Friday, January 26, 2007

A Reluctant Note

It is out of personal responsibility that I post this information. I was extremely reluctant about doing so. I weighed in yesterday, as I said I would. I wasn't sure, after discovering the results, whether I would post my weight status. But I decided that I would because I said I would do it in hopes that it would motivate me to stay on track.

I have posted my current weight loss total in the "weight tracker" column on the right side of my page. The only reason I decided to do this was because I can't possibly stand to gain another pound after revealing that I gained over the past two weeks. I can't continue to do that to myself, so this should motivate me. It should.

So, I'm off to enjoy my vacation weekend in Wimberly, Texas. I will enjoy the gourmet food that will be provided, but I have decided to watch portion sizes and make myself exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Hopefully next week, I'll have a happy post about my results.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What Dreams May Come

I've always wondered what the significance of dreams are. They have to have some purpose, even if just to entertain our minds while we rest.

All dreams are generally by definition weird - not like reality. My dreams seem to usually fit part of my life in them, but add other parts that seem to have nothing to do with anything. I remember a recurring dream I had in 1st grade...well, I was starting 1st grade. My mom had taken me to see the school to where I would be walking each day when school started. I dreamt that night, and every night until I walked to school the first time, that I walked to the end of the street and I had to turn right. The school was to the left. And to the right, the road suddenly dropped off like the Grand Canyon. There was a huge fire pit in the bottom and a tiny little narrow road leading across the ravine. At the very end of the road I could see witches brewing something in a large cauldron.

I would stare into the direction of the witches and I'd turn around to run back home, but by the time I turned around, the street from which I came was gone! I was stuck on this little piece of land with fire all around me and the witches were coming toward me. Then I'd wake up, terrified to walk to school.

Another dream I remember pretty vividly, that I won't go into too much detail about, was when I was 14. I woke up (in my dream) in my bedroom. It was in the middle of the night, but there was a spiritual war going on outside. The sky was orange and red and there were people running around everywhere screaming. I looked out my second story window and could see huge angels standing watch over my house. They were three stories tall, white, beautiful, gentle but fierce at the same time. I didn't talk to them, but their feeling told me they needed my help. This is the crazy part - they wanted me to lead people to hell. Yeah, fun job. I had to take people they told me needed to be led to hell. The funny part, hell had this "now serving" sign lit up at the entrance (like in the Disney cartoon movie Hercules).

After my duty was fulfilled, I could go to heaven. But by the time I was finished, heaven was full. The only thing the angels could do was get me into Panda Heaven. I hated it. The walls were all white and all I could eat were bamboo sticks. Bleh. Luckily, I woke up after that.

Those are some of the whacky dreams I've had, but I've also had some dreams that somehow became a reality. Two sad ones I never want to remember, but occasionally do, are the dreams I had before my cat Scat and my dog McKyna died. They died within a week of each other, and I had dreams about both of them dying the week before it happened.

I saw Sheldon's face in a dream in Alaska before I'd ever met him. The weird part...I just saw his face. He didn't have a body. Crazy. I'm not the crazy psychic lady or anything. I don't even know that I believe in the ability to be psychic. I'd just like to know why my dreams tend to show me parts of my life before they happen, and why they show those parts.

The reason I bring all this up is because I've been struggling with what I want to do with my life. Those of you who've read my posts before know this. Well, I had a dream last night about a guy who kept handing me a packet and telling me to read it. It was information about being a lawyer. He said they (whoever "they" are) needed lawyers to work for their organization and he really wanted me to consider it. I never saw what this man looked like. I just saw his arm. The hand was wrinkled and tough and on his arm was a white jacket sleeve.

Now I'm not planning to run off to law school anytime soon, but I have been considering it in the future. As I mentioned before, I want to know what role dreams play, what purpose do they have? Can they direct us toward the path we're to take in the future? Can they steer us aways from bad decisions? Are they just pure unconscious entertainment for our minds?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions. But I'm anxious to see what dreams may come.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Keep Me True

Recently I've had a hard time staying on track with my goal to lose weight. I'm not sure why the motivation has drained from my body. There are plenty of reasons why I should try harder to get fit and stay in shape.

