1. When do you put up and take down your Christmas decorations?
Putting up decorations usually depends on our financial situation. Whenever we can afford to go out and buy a tree, that’s when we start decorating. It’s usually the first weekend in December. I love having all the Christmas decorations to look at for the whole month and the beautiful smell of a Christmas tree to greet me when I walk through the door.
Typically, New Years Day is when we take down our Christmas tree. I find New Years Day to be so depressing. Yes, it’s the start of a brand-new year but everything feels so final. Another year has past, the holidays are over, and there’s not much to look forward to for awhile. A new year is exciting, don’t get me wrong, but I love the holiday season so much that I hate waiting around for it for another 11 months.
2. What do you do to simplify the holiday season?
Tough question. I don’t think I feel the same stress as other people do for the holidays. The biggest stress is making sure all my online orders are delivered on time (and right)! This year, I only ordered from 3 stores and have all my packages. We’re pretty low-key for the holidays. We decorate, but we don’t go over the top. This year, we didn’t even put outside lighting. (But I do have a snowman/Santa Claus snow scene cling-on’s rocking on our glass doors.) I don’t attend many Christmas parties. And Christmas Day is pretty easy and relaxing, just opening gifts, spending time with family, and playing games.
3. What do you do to remind yourself and your family what the Christmas season is all about?
We don’t really need to do much reminding. I know what Christmas is about and my family knows what Christmas is about. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, buying gifts and stressing out over holiday parties, I know this season is about so much more than a Christmas tree and perfectly wrapped presents. It’s lovely getting and giving gifts. I’m not going to deny that. But the true meaning of Christmas is about Jesus and God sending His only Son for us, to take my sins upon His shoulders and ease me of the burden.
4. How do you spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?
Ha…I just went through this entire question in the novel I wrote yesterday: Christmas Traditions Through the Years.
5. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
I love the fact that we wait until Christmas morning to open all our presents. I love this tradition so much, I get a little sad for people when I hear they open their gifts earlier. I love the whole anticipation and excitement surrounding Christmas and gift-giving. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have any presents to open (or for someone else to open) on Christmas Day. Now, I realize Christmas is about a lot more than just the gifts but gift-giving is a big part of Christmas. You can’t deny that fact!
6. Did you do the whole Santa thing growing up? What do you like/not like about continuing the tradition?
Of course! We even put out milk and cookies and one year, “Santa” wrote us a letter! Santa Claus was such a magical part of Christmas. I miss the innocence of Santa Claus. When I was in 2nd grade, I was told the truth about SC by friends in my class and was told I was a “baby” for still believing in him. It’s just so incredibly sad when you find out Santa Claus isn’t real, especially when your classmates have to tell you!
7. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
I love using the Nestle Tollhouse recipe for chocolate chip/M&M Christmas cookies. Yes, it’s something you can make any time of year but I save this recipe for Christmas because I end up eating half the batter when I make it anyway. They are delicious!
We also make sugar cookies and cut out shapes with them. Then we decorate with icing and M&M’s. Those are good but I still go back to my old favorites.
8. How do you take your egg nog?
I don’t really drink egg nog. I’ve only had it once and it was super sweet. And since my mom doesn’t like it, we never buy it. I would like to try it again so maybe I’ll pick some up on my next trip to the grocery store! (And that may be your answer to the question!)
9. What is your favorite Christmas carol and why?
My mom asked me this question last weekend and honestly, I didn’t have an answer for her! To be honest, there are two brand-new songs out on the radio that I just can’t get enough of! “You’re Here” by Francesca Battistelli and “How Many Kings” by downhere. Both have amazing messages and both are Christ-centered, which I love. I’m not really a big fan of new Christmas songs, because they’re usually shallow and super boring. But these are amazing.
I do love “The Christmas Shoes” even though it makes me cry every time I hear it. As for a classic Christmas carol, probably “Away In a Manger.”
10. When was the last time you had a white Christmas?
Never! I live in Florida and the past few years, we’ve had 80-degree Christmases. And since it’s all I’ve ever known, it’s not really a disappointment for me. We’ve had a few years of cold Christmases (in the fifties – and yes, that’s FREEZING!) but never a white Christmas. It would be very interesting to experience a white Christmas but for now, I’m fine with having a Florida Christmas.
