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Yes, I realize that we are more than halfway through January and I am just now getting around to writing this. I’m busy, people! The time I spend on the internet is much, much, much less than it used to be (but we’ll get to that later).

2009 was quite a year for a myriad of reasons. I made many mistakes and it has made me grateful for 1 John 1:9. But I hope that I learned from those mistakes and was able to grow from them. Time will tell.

In 2009, I continued with my education at IUPUI. During the Fall semester, I took a full load for the first time since Spring ’08. I came through with 2 A-minuses, a B-plus, and a C. (The C was in Sociology which was one of the most boring classes I’ve ever taken. Hard to learn when you’re counting the holes in the ceiling.) This is better than I did the last time I had a full course load and without a “tutor” so I was quite proud of myself.

Shane took me to my first ball. This was for breast cancer awareness. Hence all the PINK!

I completed my year as treasurer for The Moving Company.

My parents got divorced and my mom and sister moved to Arizona. While this was tough on all of us, I do think that it was in the best interest of everyone’s happiness. Joshua, Shane, and I just got back from visiting in AZ and we had a wonderful time.

I made many mistakes in my dating life and have many regrets. People were hurt who shouldn’t have been and for that I will forever be sorry. That situation taught me a lot about needing to speak my heart, even if it’s going to hurt someone’s feelings, and not letting anyone but myself and my significant other have control of the relationship. Ladies, if you have met someone who likes you but there is just no chemistry for you, you need to flat out tell them. They’ll probably be hurt, they might get angry, they might not want to be your friend anymore. But that is better then letting them think there may be a chance when you know there isn’t because you want to spare their feelings. Do not lie to them or yourself.

I freed myself from 4 years of being caught in a spider’s web of manipulation, guilt, emotional blackmail, and lying. I now consider April 18th to be my own personal Independence Day. That is when I finally told someone the truth about what had been happening and made it end. I never thought that the words “You are dead to me” could bring me such joy. Since then, I have learned that I am not crazy or over-dramatic when I stand up for something. I know that I am not a bad friend because I don’t call or otherwise contact someone every day. I know that I don’t need to feel guilty when I need time to myself. I know that if my school work, spiritual life, circle of friends, and church all revolve around one person, there is something seriously wrong. I know that someone who truly loves you will do what is in your best interest. I know that no one “has to” know where I am every second of the day and that if somebody wants to, they are probably trying to control me. I realize that all of this may seem like “duh” to you. But when you are slowly pulled into a relationship like this, you don’t realize what is happening until it is too late. This entire situation has given me so much compassion for people. As Shane Fuller always says, “You are one person, one choice, one event away from making the same mistake you vow you never will.”

As for the spider, they are out of my life for good. I am working on forgiving them, not for their sake, but for mine. Right now I swing back and forth between wishing them well and hoping they rot in hell. But through the strength of my Father, I will forgive them and I will one day be able to love them. From a distance. Toxic people have no place in my life anymore.

Author’s note: Please understand that I am not blaming this person for my actions and responsibility to make it stop. I should have ended it when it first began. I had decisions and choices and I made bad ones for a long time. That person did inhibit my ability to make good choices by lying to me about certain things and making me feel guilty when I did try to take a stand or make changes. In trying to keep the peace, and in fear of losing my friends and church, I allowed bad things to happen for far too long. But I also made them end and for that, I will forever rejoice.

On a lighter note, this year I finally learned how to cook. Shane has been a huge help in this endeavor. We bought a magazine that gives recipes that make enough for two people and this took a lot of the stress out of cooking. Math is not, and never will be, my strong point and having to figure out how to halve 2/3 of a teaspoon makes my brain want to explode. I have made a number of meals and have been expanding to recipes outside our magazine lately. I am actually enjoying cooking!

Don’t I totally look like I know what I’m doing? 😉

After a brief (yet all too long) absence from The Dwelling Place, Shane and I were able to return in October. It has been a spectacle having to juggle going to two different churches but we are so grateful for both of them that we don’t want to leave either. Both helped us walk through a difficult time in different ways and both are dear to our hearts.

Shane and I joined a small group at Trinity called JustFaith. It is a group specifically brought together to go through the JustFaith curriculum which focuses on social justice. It has been extremely eye opening and I highly recommend the curriculum. It does entail a lot of reading though, so if you are a slow reader, you may want to read the books on your own. We get assigned about 100 pages of reading a week and it’s tough on the slower readers in the group.

I turned 25 and wasn’t dreading my birthday for once. Shane completely spoiled me, as did the rest of my friends, and made that whole quarter of a century transition so much easier. 😉

Shane and I took our first vacation together to Los Angeles. We didn’t kill each other so I suppose that’s saying something.

I took Shane to his first ballet and he didn’t hate it.

I took him to his second ballet and he didn’t hate that one either. So far so good!

Shane and I hosted my family’s Christmas dinner. That was my first time being in charge of a family holiday gathering and while it was a little stressful, it was also a lot of fun. I may not have Martha Stewart quaking in her orange jumpsuit but I’m working on it.

Most importantly, I fell in love with the most amazing man I have ever known.

These are just some of the highlights of the year. Some good, some bad, all working to shape me into who I am supposed to be. As Douglas Adams said, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I was meant to be.” 2010 looks to be a promising year. May it be covered in God’s blessing and redemption. May we all strive to go where we are meant to be and to become the children that God created us to be.

