Thursday, March 29, 2007

Great Friends

Mica and I before one of the Shows

Bonny Kate and I with Willie and Rex in Baltimore

Shameless Plug

There is a small handful of folks in this world whose opinion carries a high amount of weight with me and these same folks are people who I want to know what their view of me is, as it can effect who I am. I was blessed one day to meet three such individuals at my former place of employment when they stopped by to take a tour. One of the best things about my former job was that it attracted some pretty amazing and inspiring people. And it blessed me often with the chance to meet and spend time with these folks and the added benefit of keeping a friendship up with some. They were members of a band that was passing through town on a tour date, I so thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with each of them that I went to see their concert that night and to be honest it was one of the coolest things ever. Since I had had the chance to get to know their personalities before the show, watching them on stage doing what it is they do best was pretty amazing. Bonny-Kate and I both laughed that we didn't even think we watched the “main performer” at all and just focused on our new friends in the band.

Any who, on this day I was blessed to meet Mica Roberts. Now Mica is a very extraordinary individual. Her singing talent alone would make anyone stop in their tracks, but her story and her ability to make everyone in the room comfortable is something to be truly admired. She is one who after getting to know, has many qualities that I strive to one day call my own. She is determined to achieve her goals, but yet does not let her success change her in any way. The thing that stuck out most to me when meeting her for the first time, was that she could have easily dismissed BK and I but she took time out before the show to not only hang out with us but also was open enough to allow us to get to know her. The second time I saw Mica perform I watched her as she spent a lot of time with the tour assistants or crew and chatted them up as if they had been best friends all their life. Bottom line she takes time to invest in those around her, and has never considered herself to high to interact and advise even the “lowest” of people on the totem pole.

I do not get to catch up and chat with Mica as often as I would like but she is often someone I e-mail for advise in my job ventures. Or text in the middle of the night when I am excited about some boy, or stressed about some boy. Mica even offered her home to house my displaced family members after the hurricane. I never asked for places for folks to stay she just contacted me right away and told me her home was my home. She and Willie and Rex have become friends that even though I do not see them often, I am always comfortable around them and have the ability and freedom to relax and be myself because I know they love me just because I am me and for no other reason or side expectation.

So why am I writing all this well Mica’s first CD (Uncover Me) is one I listen to often on my ipod I personally think it is awesome but then again I can be bias. This morning one of her songs just hit me right where I needed to be hit and I love it when music does that, you know says what we wish we could. She on the other hand has been signed and is in the process of creating her second CD, which I know will be a success. I hope that you all take the time to check her and her music out! She has a great duet out right now with Jonathan Cain, (from Journey) Faithfully. You should listen to it and love it!! Well Mica is awesome and I am blessed to have her as a great friend!

I promise this blog will not become and ode to friends... although many of you are pretty stickin cool much cooler than I.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

City of Statues!

I am unsure of what Philadelphia’s city slogan is, but in any case I think it should be the Philly City of Random Statues! With that said it is truly a playground for this gal. I LOVE doing random things, and one of my favorites is taking random pictures, having a city FULL of crazy statues helps in that little escapade. And having a friend who also enjoys doing such things just fuels the flame. So the Perfect Storm unfolded this weekend as Jodi and I embarked on Philadelphia, Penn the City of Random Statues!

So Jodi won these hockey tickets through the NHL that she could go to any game all season she wanted to for any team. Upon realization we had not been using this to our advantage we have tried to squeeze in as many games as we can before the season ends. So we drove to Philly to watch the Flyers take on the Islanders. Now I have never been to Philly and Jodi had only gone when visiting a friend at Villanova and they never went and really experienced the fun of the city. So we knew this would be a great weekend of adventure.

The sad thing was neither of us was actually feeling well, she had come down with some stomach bug and I guess since we are always together I obtained the same bug. And her parents were in town for one night only on Friday so we just left Saturday morning and came back early Sunday afternoon for church. Now just because we were there barely over 24 hours and both under the weather does not mean we did not have a super fun time! I prepared my usually “folder-o-fun” and we had about 2 hours after the game to get everything in… we did as much as we could and then had to go back and rest before attempting dinner. I included some pictures below of the trip sadly this is just a small snippet of them as we took so many my camera ran out of space! But I think the fun is lost on others when they are not there… but alas I could share a bit with y’all. (Another fun fact was my friend Katherine was flying in on Sunday to check out a MBA program there and we got to spend about an hour with her!)