I’m someone who has never been a fan of growing up. While I don’t mind change, big change that growing up brings about is not something I enjoy. I hated living on campus at college. I hated my brother moving out when I was in my senior year. And I hate how much Christmas has lost its magic on me.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still like a big kid at Christmas. I still get extremely excited, looking at all those presents under the tree. My mom still makes up stockings for my brother and me. I still have trouble falling asleep on Christmas Eve.
But it’s a lot different without my brother here to share in the spirit of Christmas.
I’ve been seeing a lot of Christmas posts, as people celebrate early with family and friends. So I thought it would be interesting to talk about my traditions.
Christmas Eve has never been all that different than any other day in my family. My mom has tried to start traditions with my family to no avail. It’s usually a day spent relaxing and then going to the Christmas Eve service at my church. This year, we’re members at a new church and going to their 3pm service. My pastor kept telling us how it’s his “most favorite” so I’m really excited about it!
Other than the year when I was nine, we’ve never opened presents on Christmas Eve. For some reason, that year, my mom and dad let us pick out two gifts. I spent so much time hemming and hawing about which present open. I was trying to decide between a smallish, rectangular package (which ended up holding 3 Baby-Sitters Club books) and a huge gift. I opened up the huge gift, which ended up being the awesome board game, Mall Madness. Basically, it’s a game where you have to buy purchases from specific stores to win. It’s such a fun game! My brother’s gift he opened was a dart board. So while my dad and brother set up the dart board and played, my mom and I set up Mall Madness and play. I can remember this night like it was yesterday.
Anyway, I like the anticipation of Christmas Eve. When I was in sixth grade and my brother in seventh grade, we began spending the night in the same room. We would try our best to stay up the entire night, but I only ended up doing this once when we stayed the night at my uncle’s house and had his plethora of movies to entertain us. Usually, we would play games and just talk. This is what I miss most. While I cherish the relationship I have with my brother now and we’re a lot closer than when we were younger, I still miss this tradition. We share the same excitement and anticipation of Christmas and it was so much fun to experience Christmas Eve night with him.
Christmas Eve now is celebrated with my mom and me. As I mentioned before, we go to a Christmas Eve service at church. We don’t have any traditions set in stone right now, we’re still trying to discover some. Last year, we made Christmas cookies and watched a movie. This year, we’re hoping to eat out at a restaurant, make Christmas cookies, and watch a Christmas movie. (Any suggestions? Other than Elf, which we already own and will be watching anyway!)
Christmas Day is very laid-back. When I was younger, my brother and I would wake my parents up at 6am to open presents. When we got a little older, my mom made us wait until 7am to open presents. (Oh, the horror!) We would open presents, clean everything up, and then attempt to eat breakfast.
But let’s face it: when surrounded by tons of new toys, who wants to sit down and eat breakfast?
Around two or so, the family would head over to my grandparent’s house to have Christmas dinner. There, we would open more presents which always got extremely hectic and crazy. After a few hours with family, we would come home.
Christmas evening is usually extremely low-key. It’s always filled with bitter disappointment and sadness as the holiday season is over. Soon, Christmas music will be off the radio, we’ll have to take the Christmas tree to the trash, and take down all our ornaments and Christmas decorations. I hate Christmas evening. My mom and I usually play a board game while eating more junk. I love board games and my mom and I play them on a weekly basis. So I receive a couple on Christmas and what’s more fun than playing a brand-new board game? Not much, my friends, not much.
parents mom has never disappointed me during Christmas. (As much as I tease her about never having a Barbie Jeep, it’s true!) It’s the one time of year she really goes all out and buys us a lot. She wasn’t the type of mom to buy us things because we wanted them. We either earned them (for good grades or good behavior) or bought them ourselves. Never did we spend $50 at the mall on the Saturday to buy stuff “just because.” Birthdays were always low-key, too. We received a few presents, but nothing anything big.
But Christmas? Mom outdid herself every single year. (I’m sorry if I brag about my mom too much on this blog but she deserves all the bragging! It’s all true!) We always had tons and tons of presents lying under the Christmas tree and stocked our stockings FULL.
It wasn’t until I was in 8th grade and my brother was in 9th grade that my mom finally started receiving presents of her own. (My dad never gave her gifts. Not even for her birthday or their anniversary.) My brother was working then and it felt so nice to bless her with gifts.
Do you celebrate any of the same holiday traditions with your family? Do you still feel the same excitement and anticipation of Christmas as when you were a kid (like I still do!)?
Link up at Conversion Diary, if you complete this on your blog.
