Tuesday, March 15, 2011

They're just guidelines, people.

I wish I had something to give to you to make you forgive me for abandoning you.

...but I'm a poor college student. I'm also blaming college for forgetting to blog for the last two months. And for eating sweet potatoes 5 times a week. And for not doing laundry in a month... I could go on and on, but, uh, for the sake of my reputation, I won't ;)

Anyway, it's SPRING BREAK! If you've been around awhile, you'll remember that I love spring break like people love using fat kid-food euphemisms.

(If you're new, I linked "spring break" back to the love letter post about last spring break like a good blogger; good reader guidelines dictate that you should click, but don't feel pressured, those are just guidelines. Oops, I did it again.)

(Also, if you're new, I liked to make bad jokes that probably don't travel well via Internet.)

(Also, I like parenthesis. Ask anyone. Well, not anyone. Actually, don't contact anyone featured on this blog. They might get alarmed. There was no contract or, ahem, obtained permission.)

Let's get going, shall we? There's been two months of AWESOME that you've missed out on. Okay, there's been lots of awesome, but also lots of school, which is why I'm claiming it's okay that I haven't been blogging. Even if I found time between Calculus and Microbiology, it would be boring bits of "I've gotta study," and "I could nap." And also, if you're new, that was a lie. I mean, not the school part. I go to school. But I'm studying journalism. And don't worry, I understand that the Journalism code of honesty isn't a guideline.

February 2011 (<-- where did that go?!)
I actually don't have that many pictures. Nobody wants to take pictures of me on the couch napping studying. I don't know why.

I did help throw Coston and Jessica a birthday party because they are part of the 18 club (I am, too. It's great because there are no membership fees and all you have to do is get born, and I'm great at that.)
Trust me, I tried to say no. Party planning is tough stuff, especially complicated by the stress-inducing fact that we forget to take our trash out. But I couldn't. C'mon LIKE YOU COULD. Look at 'em.
I dunno why all those people talk up the beer. Ice cream and cake is what college is all about.

Even I can't deny that's pretty darn adorable.

In other news...wait, I don't know about much other news. Here's some randoms I scrounged up. Some of them perhaps from that same night because that's when 95% of our documentation for the last two months occurred. Don't hate me.
Oh yeah! We had a snow night! (Don't be fooled: this was NOT followed by a snow day, and I'm still bitter about that, U of A.)
This is to show you our awesomesauce snowman Frankie, whose bottom third stayed around through several 60 degree days after this. 
Oh! I also spent a weekend with my best buds working on a room for our nonprofit organization, Garments of Priase. Bet you've heard about it. If you haven't, please ask me or look forward to a blog post coming soon. What I'm saying with this picture is that Lowe's Home Improvement store aims to suck as much time and money out of you as possible, but I can't hate it. I'm Lindsey Lowe.
This was right before an Alabama basketball game. The point? I LIKE/SUPPORT ALABAMA SPORTS, Gracie. Really. See? Documentation.

Well, THAT was exciting. In case you haven't been stalking my Facebook, you've now got your own update of my life. And because the next five days will consist of me watching 25 House Hunters marathons with breaks to pop popcorn and shower if I feel like because my parents have DVR...wait, what am I saying? I'm saying that there might be more blog posts. But there might not be. I'll have to check the guidelines.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Confession Thursday FTW

1. I know I said I'd NEVER do it, but I wore leggings out of the house at a time when I was not going DIRECTLY TO YOGA AND DO NOT COLLECT $200.
Worth it.

 2. "Totes" is part of my vocabulary. As in, "I totes wore leggings when I dressed up as Cookie Monster for a dance party Friday night."

3. I've had a sweet potato for dinner every single night this week. 

4. I didn't go to class Tuesday because it rained. I just couldn't make myself walk a mile+ in the blustery blowing water when attendance doesn't even count. It doesn't even count. I did make it to yoga class, though.

Not the same thing.