Working on getting the pics up... sorry not tech savy!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Seasons of Change

One of the great things about living in DC is it is a great place for people to come visit. And the other great thing is that no matter how far I get out of school, I will always know when the school years starts, ends, winter break begins and the covenanted Spring Break begins. And this is not because I work with the college students… No, No you can get all this information just by riding the metro.

One of the tings I used to tell people is I never wanted to become that DC snob… the people who think they are too cool for school and annoyed when people come and visit “their” city, slowing down their trek to what ever world changing meeting they are heading to. And I am glad to say that I have been pretty much successful in this, as I still love seeing kids faces the first time they see the White House and usually yell, “I thought it would be bigger!” But one thing I have become a tad snobby on is my morning commutes on the metro.

I do one of two things on the metro in the morning: sleep, or my quiet time. Both require the standard silence of the metro. Well when March begins to roll around, that silence is usually broken with the squeals of Eighth Graders filling the train. I usually don’t mind if they are well behaved and understand the rules of the train in the morning is everyone is quiet and keeps to themselves. This is more often not the case with my school-aged friends. Usually during the month of March I get caught up on all things pop culture by the loud conversations or I get caught up on all the dating drama of (insert standard American town Name) Middle School. It can be funny sometimes I will admit as was the other morning some obvious drama had just gone down on the way to the metro because one crying girl had about five other girls gathered around her stating they could “NOT BELIEVE Andrew would sit next to her on the bus!” and the “her” I was assuming was the girl across the way slyly looking at the other group of girls as she was surrounded by the boys with the assumed “Andrew’s” arm on her shoulder. Ah yes, Middle School Love drama… it’s a tough world out there lets just be honest.

You can also tell the breaking of college school schedule. As at the start of every semester a new crop of fresh faced, wide-eyed young professional interns start to crowd the metro with their maps and the girls in some of the highest heels ever! This is always soon replaced with flip-flops usually within a week or so of starting their internships… Yes you can always determine where we are in the school calendar year just by watching for the new patrons on the metro. The metro is a great place filled with lots of information.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Little Competition Never Hurt Anyone

Many folks know about the Freshman 15… the wonderful weight you gain your first year in college… well here in DC we have what I like to call White House Weight… and for me my White House weight happen to top out at about 30 lbs. I know, I know but three years of crazy hours, crazy good food, and no time or energy to work out… will expand your waistline just a tad. So when I left about a year and a half ago now, my goal was to lose all that! And so far I have been very successful back in a size 8 now and loving every minute!

But it is more than losing the weight for me its getting me back in the best shape I am able to get myself in… enter my good friend Jodi. Now y’all who know me (and that’s everyone reading this b/c not sure if people who don’t know me will actually bore themselves with my ramblings) know I can be a tad competitive. I know shocker huh… well when you mix in my ubber competitive and athletic friend Jodi (she won 3 out of her 4 challenges on MTV!) we can push each other to the brink. And then enter our new friend Jerry… another competitive soul who enjoys running.

Last Friday night at dinner after the hockey game we all began discussing our work out routines. Jodi and I are currently in a two-month push to get ourselves back in top shape, the guys chuckled as we dined on mini burgers and greasy pizza at Matchbox while telling them of our challenge to each other. And thus began the comparing of running times. So Saturday Jodi decides to push herself, and run 5 miles in 46 minutes… impressed Jerry goes a bit further and does so in 44 minutes, Jodi actually did it in 44 minutes the same day as well. Feeling a tad left out I was eager for Tuesday morning because this is usually my intense cardio day. Usually I struggle through an interval run and feel very accomplished at the end. So I went to bed last night with hopes of a 42 minute time, something to keep them very busy for a while…

(Side editors note, please realize God never intended for me to be a great runner. While I may be an athlete in the sense of working out and nothing more really I have never been what some would like to say… oh how do they put it… “Fast”. Two things to consider one bad one good, give you the bad one so you remember the good… we run on treadmills so that takes a lot of the strain off our body… good, the fastest I have ever run a mile in my life was 7:57 and that was when I was 16… fast forward little over 10 yrs, now I am a kinda in shape, not so much, almost 27 year old who needs a 8:30 mile pace to achieve 42 min goal!)