On Sunday, my mom ran in a half-marathon. I was so proud of her for accomplishing this and my brother and I were at the finish line to cheer her on as she crossed. It took her 2 hours and 42 minutes to complete. (Imagine running for that long!) I mean, I was proud of myself for managing to walk/run a 10K which is “only” 6 miles. A half-marathon is THIRTEEN miles. Just crazy.
My mom has really managed to turn her life around in the past 3 years. She went to a very sedentary, morbidly obese woman who had absolutely no self-esteem to a super active, fit and healthy woman who has gained self-esteem and so much more. She’s become of of “those people” who loves running and exercise. (I’m still trying to get there…)
Things are not looking good for me keeping my job next semester. I gave my boss my work schedule for next semester on Wednesday and she told me she’s trying to work it out but it’s going to be hard. My mom and I have talked about this and we both know I have to focus on school first. Financially, we can survive on just her two paychecks. But it’s really scary to think about not having an income, having three credit card payments, and really having no money of my own to spend. I’m looking into baby-sitting and freelance writing jobs but I’m not too certain I’ll find anything to supplement what I would be making at this job.
On the other hand, I’ve seen how much freer my schedule gets without work. I won’t have to try to cram everything into a small window of time. And I’ll be able to give more time and effort into my internship. I’ve had some bad experiences with internships and I’m really nervous about starting this one and impressing my supervisors.
So my Fall 2009 grades were finally posted yesterday. And I’m not too happy. I managed 3 A’s and a B+. The B+ was in a class where I had an 89.96 average. That’s right, folks, I was four-tenths of a point away from an A. I also scored an A on the final and was given all of my participation points. Why, oh why, couldn’t this professor bump my grade up to an A?
I’m happy with the rest of my grades, though. I had to work really hard for two of those A’s! It was a long and stressful semester and the first time I’ve also worked 30+ hours a week while going to school full-time. I’m a smart girl but I have to work hard for my grades. It doesn’t come easily or naturally for me. But I’m a hard-worker and it’s always so lovely when the hard work pays off in the form of semester grades.
This week, I’ve become Facebook friends with three blog friends. It’s quite weird because I feel as if my Facebook life is so much more different and removed from my blog life. Facebook is real-life and I use it a lot to talk about schoolwork, make plans, and complain about life. Most of my status updates are related to my Twitter updates, but in a much more detailed way. So it’s weird but also extremely cool. It’s kind of like seeing these people in their “real life” persona, not their blog one. I like it. Since I’m not anonymous on this blog and could definitely use a boost in my friend count (still trying to break 200!), add me as a friend. I promise I’ll accept! And it’ll be cool getting to know you, Facebook-wise.
Cross you fingers! I’m hoping to be completely done with my Christmas shopping on Saturday. There are a few small items I need to get for my nephew, my brother, and a friend. Those will be easy to knock out.
But I need to finish Christmas shopping for my mom. We are a family that likes to go all out during the holidays. It’s the one time of year we really splurge and buy a lot of “want” items. And while I’ve bought my mom a few things, I am nowhere close to being done. I know what I want to get her but haven’t had time (or money) to really go out and buy these things. I can’t believe Christmas is a week away! Where did this holiday season go?
I honestly feel that buying candles or bath soaps for a gift exchange is taking the easy way out. Really, where’s the creativity? Just because it’s a group of girls exchanging gifts doesn’t mean you can’t use your brain and come up with something other than the boring stuff. I can’t tell you how many Bath & Body Works gift baskets and Bath & Body Works candles were opened at my gift exchange at work.
It may be because I hate getting either as a present. I almost never use lotion, prefer the cheapo $4 body wash from my grocery store, hate candles, and over body spray. (I used it a lot in middle school and brings me back to places I’d rather not recall.) If you’re going to get me a gift, please don’t choose Bath & Body Works. I’m not into that girly-girly stuff. Just get me some chocolate. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way!
Sarah Lynn’s from Postcards From Far Away posted a list of the “10 Smart Safety Tips for Women” that she had received in her e-mail. They weren’t your average, everyday tips but some really innovative and good ideas to use if you ever find yourself in a bad position. By the time I got to the end of the list, though, I was scared good. (It also might have to do with the fact that I read the list at night, when I was home alone.)
I enjoyed her list, though, and think it’s someone all women should be aware of. So go check out that post (and her blog!).
