Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birthday Weekend

Despite being terribly sick, I had one of the most fabulous birthday weekends!

Friday: I am so blessed that at my job, I get a day off for my birthday! :) So Friday, the University of Alabama gave me... 'A day in the life of a regular college student' HAHA! I woke up at 8am, got ready for class, packed for home, went to Starbucks, took some pastries to work for the office staff, then went to class and as soon as I got out of class, I grabbed some lunch and went home!! How amazing is that!?

Small side note: While I was visiting work, Neal, my boss, called me into his office and spoke to me about my job family - aka, the step ladder of promotions to go through. As of February 23, I have been working for Building Maintenance for six months! Wow how time has flown! And now that six months has passed.... I am eligible for promotion. And Neal told me that I was doing a great job, and that I deserved more money for it!! So, with that, he asked me to get started Monday on the process to my promotion... and ended with happy birthday and have a great weekend!! What a way to start my birthday weekend!

God is so GOOD!

Friday afternoon I arrived in Troy and visited Donna and her lovely puppy, Palin. :) Afterwards I met Daniel and Sean at the Troy rec fields, where Sean was giving a soccer lesson. Turned out the kid he was teaching went to Zion at one point, and I helped teach him in sixth grade beginner band!! What a fun reunion. After that I took a hilarious trip to walmart with my guys, Sean, Daniel and Derrick. Then the festivities began. The boys surprised me with a wonderful cookout and a guest list contained with some of my greatest friends! Even one that I haven't seen in forever, Charity and her husband Tyler! What a surprise! They also surprised me with a cake and limited my involvement in cooking. I truly know the best boys on earth!

Donna and Ali playing with Palin :)
Saturday: I was able to have a wonderful 'sleep over' with my niece Ali. We woke up early Saturday morning, played games and decorated posters for Dustin's (my nephew) ballgame. It was great to just hang out with her. Mom also took care of me while I was sick, and Beverly, my sister, brought me some medicine. We went to Dustin's ballgame, hung our posters on the fence and had a great time cheering Enterprise to victory! 

Dustin and Ali with his posters!
Saturday night Beverly's family came over and Mom cooked a birthday dinner made of all mine and Donna's requests! :) We also had a peanut butter pie for dessert! Dustin and one of his baseball pals found two balloons and came screaming 'Happy birthday' down the road. I thought it was so sweet that they thought of us. Donna and I opened our presents  after dinner, much to Ali's excitement. And then the night came to a close. 

Sunday: Mom declared me too sick to go to church and we hung out around the house, holding a hot rag to my face and playing on Mom's kindle. I traveled back to Tuscaloosa this afternoon and have been doing a few things around the apartment. I love my family and friends, and I thank them for a wonderful birthday weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

6 Months

Six months ago, yesterday... I started the adventure of a lifetime at my new job. It has been such a blessing to work for the University of Alabama. I love my department. And I love my men. It is great working with them and I am thankful and ready to get up every morning and go to work. God truly knows how to bless and provide... and I couldn't have dreamed a better blessing.

Reasons why I love my job:

  1. First of all, who wouldn't love working for the prestigious, oh so classy University of Alabama?
  2. I get to work each and every day, being proud of who I am, and having coworkers that LOVE me. 
  3. I feel loved. I feel like the Maintenance guys are my family.. my Tuscaloosa dads. 
  4. They work with me... who else on this earth has a full time job that will work around your classes?! Not anyone else that I know. I am so blessed to have gotten this job.
  5. My men love Jesus. I am so thankful that I am appreciated for wearing my True Love Waits ring... and that my coworkers invite me to church with them, ask me to pray for them, etc. 
  6. My job is close to home and school. So many people commute so far.. and with gas prices on the rise, this is yet another thing to be thankful for. 
There are so many more things that I could go on, and on, about. But just know, I am so blessed to have this job. Most people's first job isn't this dreamy. And I am lucky. God knows just what you need, and will bless you beyond your imagination. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today I wore....

A DRESS to work. This may not seem like a big deal, but being one of two women in a department of 80 people can be pretty intimidating at times. Don't get my wrong, I love working with my men. But I have tried not to kill them with my femininity. HAH! So I started off with pants, then integrated skirts, and today, a full on dress. :)

I started off my job with one sentence as a dress code... so I have been testing the waters ever since. Neal said to me.. 'You have goals, wear what will get you there.' And that was my dress code for my first ever, full time job. So of course, this being an office job, and me being a teacher, I guickly adapted my 'teacher clothes' to fit the office atmosphere. I even went shopping with my mom and bought a 'first day of work' outfit and was super excited! Little did I know, the Senior Office Associate would end up wearing jeans and a t shirt EVERY day.

However, I write this to say, that image isn't everything. But, looking professional in the work place will definitely get you places. Remember, even though we are told not to judge, people judge outward appearance faster than we can think. Dressing up for work each day gives me confidence, and has opened many doors for me. I am the Facilities Supervisor for Strive for Five and this week I will be attending a training on managing student workers. I feel that these responsibilities are not placed on me because I dress nice, but because of my work ethic and ability. However, I do feel that I receive a lot of respect from my coworkers because I dress up.

