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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? πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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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Watching: “The $17 billion spent on Valentine’s Day could provide water for 1.7 billion people!”

Thinking: Now that is a Valentine tradition I could get behind. (Thanks Suzi!)

How to Annoy Me: I posted this last semester but it still stands: do *not* give me a test and then not have it graded by the next class. Particularly if it’s a class that I’m not confidant in. *scowls*

How to Charm Me: See my frazzled expression and joke with me to make me smile, then tell me not to stress and that it will be okay. πŸ™‚

Quote of the Day: Man’s sin is in his failure to live what he is. Being the master of the earth, man forgets that he is the servant of God. – Abraham Joshua Heschel

Random Quirk: I alphabetize the cards in my wallet and all of the money has to be right side up, facing the same way, and in order of worth.

Daily Photo: p1190472

Watching: “That’s the trouble with “Have a nice day”. It puts all the pressure on you. Now you’ve got to go out and somehow manage to have a good time!”

Thinking: That’s what I get for looking up new words!

How to Annoy Me: Ignore me when I tell you to have a nice day. πŸ˜‰

How to Charm Me: Reassure me that I won’t go into my math test unprepared.

Quote of the Day: It’s better to be good than evil, but one achieves goodness at a terrific cost. – Stephen King

Random Quirk: It drives me crazy when people leave the tv/radio/lights on in a room they aren’t planning on immediately returning to. (This one has been inflicted on me by my father.)

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.” πŸ˜€ (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: ‘I Try’ by Macy Gray

Reading: “I believe in God, the God I have come to know as father, as Abba – Daddy.”

Thinking: It’s going to be a loooong semester.

How to Annoy Me: Pick a fight with me when we’re supposed to be enjoying each other’s company.

How to Charm Me: Help me get my homework done before midnight.

Quote of the Day: The road to the sacred leads through the secular. – Abraham Joshua Heschel

Random Quirk: When a towel is hanging over a bar, both sides of the towel have to hang even with each other.

Daily Photo: daily-13

Listening: ‘Numb’ by U2

Thinking: Someday I will be a woman who has it all together. Who doesn’t spill coffee on herself the first day of class. Who doesn’t drop her math book in the snow. Who remembers her calculator. Who remembers when classes actually start. Who doesn’t walk out the door without her shoes on. Today is not that day. Tomorrow probably isn’t either.

How to Annoy Me: In an attempt to practice what I preach and attempt to love someone who drives me crazy, I will simply say “God save and bless you” and move on.

How to Charm Me: Attempt to convince me that my eternal salvation rests on whether or not I take the cookies.

Quote of the Day: Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

Random Quirk: It drives me crazy when my professors don’t fully erase the marker/chalk boards. I want to run up and do it for them.

Daily Photo: (Normally I only do pictures that I have taken but I found this on a friend’s blog and it was too cute to pass up.) daily-12

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. πŸ˜€

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

Watching: ‘The Fear You Won’t Fall’

Reading: “No Pants!”

Thinking: One of these semesters, I am going to get through the first day of class without dumping coffee on myself.

How to Annoy Me: Purposefully do something you know annoys me just to make the annoy list.

How to Charm Me: Send me beautiful flowers just because you thought I might need a reason to smile. πŸ™‚

Quote of the Day: Thousands of emotions well up inside me through out the day. They are released when I dance. – Abraham Lincony

Random Quirk: Even though I’m a dancer, I am soooo not graceful.

Daily Photo: daily-9

Listening: ‘Insatiable’ by Darren Hayes

Reading: ‘The Feckin’ Book of Everything Irish’ by Colin Murphy and Donal O’Dea

Thinking: I’m done, I’m done, I’m done!

How to Annoy Me: I have no words…

How to Charm Me: Help me study for my math final even though we’re both exhausted and crabby.

Quote of the Day: Beware of him that is slow to anger; for when it is long coming, it is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept. Abused patience turns to fury. – Francis QuarlesΒ 

Listening: ‘Shattered’ by O.A.R.

Thinking: This is like watching WordPress go through puberty.

How to Annoy Me: Snow/sleet/rain for every friggin’ winter showcase…

How to Charm Me: Drive me to school, help with the floor, then drive all the way back to the high school to get my car.

Quote of the Day: When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive. – Alan Paton

Flickr Photos

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