Wednesday, October 1, 2014

If I Won the Lottery...

I'm participating in...
Winning the lottery has been on my mind lately.
1.) Because the boyfriend buys lottery tickets each week. He usually makes his money back and I usually lose. Lucky me.
2.) I'm tired of being a semi-poor graduate student.

If I won the lottery, I would do the following...
1.) Pay off my student debt. This is the number one goal at the moment because that number is not getting smaller.

If you want to make this goal happen now, please vote for me or my brother. We're both competing for the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway Scholarship. As much I as I could use the money, I truly believe in my brothers dream and know he is going to do great things in music.

To vote for me
To Vote for my brother
2.) Invest in my future. I need a retirement fund badly so that I do not have to work all the way into my 80's.
3.) Probably do a little shopping because I was all of the following

4.) Go on a cruise because I just love those darn things.
Those are the top 4 things on my list at the moment. And of course there's always giving some of it away because paying it forward is important always.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

1 Year Together

Yeah so I'm going to be that sappy person and post about my 1 year anniversary with my boyfriend. And you're going to have to deal with it because this is the longest I've ever been with a guy and I'm not stopping anytime soon.
We spent our day visiting parts of Washington I've never been to before. We went to Fort Cassey and Worden.
(This is Fort Cassey. It was much cooler than Worden)

I went on my first ferry ride which was fun and surprisingly quick.
It's amazing how quick boats can be.
We also spent a lot of time singing and being goofballs.

But the best part of the whole day was spending the whole day together.
Since starting school again our schedules make it difficult to get some time together.
He's either working or I'm working/studying/surviving.
Quality time is always the best gift.
Speaking of gifts the boy built me a desktop as my gift. He seriously is the sweetest and most thoughtful. It has been so helpful to do my school work on since my laptop can be pretty slow at times.
I am so blessed and happy to have Brad in my life. He's become one of my best friends and my home. I cannot wait to see what the next year holds for both us.
I love you Bebe!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Surviving Grad School 101

I posted this last December, but decided to share it with you all and myself again.
Really I'm just sharing it myself because I feel like I'm about to get my butt kicked and I don't know when it's coming...
1.) You MUST become best friends with Starbucks or some kind of coffee joint. This is the only way you will survive off the lack of sleep that ensues from working and doing school because lets be real--you can't go to graduate school and not have a job unless your dad is Mr. Banks. 

2.) Have a day that you say is for extra studying, but is actually for extra sleep, laundry doing, showering longer than 8 minutes, or for shopping. Thursdays were my day off from work, my day to go to counseling, and my day to walk into Target without any guilt. Yes, I tended to study because I am an over-achiever, but it was nice to know I didn't have to.
Or you could spend your days off Netflix
binging which is how I watched 10 episodes in 2 days.
3.) Make a YouTube playlist every month. Have a song that you can't get out of your head? Play it on repeat while you write paper after paper. Seriously, I made a playlist of maybe just five songs each month and listened to them over and over again.
This guy is always playing for me.
4.) Have people who do not want to talk about your degree program. For me, this happened to my boyfriend. He always asked me about my program, but luckily psychology language is not his first language so he allowed me to disengage from it when I chose.
Thank Goodness for this man!

5.) Have a great support system. My friends have been great in encouraging me and making sure I am surviving. You need someone to call you to make sure you are up in time for your test or to turn in your paper. 
These girls get it!
6.) Watch Ellen videos at least twice a week. When you need a break from studying, go watch her. She will give you that quick laugh fix you need to stay sane.
I have not watched Ellen all Summer, but I immediately started last week and she truly brings a burst of happiness while studying.
7.) Be okay with surfing the internet while sitting in class. For some reason, grad classes seem to be freaking long. But guess what?! You are an adult and can choose to give yourself a five minute break of surfing the web when you can't focus anymore. Do NOT feel guilty for it.
This little bugger gets me through all my classes and is not too much of a distraction.

8.) TREAT YO SELF! My friends from Parks and Recreation taught me this. Finished a paper and craving Qdoba? TREAT YO SELF. You read a chapter for class? TREAT YO SELF TO ELLEN. You finished finals? TREAT YO SELF TO THAT FORMAL DRESS FOR THAT FORMAL EVENT WITH YOUR MAN.