1. To have a healthy pregnancy! Sheldon and I would like to start a family sometime this year.
2. To have more energy to do something other than read or watch TV.
3. To buy clothes at more than one store.
4. To be able to go anywhere in a swimsuit (conservative tankini) and feel comfortable.
5. To enjoy myself on my upcoming beach vacation in June.
6. To eliminate future health concerns.
7. To be able to keep up with my little toddlers when they get here. :)

All of these reasons should motivate me to continue my weight loss. But they haven't. I wonder if it's the cold weather? I did manage to gain 4 pounds over the holidays. I even have a membership to a gym that is literally across the street from my house. The last time I went was two weeks ago, once, for 30 minutes.

My solution to my dilemma: I will track my weight on my blog every week. I've added a list on the right side of my page that will record each week's weight loss. I know I have loyal fans that read my blog that will keep me true. My next weight loss recording will be January 25, 2007.

I'm also open to receiving advice from those of you who have lost weight or maintain a healthy weight. :) It's always nice to find a trick that makes it a little easier each week. Thanks for your support!

Monday, January 15, 2007

You Be The Judge

Sheldon and I finally painted our living room...a couple weeks ago. This posting is slightly overdue. For fear the usual group won't meet tonight due to icy weather, I thought I'd post the before and after shots.

We decided to paint the room blue for several reasons. One, I wanted to decorate with black and white photos and paintings. So having a brown or even white wall wouldn't work. Two, I wanted to brighten up the room a bit. We'd lived in our house a little over a year with dark paneling...ick! Three, we have a lot of green in the living room, so a natural color would have to fill the walls if I didn't want to change too much about the decor already in the room.

You be the judge. Did we make a good decision?


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

The long awaited new post to my blog is here! I apologize for my short hiatus from my laptop, but I've found myself buried in my current book of choice (In Her Shoes) in every bit of spare time I've had. And, I've finally finished the book! You know what that means....the movie is free for viewing at our next girl's night. Speaking of girls' nights, this weekend definitely ranks high in my list of best girls' nights.

Friday night, a close girlfriend (Karen) and I decided to have a girls-only night. We scheduled hair appointments and decided we'd have a slow, enjoyable meal at our (or at least my) favorite Italian restaurant. However, the last activity of the night was completely unexpected and spontaneous...and that's what I loved about it.

Karen and I got our hair done by "my lady" and laughed at short foreheads and "tweener" bangs. After our little pampering session at the salon, we strolled down the mall to browse a costume jewelry store for faux facial jewelry. Karen had been playing with the notion of getting a nose ring, but wasn't sure what it would look like. Being unsuccessful in our journey for the facial accessories, we decided to go to a store, which had been recommended by the stylist, to find trendy headbands. This journey was successful - I found three really cute, trendy headbands, which I'm really excited about wearing by the way.

After our mall walk, we drove to the restaurant with our new hairstyles (me donning one of my new black and red polka dotted headbands), and enjoyed fattening, yet scrumptious meals filled with carbs, oil, cream and butter. To top it all off, we split a luscious dish of tiramisu. Yum! My mouth waters just thinking of it now. And don't ask me how many points it was. It was our cheat meal of the week. Although I did have my vegetable requirement - a salad drenched in the house dressing.

Our bellies were stuffed with yummy goodness. We paid our bills and headed to the bathroom, as all girls do, together. After primping for a second in the dimly-lit bathroom, we decided we'd go check out the tattoo parlor that had been suggested by the sales clerk at the "headband" store. She had a nose sparked our interest. But we said, "we'd just look."