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Listening: ‘Books Written for Girls’ by Camera Obscura

Reading: This would completely eliminate some peoples Twitter accounts.

Thinking: Being a Christian means that the cycle of violence, hate, and retaliation stops with you. And sometimes that *really* sucks. But in the end, I know that it is right.

How to Annoy Me: Act like you are above someone simply because you are more skilled at the task at hand then they currently are.

How to Charm Me: Be the answer to my prayers without even knowing it.

Quote of the Day: It is more important who they are as people and only then is it important who they are as dancers. – Marcia Haydee

Watching: ‘Livin’ A Lie’ (My dance company)

Reading: I survived a year at this school…and signed that “code of conduct”.

Thinking: Thank God for my friends. 🙂

How to Annoy Me: Be so pestful that 5 minutes into it, I’m telling you to fold your own damn papers and stuff your own damn envelops. YOU DON’T PAY ME ENOUGH!

How to Charm Me: Surround me with love and support when I need you most.

Quote of the Day: “…if God can bring new creation from a cross, God can bring new life into our circumstances, no matter how dark or dismal.” – Rich Vincent

Listening: ‘What Sound’ by Lamb

Reading: ‘A Grief Observed’ by C.S. Lewis

Thinking: I wish being an adult didn’t involve making tough choices.

How to Annoy Me: Treat God like a genie that you only need when something is going wrong.

How to Charm Me: Promise to walk beside me in this.

Quote of the Day: To get through the hardest journey we need only take one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping. – Chinese Proverb

1000 Words: jackie-and-me-at-her-final-moco-performance

Listening: ‘Tonight and the Rest of My Life’ by Nina Gordon

Enjoying: “Christian Convenience Store”

Thinking: Where did all the warm weather go?!

How to Annoy Me: Be nice and warm and then by the time I get out of class, have a freezing monsoon pouring down on me.

How to Charm Me: Be encouraging as I try to learn these new styles of dance.

Daily Photo: p1190482

Watching: ‘Invisible Bridges’

Thinking: Yup, this is gonna suck.

How to Annoy Me: I’m not mad. But I could be.

How to Charm Me: When you wake up and find me holding you, get a huge grin on your face and start flirting with me.

Quote of the Day: Hells begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others…but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God “sending us” to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud. – C. S. Lewis

Random Quirk: I hate talking on the phone. And I just had an epiphany as to why. My learning style is almost zero in the audio. I’m so kinetic and visual that only being able to hear something drives me absolutely batty.(But there are certain people I will make special exception for.)

Daily Photo: p1190465

Watching: ‘Life’s for Sharing’ (Thanks Steven!)

Reading: ‘How to Kiss’ (I love step #2. “You might not realize you’re giving off a “leave me alone” vibe.” Sure I do. It’s intentional.)

Thinking: Que sera, sera….

How to Annoy Me: Inform me that the car wash won’t eat me but it might eat my car. SO NOT HELPFUL, JENN! 😉

How to Charm Me: Inform me that though you once would have made me get my own chips, you would now share yours with me. You are so in trouble now, boy. 😀

Quote of the Day: Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. – Plato

Random Quirk: I hate being on stairs of I can’t see my feet. (i.e. I’m carrying a box.)

Daily Photo: daily-17

Watching: ‘JD and Turk’s Marching Band’ (I’ve been on a Scrubs kick recently and cracked up at this scene.)

Thinking: You know we’re in trouble when our hip hop instructor looks at me and goes “Oh, this is not going to work.” 😀 (Sorry Rashid! We are *white*!)

How to Annoy Me: Mock my inability to type on my phone. I realize there is no ‘h’ in scoliosis.

How to Charm Me: Ask if the huge bruise on my thigh is from sex. Um, no.

Quote of the Day: When you are on stage you are having an affair with three thousand people. – Gelsey Kirkland

Daily Photo: daily-16

Listening: ‘Time Bomb’ by Rancid

Reading: “Where’s the sobbing and curling up on the bathmat because it’s the darkest room in the house and because if you feel the vibration of the cat walking or hear one. more. sound. you’re going to need to have that toilet handy?”

Thinking: Yeah, migraine commercials are full of crap.

How to Annoy Me: Declare that if you make neither my annoy nor my charm list, you obviously are not a part of my life.

How to Charm Me: Send me a random “I love you” text while I’m at work. 🙂

Quote of the Day: Someone once said that dancers work just as hard as policemen: always alert, always tense. But see, policemen don’t have to be beautiful at the same time. – George Balanchine

Random Quirk: I hate shoes that enclose my feet. If at all possible, I wear flip flops or shoes that just slip on so I can remove them once I get where I’m going.

Daily Photo: daily-14

Watching: ‘Titanic Dance’

Reading: My math book. Back to the grindstone!

Thinking: Is it March 7th yet?

How to Annoy Me: Make me spend $126 on a book that isn’t even bound so when I drop it in the snow, the pages go everywhere and the entire book gets frakked up.

How to Charm Me: Refrain from mocking me when I drop said book in the snow. 😀

Quote of the Day: Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it. – Martha Graham

Daily Photo: daily-11

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