And the final reason I dress up... to help me look less like a student. :) Yes, I am a student, but at work I want to be treated like an adult... and quite frankly I am reminded at least once a week that I don't look old enough to actually work at my job. HAHA, I know, I will appreciate that when I am older. So for all the new people that come in and the visitors, it helps me look old enough to help them... and not let them just pass me off. ;)

Most of all... it is SO fun to dress up. Mary-Anne would be proud to see me wearing heals every day. And when you are as short as I am... this is a must! It just helps a lot that I like heels!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fun, in the sun. :)

Yesterday I drove to Montevallo, specifically, the University of Montevallo, to watch my favorite boys play in a flag football tournament. Daniel and Derrick played with the Troy BCM in the annual statewide BCM flag football tournament. It was great to get out of the house and spend a beautiful day outside. Their first game on Saturday was at 8am, and due to a loss and then a couple wins they ended the night at 5pm. What I thought would be a short morning trip became an all day affair. But I had a blast getting away from it all and just relaxing on the sidelines cheering on my boys!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the event:

 Here Daniel is... taking a break from the action. He was definitely a star player! :)

Below: Sleeping in between games.. the sun wore me out.. and all I did was watch!!

 Here the Troy Co-ed team plays University of North Alabama...
Here the boys play Auburn.. it was an amazing win with the mercy rule being called at the half. Troy 35-Auburn 0

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Desire HIM

Last night at church Beckey brought a special message to us from Hosea. Hosea is a story that parallels God's relationship with Israel at the time. It is an interesting account of God working for the good of His kingdom over what someone would feel is best for them, personally.

In a relationship there is also a ratio of give and take, some people are givers and some are takers. In a good relationship each person assumes a little of each characteristic, therefore balancing out the relationship. Our relationship with Christ is definitely 'give and take'. In no way would we be EVER be able to give more than what God has already given for us and will give to us. WOW, what a merciful and amazing God. I believe that we as Christians strive daily to give back to God. And He welcomes all that we have for him. The offering of our lives, hearts and minds is so beautiful to Him. I am so grateful that no matter what, God will keep loving me, and keep blessing me.

Beckey asked us if we had ever had any relationships... be it friendships, romantic relationships or family relationships that were representative of this 'give and take' situation and described a friend who only wanted to talk when it was convenient for her, but when Beckey wasn't available at that time it was 'Beckey's fault' and she was the one who was too busy to be a good friend. I think we all have had relationships like this and I am thankful to say that God can free you from those relationships.

We must remember that as humans we often times fall to fleshly or worldly desires, thoughts and/or actions. These things hinder our relationship with others, and our relationship with God. I pray that we would all learn to become givers, and not because we feel obligated. But a giver out of the desire of our heart. God doesn't want your love because you feel you MUST give it to Him. God doesn't want you to go to church because you feel you MUST go. God doesn't want you to read your devotion every day because you feel that you have to or because you want the glory and praise from the people at church. Those who pray and worship in secret will be rewarded in heaven. Those who boast of their Christianity have received their reward already. I don't know about you, but I am striving for that heavenly reward, I would much rather have the love of Jesus than the love of humans. God wants each of us to desire to meet with Him, love Him and give to Him. I pray every day that he creates a steadfast desire in me and that I would thirst for Him alone. I pray each of these blessings for you as well and I hope you have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! Even if you don't like Valentine's or share it with a specific someone I hope you were blessed in the beauty of the day! Valentine's day has always meant something different for my family, it is after all, my oldest sister's birthday. :)

I know a lot of people, even couples, who refuse to celebrate Valentine's Day and many of their reasons stems from 'Why should I be forced to show affection for someone when I should show it to them everyday?' I ask you these simple questions: Do you celebrate the birth of your Saviour every day? Do you celebrate the fact that He rose from the grave every day? Hah, some of you are thinking, 'Why of course I do' but you DON'T.

I took the time this Valentine's to sit back and watch how others reacted. Most people were extra jovial and kind on Valentine's day. Valentine's day is one of the few days you can be nice to a perfect stranger and them actually welcome it! Our world is fast paced, me, me, me, try to get ahead environment. We are no longer social beings but mechanical workers for the so called prize of 'success'. I received two very unexpected cards on Valentine's day, and I have to say, it made my day. Yeah, most don't need an excuse to show affection or compassion, but what does it hurt for one day out of every year to be extra special? You wouldn't blow off your birthday or wedding anniversary, now would you?

Love the Lord, your God with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. The greatest commandment is love. I hope that everyone that I come into contact with each day sees the love of Christ through me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sticks and Stones

Psalm 19:14
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." This is something often stated... yet so untrue in the lives of many. In recent conversations with my study buddy about life things, make-up things, and appearance things... God has revealed a few things to me.

When I was younger, I used to wear my hair up or half up in various ways. However, once, just ONCE, someone told me that the way I was wearing my hair was very 'un-becoming', from that day forward the only time I wore my hair up was to play sports or be in the band. Another example, I used to have a pair of earrings that I wore every day... until my mom told me one day that the earrings I was wearing shouldn't have been worn with the outfit I had on.