A few weeks ago, I was walking through an aisle in the grocery store where I witnessed a father-son interaction. After everything I’ve been through with my dad, I always find it interesting to watch interactions between fathers and their kids. I have to admit, though, most of the fathers I see have very little patience with their kids. This was especially true with my dad, to an extreme.
The father was on one side of the aisle and the child on the other. While the father was sniffing candles, the child was playing with a display. And the kid accidentally knocked down one of the items on the display. He quickly picked it up and put it back but I was more interested in the father’s response.
From my own personal experiences, I expected a sharp reprimand and a look of sadness on the child’s face.
Instead, the father looked over at his son, gave a low chuckle, and motioned for his son to follow him. No reprimand, no look of sadness on the child’s face.
Honestly, I was astounded – and a little choked up. Never in my life could I ever imagine my father doing this. He was a man who was long on discipline and short on love. (At least, this is the way it felt to me.)
And I just feel so cheated out of having a father. I feel cheated out of knowing a father’s unconditional love and approval. Who knows what type of life I would be leading today if I had a father who loved and supported me in every aspect of my life? Who wasn’t a convicted felon?
It’s so easy to get caught in the what if’s, especially when life isn’t working out the way you imagined it. I could imagine what my life would be like with a great father, but it’s such a moot point. There’s a reason God gave me this father in my life. There’s a reason I’ve had to deal with such heartache and pain when it comes to him. I don’t know why but it has made me a stronger person. And it’s made me a person who is not going to settle for a relationship where a guy doesn’t show his love and appreciation for me. I saw how my dad treated my mother. I saw how he belittled her, threatened her, and beat up on her. I saw how long it took my mom to break out of this shell my dad placed her in to become the woman she is today. That’s not going to be me.
I am not settling for a relationship like my mom had. I want a man who is going to be there for me on my worst days and on my best days. I want a man who is going to treat me with dignity and respect. I want a man who brings out the best in me. I want a man who is going to be the best father to my children, who loves them unconditionally, no matter if they score the winning soccer goal or fail to hit the ball once in a baseball game. (And all of this goes hand-in-hand for how I need to treat my future husband as well.)
And when God gave me a father like my deadbeat one, he also gave me a mother who surpasses all expectations. She is the most unselfish, giving, and loving person I’ve ever met. She has given up so much for my brother and me and has shown me time and time again, what it’s like to fall down, brush yourself off, get up, and perservere. She has evolved into my best friend and someone I would be lost without. My mom more than makes up for my father.
Answer the questions in the comments, comment on any of my answers, do your own on your blog…whatever! Just check out Chelsea’s blog…because she’s very cool. And a billion times funnier than me.
Also…she’s hosting a giveaway this week! I want to win it but I can share the wealth. (Plus, it gives me an extra vote!) She is giving this purse away and I think it’s just about the cutest thing ever! Click on over to her site to enter the giveaway – it ends on Wednesday!
There’s also another giveaway ending at 6pm TONIGHT and it’s too awesome to pass up! Click on over to Money Saving Mom to enter her giveaway: a chance to win one of five $100 gift cards! And the best part is you can choose which store to choose from a long list of options! She has five different ways you can enter and will announce the winner tomorrow.
1. If you could change anything about your physical appearance, what would it be?
Definitely my weight! I wish it didn’t take so much work for me to be thin, though! I keep trying and trying and failing and failing. Living a healthy lifestyle is so hard after living years and years of an unhealthy one. I’m changing my entire lifestyle and it’s not easy at all. I feel like taking those “Eat anything, don’t exercise, and lose 20 pounds in 3 months” type of pills. But I don’t trust them.
2. Is there a habit in others that you find annoying?
Oh, so many! I don’t like rude people, especially. People who don’t say “thank you”, let the door slam in your face, cut you off in traffic. It bugs me a lot.
3. What is your favorite recipe using ground beef?
A type of Shepherd’s Pie. One thing you should know about me is that I don’t cook. I’m not a big fan of cooking, although I wish I was. But this is a recipe my dad would make, using ground beef, mashed potatoes, yellow corn, and chicken gravy. Just cook it all up and then pile it all on starting with the potatoes at the bottom, beef on top of that, and then corn on top of that. Then drizzle the whole thing with gravy. So good, so filling! And it tastes a million times better as a leftover.
