. All of a sudden I realized how much I appreciate my friends, my family, how much I appreciate my new car, and even to an EXTREMELY limited extent how I appreciate my school.

Once again, I am reminded that I am so so unbelievably blessed. Dang, He's good...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition.

Like the new color scheme? I was getting kinda bored with the old one, so I decided it was time for a change. I designed it myself. Aren't you proud?

Well technically, I edited a template, but gave me a sense of accomplishment.

Anyways, that's really all I have today. Enjoy the awe-inspiring visual masterpiece that is my blog.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Bigger Picture.

Today, I sold the first car I've ever owned in order to have a down payment for my next one. It's a big change, but it was a very exciting change. One that I won't soon forget.

The buyer was a young Asian guy who attends the University of Tennessee just down the road from me. He was relatively young as he didn't even have a liscense yet, but nevertheless, he had saved his money and intended to buy a good car to learn to drive in. Accompanied by three of his friends, he inspected the car, test drove it, had Firestone do a full-body checkup on it, and finally came to the consensus that it was definitely the car for him.

After much discussion about price and other details, my dad and the Asian boy came to an agreement. Now, I need to stress this: my father is a HARD bargainer. He knows every trick in the book and doesn't hesitate to utilize every one of them, sometimes more than once.

His victims usually stagger away with skinny wallets and aching heads...but this time was different. Dad demonstrated a characteristic that I rarely witness in him. He showed that poor college kid sympathy. A couple hundred dollars worth of sympathy.

Then, he did something that I couldn't be more proud of him for. He handed the group of guys a tract, and told them that before he left, he wanted to make sure they had that.

There's a slim chance we will ever speak to, hear of, or see any of them ever again. There's also a slim chance that they will actually read that tract, but dad saw the bigger picture. He realized that giving a little, showing a little sympathy, and planting that small slip of paper would plant a priceless seed that he would never have a chance to plant again.

I love my daddy. I could never thank God enough for giving me such a wonderful man to be raised by.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quotes from the Club.

The Boys and Girls Club I volunteer at has become, more or less, a place of comic relief.

And let me tell you, after going to my school for four years, I need comic relief. Actually, just relief in general would suffice, but I'll take what I can get.

Anyways, I thought I'd share some of the funnier moments I've experienced...

Shakayla upon finishing her "makeover" on one of the other volunteers:

Shakayla: "Aight, it's done! It lookin' fabalous."

Volunteer: "Thanks, girl!"

Shakayla: (to everyone else) "Ha! She think her hair lookin' fabalous? No. That ain't fabalous."

Jarone sitting at the bottom of the slide:

Hannah: "MOVE!"

Jarone: "No! Come make me!"

Hannah: "You'll just move out of the way right before I get there!"

Jarone: "Nu-huh. Twy (pronnounced tah-wye) it and see."

(whispering extremely loud where Hannah can completely hear him)

"I'ma move before she hits me! Shhhhh..."

Mercedes seconds after meeting me for the FIRST time:

Mercedes: "Aye, man! Come hur!"

Me: "Yes?"

Mercedes: "You my boyfran an I'ma give you a kiss."

Arianna and Jameea during music class:

Arianna: "It's so HOT out hur!"

Jameea: "I know! Miss Jamie, I am DYIN'!"

Miss Jamie: "Stop complaining, sit up, and listen or we're calling your parents."

Girls: (in unison) "DAAANNGG! You so MEEEEEAN!"

Hannah giving me a tour of the playground:

Hannah: "This side is my house. That hole is my bed and the slide leads to my pool."

Me: "Sweet! So, what's that side of the playground?"

Hannah: "Oh yeah, that's Texas."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Almost There.

Graduation supplies were passed out at school today, and it was pretty much a massive slap on the forehead for me. I'm actually going to graduate high-school. Granted, I've got four more years of learning ahead of me. College is just high-school with perks. I get that, I do. But it's a BIG step in this little thing I call life.

It's exhilarating, yet terrifying. Emotions are confusing like that.

However, while I'm anxious about the eminent woes of collegiate life, I will inevitably be the same person I am today. Just slightly taller and with more facial hair. I know it will be difficult, don't get me wrong.

I know I'll be facing new challenges, and I know I'll have to overcome new obstacles...

...but I'll be facing them with the same God who's seen me through thus far. And I have no doubt He will continue to do so.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


There's some things that that people do on Facebook are just stupid. I'm not going to lie, sugarcoat it, or pretend like I don't mind these things flooding my feed on a minutely basis...because I do.