5. I'm actually supposed to be being really productive right now. 

 6. I have an extra-large, ahem, issue on my forehead.  And no. I'm not showing you a picture.
7. I have a message for you this weekend:
These Thursday Confessions are brought to you with the inspiration from Monica.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Secrets of Life

I like to be happy, you like to be happy, we all like happiness. (Actually, I've come across people who seem to like to not be happy, but that's kind of besides the point because I have no idea why and I bet you don't either.) Anyway, I do, just like the majority of human beings. I've written lists about things that make me happy  (<-- that was so long ago!) before, and also, I have a bucket list that is ever-so-cleverly referred to as my Happy List, but this is more about doing things to achieve happiness. After all, we pursue happiness, and, cliche as it may be, we all know that happiness is a choice, at least 94.73% of the time for 94.73% of people. So, here are some things that I do that are constantly making me joyful.
  • Pursue a relationship with Jesus.
    • "All sunshine and sovereign is God, generous in gifts and glory." -Psalm 84:11
    • "Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation. Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation." -Isaiah 12:2-3
    • "You have made known to me the ways of life; You will enrapture me [diffusing my soul with joy] with and in Your presence." -Acts 2:28
  • Avoid cold showers and mud puddles.You can fill in your own blanks, but these are two things that can seriously put me in a bad mood. 
  • When you think you might regret something you're about to say or do, walk into another room. You might change your mind, you might not. I don't buy into the whole no-regrets thing- hey, I've hurt people for no good reason! Not cool!- so this helps  me bite my tongue or realize that I don't really want a tattoo or just calm the heck down. Or take a nap or draw a picture or hang out in downward dog long enough that you get woozy and forget about all of it. There are lots of things to do in your room that don't hurt anyone's feelings or shock your parents. (Sometimes I don't do this.) (I still say things all the time that I shouldn't.) (I should really take my own advice.)
  • Listen to music. If music isn't making you happy, you're listening to the wrong kind. Shoot me an email. I can help. Furthermore, DANCE!
  • Drink coffee. Or whatever it is that makes your smile. (I just recommend the coffee.) It's this beautiful thing that lets you personalize it until you have your own little cup of liquid-y, steamy heaven. And I promise I will not judge you if you latte it up all the time. Black coffee does not equal cool. If it's not coffee, let yourself drink OJ or whatever. I am not advocating alcoholism. I don't need any lawsuits on my hands here.
          • That's water, I think. But don't I have the best friend in the world?
  • Be friendly. I'm serious. Fake it, if you want. But smile at people, hold the door, thank the barista when you order that latte. It's a surefire way to make friends and people with friends are happy, right? And you get the benefit of a support system when things go downhill, which means you'll be back to happy in no time at all. This isn't an exact formula, though. Play around with it a little bit.
  • Smell some flowers, play with a kitten, stand on a mountain- understand the whole thing is bigger than you, there are people who wish they had your life, and that this is all you're going to get, so why not let yourself be happy?
But then again, what do I know? 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A case of the yellows