4. What was your favorite book as a kid?
I loved The Baby-Sitters Club series. I was never actually a baby-sitter, nor did I want to be. But I loved all of their stories and their close-knit friendships. In fourth grade, I even bought The Complete Guide to the Baby-Sitters Club that listed anything and everything that happened in the whole series – from the baby-sitter’s family themselves to the kids they watched to their experiences. It also included a map of Stoneybrook, their neighborhood. It was probably 200+ pages of information and I read my first copy so much, my mom had to buy me a new one. But I loved this series so much.
5. Did you work as a teenager and if so, where?
I worked for 2 months at Panera Bread where I just washed dishes and cleaned up the restaurant. It was an awful job and I hated every second of it. Then, I got accepted at a charter high school where I took college classes that gave me high school credit as well. So I stopped working until the summer before I left for college. I worked at a movie theatre from May 2006-July 2006 and it was such a fun but hard job. I did get free movies, though!
6. Did you work while in college and if so, where?
Yes, I’m working now. During my first year, I worked for a few months at my school’s bookstore where I worked in textbooks. I loved doing buybacks and had so much fun doing that. When I came back home in May 2007, I started working for a pre-school. I worked there until March 2008 when I had to quit due to a huge school workload.
The summer of 2008, I worked as an office assistant at a print shop. It was probably, hands down, the easiest job I ever had. Mainly, since my boss was also a teacher, he needed me to be there during office hours in case anyone called or came in. I miss that job but I was laid off when business slowed way down.
I started at my current job in February and I just hope my next semester doesn’t overwhelm me too much, because it’s going to be crazy.
7. When you go to sleep do you like total darkness or semi? When you go to sleep do you need quiet or is some noise OK?
If I’m tired enough, I can sleep in anything. I like the quiet, though, when I need to sleep. In sixth grade, I suffered from awful insomnia and the only way I could fall asleep was by having a CD playing and reading a book on the floor. Once I fell asleep, I would usually wake up in the middle of the night and transfer onto my bed.
8. When doing laundry, fabric softener or not?
We use Tide that already has the fabric softener included. I don’t really know the benefits from using and not using, other than having softer clothes? (Does it really make that much of a difference? Inquiring minds want to know!)
9. Open-toed or closed-toed shoes?
Either. I don’t really care. The problem I have with flats, though, is it hurts the arch of my foot a lot if I wear them too much. It feels as if the skin of my foot is stretched as thin as it can get and it’s breaking apart. It hurts so much. I think I have a problem with my arch, although it hasn’t bugged me too much to get it checked out. (Plus, no insurance, yo!)
10. Would you rather be blind or deaf?
Honestly, I hate this question. NEITHER!
11. Dangle or stud earrings?
Stud earrings, although I barely ever wear earrings. My ears are very sensitive so I can only wear real gold or silver in my ears, or else they get super irritated. Problem is, cubic zirconia is a lot cheaper than real gold earrings. So I don’t wear earrings much. I might buy a pair for a fancy night out, wear them, and realize how much I hate wearing jewelry. Because I do.
(I swear, all those Christmas jewelry commercials upset me. I would not be happy if my boy got me a necklace for Christmas. It’s not my style.)
12. Bottled water or tap?
Bottled, always. And I’m also very picky on my bottled water. I don’t like the metallic taste of Dasani or Aquafina so I’m a big Zephyrhills drinker. I also love Evian but it’s so expensive!
13. What do you put on pancakes?
Maple syrup, and if I’m being bad, butter. Oh, butter on pancakes is so delicious!
14. On a long trip, would you rather drive or fly?
I’ve actually never flown on an airplane. No lie. I’ve gone 22 years of my life and have never been on an airplane. I’ve taken many long road trips to places but I would love to fly on an airplane someday. (Plus, if Mom and I are going to be contestants on The Amazing Race, we have got to get familiar with flying!)
Anyway, my answer to this question would be flying, since I’ve never done it!
15. Do you prefer classic old movies or new?
I don’t watch too many classic old movies. I like newer stuff, especially newer remakes. There’s just so many better special effects and better acting. Then again, the simplicity of a classic movie can’t be beat!
Link up at Conversion Diary if you complete this on your own blog! (And you should because it’s kinda fun!)
Well, I am completely (COMPLETELY!) done with classes for this semester. I think I did good in my classes but I won’t be sure until next week. I am so excited to have everything finished and I’m so ready for a break! I sold back my books on Tuesday and made $39! I was shooting for $50 but anything is good. (Side note: I worked for my school bookstore in 2006 and I remember how rude and ungrateful people could be when selling back their books. Be happy with any money you get – we could refuse to buy any books back! ‘Kay?)