And this is how you survive grad school.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Day I Took My Ring Off

Lately there are a lot of articles and blog posts being written by woman my age and their thoughts on sex before marriage. Both sides have legitimate points and I want to honor each for giving their thoughts a point. I’ve had the idea of writing on the topic of purity for a while. Purity is the topic that started me writing a blog. It used to be the main thing I wrote about. My life revolved around purity.

See, I grew up in the Christian church and was told all the stories of why a girl should wait for marriage, the dangers of having sex before marriage, and the consequences that come from God. I dove into this topic and I was fully into believing what the church said. Let me preference by saying I am not in disagreement with the church. Making sure you wait to have sex until marriage can be a great path for some people to choose. I believe sex should be had with someone you care deeply for, love, and want a future with. But growing up has also showed me the hardships of living a life of purity.

For years I wore a purity ring on my wedding ring finger. I was waiting for my Mr. Right (another topic we discuss in church) and to give him the ring with my whole self. I was an advocate for purity, a speaker for many church events, and encouraged all to stay pure until marriage.

College came and I was still on that track until honest conversations with people closest to me began to be discussed. Those people I loved hadn’t waited till marriage. Some of them had been hurt by it while others felt as if they decision they made was for the best. Hearing these stories come from those closest to me began to change my mind about purity. Purity means something different to everyone. For some it means waiting till marriage and for others it means waiting for the guy they decide is worth giving themselves to.

I took off my purity ring this past year after constantly being asked if I was engaged or feeling judged when I explained what it meant. And to be honest, I felt a lot of relief when I took it off. That ring began to represent shame for me. It was the constant reminder of what I was risking when I allowed the wrong guy in my life. It reminded me to advocate for purity and in the process hurt others because I was calling them a sinner for not living a life like mine. Purity can be a good thing but I think it’s being taught to us wrong.

I feel like the church scared me of sex. If you have it before marriage, then you’re broken goods and not worth as much. Having it before marriage means you don’t get the best guy and you’re allowing yourself to go for the “ok” guys. Sex was the determinant for being a truly whole Christian.

And I believed those for so long until I realized sex is not the problem. Judgment is the problem. To say a woman is no longer worthy for losing her virginity before marriage is degrading and not something I want to teach my daughter anymore. Sex was never meant to be scary or to define your whole life. Yes, it’s a big commitment and deserves a lot of thought before encountering, but it does not determine your worth as a human being.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing that it’s a big decision to consider and the choices she makes can have good or bad consequences. I want her to decide what sex means for her and not be told she is unworthy if she commits in it before marriage. Of course as parents, you want the best for your child because we believe they deserve the world. But I don’t want my daughter or son to be ashamed for the decisions they make in life because it doesn’t line up with a biblical text or others opinions. That book we grew up reading in church is filled with compassion and forgiveness. Shouldn’t that be the actions we are engaging with as followers of God? Instead, we are sending messages of judgment and disgust because someone didn’t live out their life the way I think is best.

I am not saying I am perfect or by any means close to being a non-judgmental person, but I am changing the way I view others decisions. My life is mine, their life is theirs. We will choose our own paths and take twists and turns along the way. Sometimes we may be disappointed with ourselves for what we consider mistakes and other times we will be proud of the choice we made and not regret it. Either way I think it’s time to stop the judgment and allow the conversation to be more open. I think if we allow honest conversations free of judging glances and statements we may be able to trust the human race again to make good choices for themselves and others. Who knows I could be wrong, but I think it’s an important part as a Christian and as a human that I was missing for years.

What are your thoughts?
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Love Wins

My laptop has a sticker on it that says 
"Love Wins."
I have transferred it from computer to computer because I love that sticker.

Not only is it a sticker, but it is also a conversation starter.
People come up to me in Starbucks saying how they love that saying or that book or whatever.
But the one thing I realized today is that none of them have ever asked me what it means to me.

Originally, the sticker represented God for me. God is love and his love always wins. 
That's why the sticker was put there, but over time it has evolved for me. 

Love is the reason for living, for breathing. We spend our lives searching for someone who makes us want to take up each morning, for something that inspires us to do goof everyday, and for a life that has meaning. Love is what brought us to this earth. 

Love is why we are here. Whether you believe in it or not; it exists. 