Posting a profile picture of yourself on Facebook...every thirty seconds.

The female race is the most guilty of this act of stupidity, and I can honestly say I think I speak for guys everywhere when I say taking pictures of yourself doesn't make you any more attractive in our eyes. It actually just proves that you have nothing better to than pose in your bathroom with forty different shirts on.

Posting a profile picture of yourself on Facebook...from thirty years ago.

Your birthday and graduation years are both posted on the same website you posted that picture from your childhood, so unless you lied, anyone who can do math can figure out that you really don't look like that. I can understand a "throwback" or "retro" picture every now and then, but all the time is ridiculous.

Keep your yearbook on the shelf, please.

Clicking "like" on things that aren't likable.

Everyone has at least one person on their friends list that does this. "Liking" statuses knowing that it's going to start crap is just idiotic. If someone posts a status about their dog dying, that's not an appropriate time to click "like". It's not joking; it's just rude.

Sending thousands upon thousands of requests involving Farms, Mafias, Pirates, etc.

Really? I mean, really? If you have nothing better to do, at least keep it to yourself. I don't have any baseball bats or Tommy guns to lend you, I'm not saving some stupid duckling that's drowning in your pond, and I don't feel like joining your crew. You're capable of handling ye booty all on ye own.

Facebook used to be a cool site on the web to connect to friends and family, but now it's just a mosh pit of idiocy. To be completely honest, the "Remove" button was the best addition to Facebook in a long time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Finding Yourself.

"Sometimes I think of six impossible things before breakfast..."

"I think that is an absolutely marvelous practice."

That was, by far, my favorite line in the Tim Burton's rendition of Alice in Wonderland. In this line, the Mad Hatter is the first to actually commend Alice for pondering the impossible, for dreaming. Everyone else throughout the movie tries to tell Alice who she is and who she will be one day, what she is to do and not do, and even who she is to marry.

At first, she actually begins to succumb to their pressure. But ultimately, her journey through Wonderland proves to Alice that "the path is not chosen for me, I make the path." (Another good line.)

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, especially for its theme of finding your true self amidst what others have forced you to conform to. Your life was given to you specifically, and what you do with it is entirely up to you. Obviously, I doubt anyone can actually fall down a hole and travel through a realm of fantasy on a quest for self-discovery, but metaphorically, it's a beautiful message.

Even when the world calls you mad, remember:

"The best people always are."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How's Life? (March 2010 Edition)

I realize this is the umpteenth one of these lists that I've written, but I like them. And if I continue this thing, there will be many more. Don't hate.

So here are a few important days for me to remember and for you to, at best, give half a crap about:

March 27 - Spring Break. A week of school-free glory that, in my opinion, can be fun without being drunk on a beach and/or having underage girls (who are also drunk) repeatedly show you inappropriate parts of their anatomy. I'll be headed to North Carolina, and no, not to any beaches. Call me conservative, but I'd prefer to remain inland until my classmates leave.

Was that a crack on my school? Why, yes it was.

May 21 - That's my grajeeashun day. A celebration of my public school book learnin coming to an end. And in the words of Etta James, "Aaaaaat laaaaaaaaaaast!"

May 31 - If you frequent my blog, you should already know what this date is. A few friends and I are going on a trip to Disney World as reward for dealing with four years of crap (second crack on school). While finishing high-school is exciting, it doesn't even come close to the excitement about getting down with Mickey.

You know how he do. He's a total G. Word to your mother.

June 9 - I'm going to be 18. I figured that would be worth noting.

I'll have legal permission to do more things that I will never do nor want to do. Huzzah.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


We all love them deep down. Well, except my mother, but she doesn't count.

But let's face it, our furry canine friends have absolutely no shame. Whatsoever. They couldn't care any less about exposing themselves to you. They will pop a squat within four feet of you and not lose any sleep over it. In fact, they are most likely aware of the fact that you don't wanna know their business, and that's most likely why they're so eager to show it to you.

So, with their nonchalant behaviors, one would think that as just their nature. Nothing to gawk at or be in awe of. And I know you're thinking, "Why on earth...", but just trust me. Many people do.

Take my friend for instance while riding in my car:

Friend:  "And I could NOT believe what he said, he was just going on and on about...OHMYGOSH!"

Me: *slamming on breaks* "What?!? What did I hit?!?"

Friend:  "Those dogs were totally having sex on the side of the road!"

Me: Are you kidding me?

Friend: Sorry! I've just never seen that act being done in person before."

She's almost 18...and this is the first time she's ever seen that?

I'm thinking she needs to get out more.