In reality TV news: I was super happy Megan and Cheyne won The Amazing Race. They were such a strong and awesome couple, even if they did look like brother and sister. And they didn’t yell/scream/fight with each other. Although I know if I was on that race, I would be one of those people I hate. I don’t do well under pressure.
With Biggest Loser, I was happy. All three final contestants looked fantastic but I seriously think Antoine stole the show. Not only with his proposal, but also with how HOT he looked! He almost made me cry with his good looks. Also, Rebecca annoyed me with her ugly hair, too-skinny body, horrific dressing, constant touching of Daniel, and weird hugs. I liked her on the show, was a little annoyed with her on Jay Leno, and completely didn’t like her on the finale. She seems to have gained a little too much self-esteem, bordering on egotistical.
In other school news, my university approved my internship for next semester! I’m really excited about it because it’s not an internship I ever thought of taking and more about marketing and media than writing. But I think it’s going to be an amazing opportunity and challenge me in ways I’ve never been challenged. And I’m really excited this will take care of my internship credit and clear up my last semester to finish up required classes. It’s going to be a very, very busy semester for me, though.
I made a bad decision this week. I know most of you won’t approve. I don’t feel good about it but then again, I do. I feel good in a guilty way, I guess. After the Thanksgiving holidays, I’ve had such a hard time getting back on track. It’s been a struggle so I’ve decided to wait until January to start back fresh. Yes, it’s taking the easy way out. And it’s going to be hard with my new schedule to adjust but I have to. I have to get serious but this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ever.
Tonight is my work’s Christmas party. I’m actually really excited about it. I bought a really cute shirt and I’m still deciding whether to wear them with jeans or dress pants. I think the dress pants will look better. I’m not planning on drinking too much, mainly because I’m not a big fan of alcohol. But I am planning on eating a lot.
“Do the dance to get the hug.” My pastor spoke on this this past Sunday. He talked about how we have to “perform” for some people to receive their approval. The examples he was giving us totally reminded me of my father. My mom? Not so much. It feels so great to know I don’t have to do anything to receive a hug, or love, from my mom. Just being me is enough.
And it’s the same with God! There is nothing we can do to make Him love us more – or love us less. Isn’t that just amazing? He also talked about becoming closer to God. There are tons and tons of books about becoming closer to God. But honestly? Believing in His death and resurrection, believing in Him, is as close as we will get to God. We don’t have to do anything to get closer to God. I do believe we can know God better, though.
I’ve gotten a lot of Christmas shopping done this week. It’s really nice to have money to spend this year! Last year, I wasn’t working and had about $20 on 3 credit cards. I had to spread myself very thin. (And since I’m not crafty at all, making homemade gifts is not in the cards.) And who doesn’t love buying Christmas presents? I know I do.
I was fifteen the first time I ever rode a roller coaster.
I had plenty of opportunities to ride one when I was younger. I lived less than a half hour away from a major theme park and went to Disney World at least once a year. My brother was riding roller coaster the minute he was tall enough. And my mom was happy to accompany him.
My dad, on the other hand, couldn’t stand them. He hated the way they turned his stomach so I was content to wait with him while my brother and my mom rode as many roller coasters as they could.
I went on a field trip when I was in ninth grade. My friends were all so excited to ride all the rides and I made my best friend promise to force me to go on a roller coaster. No matter what I did or said, I had to ride a roller coaster. I had to find out if I liked them. And I had to face one of my biggest fears.
So I did it. I rode the roller coaster. I was scared to death. I closed my eyes the entire time and I don’t think I breathed the entire time. At the end, I thought, “That’s it? It’s over?”
Truth was, I loved the roller coaster. It was so exhilarating and fun! I couldn’t believe I had wasted so many years being scared of something so exciting.
After riding that first roller coaster, I was hooked! I went on 3 more roller coasters after that and couldn’t wait to try out the coasters at Busch Gardens. I’m still not a big fan of drops, which is the main reason I haven’t tried Sheikra. I couldn’t handle that drop!
I don’t think it’s an irrational fear because I’m sure many people have the same problem: the fear of falling out of the roller coaster and plunging to my death.
A few years ago, I had gotten onto a coaster and strapped myself in. Well, I thought I had. When the technician came around to check my straps, I hadn’t. The belt hadn’t been clipped in. Of course, he fixed it and, obviously, I didn’t end up falling out and plunging to my death. But ever since then, I’ve had this fear of falling out of the coaster.