I thought I'd have all these words to describe what Love wins to me, but I'm having trouble putting words to it.
All I can say is love always wins. When you're fighting with someone, don't forget the love you have for them and the love they have for you. When you're thinking of the best gift to give someone, remember something that screams "I love you" is always the best gift. When that girl who just drives you crazy is bothering you again, remember the grace of love and grace her out.

Love always wins. 

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fall Goals

I used to make those monthly goal lists, but I realized I stopped trying to achieve them. So maybe if I do a seasonal goal list, I will actually accomplish them?

1.) Be engaging and make friends. 
Last year I was a "get through school" only kind of girl. 
Sure, I made some friends, but I really did not engage my fellow classmates. 
This year I hope to actually get to know some more of my classmates and be a little bit more extroverted.

2.) Wear all the clothing in my closet.
I am a character of habit. 
I buy something new and wear it non-stop for a few months. 
I started this week by putting the clothes I've already worn behind my work clothes as a marker between what I've worn and what I have not. 

3.) Stop the Starbucks. 
I know I just made some people cry out there, but I really need to stop.
$100 a month on Starbucks, sometimes more than that. That's a bad habit.
I want to be a better steward with my money and really try harder to spend money where its needed such as student loans. I'm only $2,000 away from paying off one of them which is pretty good for starting in January. 

Goodbye Deliciousness. 

4.) Relax.
Apparently I am pretty bad at this. 
I am going to do better at this by not picking up work-shifts like crazy or planning too much into one week. For example, today I typically am scheduled to work but I was not. Instead of picking up a shift, I used it as a hard-core study day with little breaks or relaxation in-between. 

What are your goals for this season?
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Monday, August 25, 2014

2nd Year of Graduate School

In two weeks, I will be engaging in my second year of graduate school. 
Originally, I was on the 3 year track, but I recently switched to the 4 year track to allow myself more space and time to intake all that I am learning.

I though ya'll may be interested in the classes I am taking this semester. So here we go:
I'm taking 8 credits which equals out to four classes. It will be the lightest load I've taken since I have taken 9 credits each semester last year.

Human Growth: The Interpersonal and Narrative Journey
-This is similar to a human growth and development class. 
"This course covers human development from an interpersonal perspective, which includes neurological, psychological, 
and faith development from conception to death. Particular emphasis is placed on the significance of attachment, and 
the roles of affect regulation and mentalization in facilitating secure development."
Excitement factor (out of 10): 5--mainly because I've taken a class similar to this and am nervous it could be repetitive. 
Learning Factor: 10--this is directly associated with my career and will be very helpful to understand in my field.

Sexual Disorders
"The student will receive an overview of the theological, physiological, psychological, and sociological perspectives on 
human sexuality and consider how these perspectives impact sexual identity, sexual behavior, and sexual disorders."
Excitement Factor: 8--I've been reading one of the assigned books for this class to get a head start and it's very interesting. Very much focused on how the mind plays a part into our sexual attractions, love, and physicality.
Learning Factor: 10--It's a brand new course to me so I am excited to learn an area I do not know much about.

Theology 1: Constructing the Theological Mosaic-God, Humanity, and Christ
"This course is the first of a two-part exploration in constructing, confessing and affirming anew the central doctrinal 
vision of the Christian faith. We refer to this as the theological mosaic because in essence this is not a monochrome 
belief system but a rich tapestry of different historical, cultural and biblical insights that show us how to integrate text, 
soul and culture. In this way we hope to appropriate the great traditions of the Christian church and construct a faith 
that is equally meaningful and resourceful to Christian vocation, ministry and discipleship in our contemporary global 
Excitement Factor: 0--Is that bad? I just really do not like theology classes. Not my cup of tea.
Learning Factor: 3--I'm sure I'll learn a lot, but I'm not interested in learning this.

Special Topics: Marriage Counseling
-Unfortunately, there is no course description available for this course. Yes, I do not know what I am really getting myself into except for the fact this is the path of psychology I've always talked about going into. 
Excitement Factor: 10--It's an elective so it's not required for me to take it which means I really want to take it.
Learning Factor: 10--The professor taught my marriage and family therapy class and I learned a lot through that class. He has his own marriage counseling firm so he knows a lot.

My goal for the next two weeks and to actually relax before I throw myself into lots of studying and reading. Anybody have suggestions for me on how to relax because I'm apparently not good at it.
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