Now, I am not saying that every person is just like me.. PRAISE GOD they aren't! But so many people don't watch what they say before they say it... or they think they are helping someone out by saying something to them.. In reality, you have no idea how YOUR WORDS might affect someone. Until you truly know that person and have make a trust relationship with that person, you must be careful how you build up or cut down that person.

James 3 is a powerful passage on 'Taming the Tongue' I encourage each of you to read it. So many times I don't think before I speak, and that is evidenced by how quickly I talk. I, among many others, too deeply value the opinion of others. And that has manifested itself throughout my life. God has shown me that what others think doesn't really matter, that it is only Him that I should be comparing myself to. Help yourself and those around you. The tongue is a harsh weapon... Use it wisely. Build up others, don't focus on tearing people down. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says 'Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."

Psalm 45:11
"And the king will desire your beauty. Bow down to him, for he is your Lord.

To God you are beautiful, magical, and highly desired. He is all you need!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A post Jackie-Eats would be proud of... :)

As many of you know, I love to cook. My friend Jackie has a wonderful blog of her culinary adventures. And she posts some pretty great recipes! Now, I usually don't have much time to cook these days, so anything quick and easy, or just pop in the oven and go is really helpful!

Jackie blogged about how to use up potatoes that you don't know what to do with and I made my own version of these yummy steak fries!

I cut and cooked my steak fries as Jackie recommended. See her version here at Jackie-Eats! But I seasoned mine a little differently. I coated my fries in salt and a tiny bit of black pepper, then I covered them in Cayenne pepper. I love, love, love spicy things! They were so great! And, if you needed to cool them off a little, they were great dipped in some ranch as well! My roommates enjoyed! 

Another quick and easy thing I love to make was inspired by a bunch of friends from Enterprise. Visiting some mission trip friends, their mother made us a dinner I will never forget. This dinner has become a tradition in mine and Sean's circle of friends! It is making homemade calzones and cheese sticks! YUM! However, this is more of a crowd/family fun meal, so in search of a yummy substitute I started making homemade pizza! You can top it however you like, bake it up and what a great meal! Here is a picture of my latest pizza creation:

This time I topped my pizza with cheeses, bell peppers, banana peppers, and of course used pizza sauce! I have been using a crust that you have to mix and roll out yourself, note the imperfect circle... :) So I am thinking of experimenting with different crusts in the near future! 

I love to eat, I love to cook. Stop by sometime and I would love to cook for you! ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Back in the Swing...

This weekend I was fortunate enough to help some recent graduates from the college group at my church move into their new apartment in Birmingham. It is amazing to see how God worked so perfectly in their lives. Longing to stay in Tuscaloosa, neither could find a job here or in the Birmingham area upon graduation... So they moved back to her home of Montgomery, where she was able to find a job. However, he was still unable to find a job, and greatly struggled with this fact. It all goes to show you that God's timing is perfect. She applied for and received a wonderful job at UAB and he was able to find a great job in the Birmingham area as well. Praise be to the Lord!

We were able to bring all of their stuff from Montgomery, and with the help of family and a few people from the college group get them completely moved into and set up in their new apartment. I was honestly impressed with us! And it was so nice to leave there knowing that they didn't have weeks of unpacking to deal with.

Afterwards we went to PF Changs to celebrate. I had never been to PF Changs, and if you ask my friend Daniel, everything is amazing. And, it truly was. It was a fun experience with the group and it was a great time of fellowship. I then stayed in Birmingham with Tori and visited a church with her that she was interested in attending... It was a little too big for our taste, but I know God will bless her desire to be in His house.

Newest challenge for this semester: Remember the Couch to 5k last semester? Well this semester the Wellness initiative at UA is called 'Strive for Five,' and I was chosen by my boss to be the coordinator for the entire shop. Here's a small flyer to briefly explain Strive for Five.

My couch to 5K team has now dubbed ourselves the 'High Maintenance' team and we have picked out drink and move to be our two challenges to complete. I am also trying to learn to eat healthier by incorporating more fruit/vegetables into my diet... It is amazing when you actually think about these things.. the stuff that you will notice.

Now, if you know me, you know I hate water. So drinking 40 ounces of water a day has been, well.. tough. But Monday I got out my Nalgene bottle (32 oz) and filled it up... then flavored my water with Crystal Lite. From my first sip at 6am until my last at 2:30pm I literally felt like I was drowning in water... swimming, floating even. Yes, I am ashamed to say, it took me 8 hours to drink five eight ounce glasses of water....

Tuesday was a better story, I worked hard and finished my 40 ounces by 1:30pm. And I think an hour of improvement is pretty great. HAHA. I always have to take joy in the small things. ;) So today is another challenge. I am trying plain water today... and we are going to see how far it goes. This will be my daily tasks to add for this semester....

Other than all of this... life is back in the swing. The semester has started, tests are scheduled, and homework is due. I am once again spending my days working and going to class and my nights studying. It all seems a little calmer this semester, just a little bit.. But that is because now I know what to expect. :)