I spend my time waiting in line, not worrying about the twists and turns and drops on the ride but whether or not I will live to see the next day. When I get on a ride, I spend those 2 minutes or so, clipping in the buckle, pulling down the harness, and pulling on both like crazy to make sure they are keeping me nice and tight.
I make sure my heart is right with God. I ask Him to forgive me of all my sins and I barter with Him of everything I will do if I survive this ride.
Once the ride starts, my heart drops and my palms start sweating. It’s such an awful feeling, not knowing if something will happen to the ride and you’ll die. I know this is normal but it just gets me thinking, is it even really worth it? Is it worth it to worry and get scared to death like this for a 30-second ride?
Sometimes, I think not.
I’m currently in school for journalism and I was an elementary education major for 2 years. The education classes were a blast but the internships were horrible. But if I could try out another major, I think I would try secondary education. I think I would’ve enjoyed the classes and internships more. When I was studying education, I had a professor who taught middle school social studies and she just got me so incredibly excited about the subject and teaching. She had so many fun ideas. And I’d like to think I’d be better at teacher older kids and it would excite me more.
2. What do you do for a living? Do you love it/hate it?
Right now, I’m a full-time student and work part-time at a preschool. I love being a student and would do it forever if I could! I love the atmosphere of a college, I love the challenge of papers and projects, and I love the friendships I’ve made. And it’s really, really scary to think of graduating and having to become an “adult.”
My job as a preschool teacher is also fun. It definitely has its challenges but I get to work with one of my best friends and I love the kids. They’re busy and rowdy but they are so smart and funny that it all makes up for it. Maybe not my ideal job, but I’m making the best of it.
3. What is your favorite Christmas ornament? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, what is your favorite holiday tradition?
I have two. And none of them are homemade or something from a long time ago. Truthfully, I think all my homemade ornaments look like crap and I’m sorry they have to be showcased on the tree. This girl? Is not crafty.
But my favorite ornaments are a snowman my mom bought a few years ago that is big and plump. I just think he’s so incredibly cute and he makes me laugh every time I spot him.
My other favorite ornament broke on Sunday. Sunday was a weird day with my tree falling three times for no reason at all. I’ve have live trees for most of my life and I’ve never had a problem with it just falling down – after it’s been standing up and in water for 3 days! Very weird. Anyway, this was another snowman ornament that had a cute snowman head and then a Miami Dolphins football body. As a lover of everything Dolphins, this was an awesome ornament that I loved and I’m so sad it broke.
I would take pictures of these but I’m just way too lazy to do it.
4. Name something you could literally do without for the rest of your life.
Tom Brady. Yes, I get that he’s an awesome football player but, honestly, he just annoys me. I don’t like him because he’s a cheater and the media thinks he walks on water. Everything he does is amazing – even his mistakes. To be honest, he’s not playing good this year and the media needs to realize that. I don’t think I would hate him as much as I do if the media didn’t love him as much as they do. Plus, the Patriots would be crappy without him and the Dolphins would always have a playoff spot.
5. If you were going to have any kind of “cosmetic procedure,” what would it be?
I’m scared to death of surgery and would never opt to have plastic surgery that would require major downtime. I’m not fond of my nose but I’d never consider rhinoplasty because I’m a big baby when it comes to pain. I really don’t think there’s anything I would consider, especially right now. Talk to me in 15 years and I’ll probably have a different story.
6. Do you have any “collections”? (comic books, shoes, etc.)
Not really. Maybe magazines, although the only collection I have is Shape magazine but I throw them out after a year, mainly due to space issues.
7. At what age did you get your first cell phone?
Seventeen! I was so late in the game. I have a cousin who was seven when she got her first cell phone. I didn’t get texting on my phone until I was in college (and it was only 300/month) and just this year, I got Internet and free texting on my phone.
And it was thanks to my grandma that I even got a cell phone. She badgered my mom about it until she finally agreed to buy me one. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my grandma?
8. What is currently in your purse (or pocket or backpack if you’re a guy)?
Not much. I have my wallet, a pen, and a tampon. It’s very exciting, I know. I’m a very simple kind of girl.
9. Are you a neat-freak or a slob?
It depends. At work, I like to have everything neat and tidy. And not relating to the classroom itself, just paperwork and things on the tops of shelves. At home, I’m iffy. I get very lazy so my room tends to look like a tornado hit it by the end of the week and then I clean it up. And it’s so nice and tidy. It makes me feel so much better when my room is clean.