We arrived. It was cold, dark and rainy. The inside of the parlor looked warm and inviting. It was 10 p.m., yet bustling with clientele. We walked in, unnoticed at first by the crowd within. So many questions went through my head. I felt my insides quivering, hoping nobody else would notice my awkwardness. We checked out the selection of nose rings they had available, and at that moment one of the pierced, tattooed employees asked with a warm smile if we had been helped.

Before we knew it, we were digging out our ID cards and following Ruth, the piercing specialist, into a back room. "Who's going first," Ruth asked, in her British or possibly Australian accent. "She is!" Karen said as her finger pointed in my direction.

I sat on the yellow and red ace card bench that had probably seen its share of panicky clients, teenage girls getting their belly buttons pierced, and rowdy boys looking to improve their rebel look with the latest facial piercing. I was nervous. Ruth unpackaged the needle and asked me if I was ready.

Sixty seconds later I had successfully lived through another nose piercing. My left nostril throbbing, Karen looked horrified and ready to jet. Her decision to let me go first had backfired. She had watched the whole thing, and seemed shocked.

After a few minutes of coaxing and assuring her that my nose no longer hurt (which was true, it was probably in shock too), she took her place on the ace card bench. I couldn't watch, those things make me sick to watch. I held her hand and turned to face the painted woman in chains on the wall. She did good. She didn't yelp like I had when the needle penetrated her nostril.

A few minutes later we were admiring our matching rhinestone stud nose rings in the mirror. Hers is aqua-blue and mine is red. We did it!! We jumped in my truck and headed home, anxious to see the reactions on our husbands faces.

So ended one of the funnest nights I've had in a long time. I have proof below. :)

Friday, January 5, 2007

Soul Searching

I finally graduated from college - six years of knowing exactly what I had to do to reach my goal. I thought by now I would know exactly what it is that I'm supposed to do post-college.

Since 5th grade, teachers have been telling me to set goals for myself and reach for the stars. Not bad advice, but I'm not sure which stars to reach for anymore. I've reached the goals that seemed obvious like finish high school, finish college, get married, and now...what? It's up to me to make the decisions.

I never really thought about what I'd do when I finished college besides get a job, have a family, and live my life the way I wanted to. But after attending Baylor for two years, I know I'm supposed to do more than just a "job". But what is it? Suddenly working to make money for myself seems meaningless. What's the point of being put on this earth if all I'm going to do is work for a company to buy stuff that I want. It's obvious that I need money to survive, so working is a good thing, but I think I should work to do something that will change lives. And not just for my own conscience, but for the betterment of the next generation.

The one thing I'm almost sure about is that God gave me a talent for writing. (Somebody tell me if I've got it wrong). What am I supposed to do with that? There are so many options, so many different parts of the world that need help in so many different ways. I'm one person. How can I make some part of the world better before I leave Earth?

As most of you who are reading this know, I'm a criminal justice planner. I hear about abuse and violence stories almost every day. I hear about the needs in the counties around me, but what am I to do about it? Do I become a lawyer and help victims directly? Do I become a social worker? Should I volunteer at some of the agencies that help these people? As someone who hears stories of this nature, I feel partly responsible for letting the problems continue if I don't do anything about them.

I've traveled to different parts of the world and I've seen where living conditions are not at the "American" standard. How do I help those people? Do they have to live like that for the rest of their lives? Am I supposed to accept the fact that they were born in that situation and they'll have to deal with it? What can I do to help educate populations who don't have public schools? What can I do to help women who are oppressed?

I've lived a weekend as a homeless person. It wasn't a lifetime, but it felt like it. The only thing that kept me going throughout the weekend was the fact that I knew I was going to a nice warm home Sunday afternoon, and that I have family and friends who would help me if I was ever in the same situation. What can I do to help people who live this way permanently? What should I do about the poverty that is not only in my own town, but also around the world?

So what do I do? Who do I help? How do I help? I know there's something more, I'm just not sure on the details yet. My worst fear is that I'll spend the majority of my life trying to figure out what to do, and I won't actually do anything. My life will be wasted worrying. I don't want to live that way. So let me know if you have the answer to my life dilemma. :)