Friends, I've just experienced the most stress-free, care-free, everything-else-that-is-annoying-but-part-of-life-free week that I've had in Tuscaloosa since, well...ever. I've been singing happy tunes and putting skips in my steps and sure, there have been bumps but nothing mountain-like in the least. And that, Internet, is why I've got a case of the blues yellows
Awesome Things about the last 7 days:
  1. Seeing (most of my- Get well soon, Janie!-) roommates again. I forgot how much we go together and wondered all the days long how I'd gotten along so well without them for a month. I am really counting my lucky stars that God ensured a family in both of my homes.  
  2. Magazines in the mail. Seriously, like 5. Sweet bliss.
  3. Reconnecting with my (non-roommate) friends. Per doctor's orders. It was necessary and it was stellar!
      1. circa 2009.
  4. A winter storm. Like I needed any excuses to put on my cozy shoes and sip three cups of tea and read magazines for entire days. But, the fact of the matter was that I couldn't go anywhere even if I wanted to. Which I didn't.
  5. A box of chocolate and chocolate chip banana 3 AM pancakes. What am I supposed to explain about that?
    1. We didn't eat half of each one if that's what you're thinking.
  6. Figuring my schedule out. It was a doozy, but it's all over now.
  7. Realizing I signed up for awesome teachers. It really does make or break a class, obviously. So much so that I wish I'd thought about ratemyprofessors.com.
  8. Coffee. Well, that's every week, isn't it?
    1. This is months ago and that's decaf, but trust when I say it elicits this response every morning. Which is somewhat miraculous at 7 a.m., you know? 
      I am so not the only one.
  9. $15 sweaters at Old Navy + new warm and cozy boots. It's about time I winterized my life. 
  10. Cleaning out my closet. Coming to terms with the fact that I AM NEVER GONNA WEAR THAT isn't easy, but somebody's gotta do it.
Reasons next week is going to rock, too:
  1. Janie comes home! (Gonna be) reunited and it (will) feel(s) so good! Plus, then we can sing, "The gangs all here." (Jane, you're the only thing that got an exclamation point out of me.)
  2. MLK Day. I care about this for lots of reasons, but I'm not gonna lie. I'm pumped about getting out of school. Oh, whatever...you are, too.
  3. Yoga. Tuesday, I get to take a 50 minute Fitness Yoga class for credit. I feel like I seriously beat the system here. Plus it's yoga with Ginny. 
  4. Roommate Christmas. Nothing like a belated Christmas celebration to fend off those mid-January blues, aye?
  5. I checked the forecast. Next week is all about the sunshine.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Onward Bound

Have you ever had a first grader look at you sternly and insist that you "don't know because you're not even here ever!"? No? You're missing out. Has your mother ever mentioned something and when you exclaim, "I can't believe you didn't tell me that!" she murmurs, "Hm... did I not? I thought I did. I guess I forgot to call." Have you ever felt absolutely equally torn between the family who made you strong enough to leave and the one who has taken care of you since you've gone?

I have.

This break has given me so many things: Rest. Calm. Relaxation. Guilt-free Friday Night Lights marathons.
But most importantly, it's reconnected me to these people who used to be my moon and stars; it's reminded me how much they still are. It put me back in my rightful spot in the sky next to them. And just like that, it's time to climb down and go away again. And that, my friends, is no easy task.

The hardest part, I think, is not the actual driving away, though that will probably be harder than it's ever been before because this is the longest I've spent here since I left in the first place; it's the first time I really, really looked around and thought, "I don't really want to leave," though it's not because I don't love Tuscaloosa. That's the hardest part: I do love Tuscaloosa. And I will be happy to back. And it will only be a matter of days before I fall so seamlessly back into my routines there, before I'm walking the University's sidewalks just like I've been doing for the last 18 months. It will only be a couple of days before it seems like I never left at all, before my spot at this table becomes the places for stray papers again and they go about business as usual, too. And suddenly, there will be days without talking again, because, hey, we're all busy. There will be games that I miss because I can't get home and important decisions I make without their input because, when it comes down to it, I'm on my own now.

But now, while I'm here, sitting at this table, that's hard to believe. It's difficult for me to fathom getting in the car and driving away and going back to a life that doesn't involve them, a whole world that belongs to me alone. And while part of me wants to curl up and say, "Forget it. I'd rather live here forever," I know that I wouldn't be making them proud if I did that. I'm not the only one who worked my butt of to get me into college, and to back out now it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to be at the dinner table again would be seriously disgracing everyone's hard work. And let's not forget that I do love Tuscaloosa. I love school. And I really, really love my family there, too.

So I will pack up all my belongings- all of those that multiplied ten fold since I arrived 34 days ago- and I will hug them goodbye, and I will linger. It will take me longer than usual to gather my gumption and get in that car. I will walk right out of their lives again and take up my place further north.

But I will be doing it with their strength, their blessings, and their love pushing me along. I will be doing it with them in mind.

And I'll be back.