When I was away at college, though, my side of the room was always so neat and clean. My roommate was the biggest slob known to mankind. It drove me crazy!
10. What kind of parent do you think you will be? If you’re already a parent, what is your style?
It’s hard to say. I’m only 22 years old and while I can’t wait to be a mother someday, it’s probably 8-10 years away before I even think about having kids. I’d like to think I would be a good mother. I would love to be a stay-at-home mom and I believe I’ll be the type of mom who loves her kids unconditionally, but doesn’t take them too seriously. I don’t think I’ll be one to baby them and drop everything I’m doing, every time they let out a sound. I want my children to be independent and self-sufficient.
That said, I long for the day when there’s a baby growing in my belly and my own children filling my life. I can’t wait for that day.
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I got a little taste of What-Life-Would-Be-Like-If-Stephany-Didn’t-Have-To-Work-And-Just-Attended-School. It was divine. I slept in until 10:30 and laid in bed, finishing up a novel. Then I slowwwwly got ready for class, ate lunch leisurely at home, and headed off to school at 1:30pm. I went to class, came home, and worked on homework before I had to be online for my last online class. I realized how more relaxing my life would be without work.
Then I realized how sad my bank account would look, compared to now. (Not that it doesn’t look sad now. It would look even more sad. If that’s possible.)
I’m on Good Reads now and you should be, too. I joined a few months ago but haven’t used it until this past weekend. It’s actually very cool. I’ve been trying to add some reviews of books but it’s hard. I don’t know whether to talk about the writing itself or the story, without giving too much away. I’ve been doing a little bit of both and I think my reviews are pretty terrible. Anyway, add me as a friend if you’re on there, too, or join! (Plus, I only have 2 friends which is pretty sad.)
I didn’t go to Weight Watchers this week. After Thanksgiving dinner, I just went completely off track. I’ve stopped counting points, stopped exercising, and I can’t even see the Weight Watchers wagon anymore. But I will get back on track because I would love to be in the 130’s by the time January hits. It’s a big goal but I just have to get super serious. I will be back to WW next Wednesday. No worries! (And no, I haven’t weighed myself. I’m way too scared.)
I was so, so, so happy that the New Orleans Saints beat the Stupid Patriots on Monday night. Alas, I don’t have cable so I couldn’t watch the game. (Plus, my alarm went off at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning so I was not going to go out to watch it.) I am so over the Patriots and the media’s love affair with them. I now call the team the New England Brady’s…because it seems like Tom Brady is the entire team. Nobody else matters but him. It’s so annoying. News flash: Brady is not playing good this season. He’s still hurting from last year. And, hopefully, he’ll never play as good as he did before. (I’m a Miami Dolphins fan. We wish bad things upon the Patriots every season.)
As of Thursday at 3:15 p.m., my classes for this session are over! The only final I have is a take-home so I don’t have to be on campus at all until January! (Except to turn in my books.) As excited as I was to start this semester, it’s been a disappointment and so filled with stress. I can’t wait to have a break and actually take classes I like next semester, such as News Editing and Magazine Design and Production.
Mom and I bought our Christmas tree last night. We went to a family-owned place, not a Lowes or Target. The place we went to is so reasonably priced and they were so nice! (Reasonably priced: they sell their small trees for $10. Publix sells the same size trees for $25. What a flipping rip-off!) We had an awful time setting up our tree last year. We worked all night, trying to screw it in to no avail. Mom and I got into a screaming match and then we went to Steak N Shake for a 2,500-calorie meal. Each. We finally had to call my brother the next morning and he had to get his power tools to screw it in. Alas, something was “screwy” with the screws. (Ha?) This year? The workers actually started the stand for us, screwing it all in. We brought it home and got the tree in the stand within 10 minutes. No blood, sweat, or tears here! It also helped that we promised not to get frustrated easily and sang Christmas songs as we were screwing it in.
Did I mention classes are OVER for this semester? This means, for the next four weeks, I get to go to work, come home, and RELAX! This also means I have no excuse to not exercise so I’m making it my goal to exercise every day. I’m shooting for 3 days of running, 2 days of strength-training, and 2 days of low-impact walking. I can’t say I’m excited about it but since I want to be thin and fit…I’ve got to adopt a thin and fit lifestyle!