So this morning what was I tempted to text to Jodi at 5:45 am… well not the 42 min as I had hoped but still beating both bringing in 43:17! Added a sixth mile for cool down topped out all six in 55:27! I know! It was a great morning and now I am tired!!! But this gives me the lead at least for most of today… as they work out in the evenings I may not be able to hold this lead for too long!

I included before and after pics below so you can see my progress!

Bringin Sexy Back...

If you are going to bring sexy back Justin, you'll totally need a receipt. I just happen to have mine thus I am able to bring sexy back! ;) Here is a little then and now...

Me and some other ladies I worked with on Election Night... I know not horrible but not Michelle

My friend Luke and I at the Southern Most Point in Key West... this was this summer so I have made progress from that!

I am totally Bringin Sexy Back!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I have this wonderful website a friend introduced me too I felt I should share with all y’all out there. During my tenure at the White House I was sad to realize I gained a lot of weight… something about long work hours and no working out and wonderful Navy Chefs tend to add almost 30 lbs onto a gal! I know I couldn’t believe it my self when I realized how much I had gained. So my goal once I moved posts was to loose some of that weight I had gained. I went to a very disciplined work out schedule with 3 days cardio and 3 days cardio/weights. And watched how many calories I took in trying to stay between 1350 and 1500 each day. My friend who is a personal trainer told me about this wonderful website called Fitday! It tracks everything you eat, and has a huge library of foods with the option for you to customize your foods with the label right off the back. It will give you an average amount of calories burned in your work outs, and then run reports for you so you can see what nutrients you are not getting and if you are burning what you eat. Its awesome and the best thing… Its FREE! So check it out and enjoy it as much as I have! Three pant sizes down and all 30 extra lbs gone! I am one happy customer!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Texas Independence Day!

Well this year on the sacred day of March 2nd I was blessed to spend the first Texas Independence Day in five years in the great State of Texas! WHOOP! So with that these last years I have been in DC I have had two rituals on this holiday one… claim my free meal at Austin Grill by sporting my Aggie Ring thus making all of my friends from lesser states a tad jealous at the wondrous Texas Special. And two I usually through my Chili party the weekend before or after.

This year I hosted it this past Saturday and as in the years past it was no let down. The day started with a good long run so that when I gorged myself later with all the chili, chips and guac, and desserts that I want I wouldn't feel bad. Then I got home showered and started cooking 3 large pots of Dales famous chili! (Side note to all my thrifty shoppers out there, I was stoked this year when I was able to buy 18 lbs of lean ground beef for the bargain price of $19.75, and it was awesome ground beef! But I digress) Around 7 pm Jodi showed up to help relieve me from the hours of constant stirring as you can not leave the pots for more than 5 minutes. And I finished getting ready for the guest. We had a great turn out this year and the chili was not as spicy as last years so more of my yankee friends were able to enjoy it. J/K it was a blast of a party and a great 5th annual!
Happy Texas Independence Day!!!

Texas Independence Day!

Jodi and I Sporting our Texas Shirts... made her and honorary Texan for the Day
My DC Renegade Bible Study!

Old Campaign Team!

Jeanie and Jodi stirring the Chili for me... one pot down two to go!

My blue shirt bandit guys! Good Texas Boys!

Our late arrivals Jerry, Beau and Andrew

Beau Out!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Invisble Fence

My mornings are very sacred to me in that it is usually the only time I have to myself. The rest of my day is full of meetings and the like, and usually as soon as I am done with work I head off to meet with college students or other random people. It is a rare week when I have an evening to myself, thus I treasure my mornings. One of my favorite things to do in the morning is to walk to the metro. It’s a two-mile hike but to be honest it’s a great time to just listen to my music and relax. I rarely accept a ride from my roommates to the metro if I have the chance to walk. Recently my morning walks have been interrupted first by a scary man and then by all the late season snow. But this morning I was able to walk and it was actually pretty nice out. (The sad thing here is it was 30 degrees and I have been in DC too long that I thought that was a great morning)

So I was on my trek in and I was walking past a house whose front lawn borders the main road I walk on. And I started seeing all these little flags in the ground that read “Invisible Fence”. I began to wonder if they were having problems with people invading their space because they do have a very nice house but it is not really in the neighborhood per say making them more vulnerable. But then I began to wonder is there really a fence there or are the flags there just to make you think there is a fence. I really wanted to stick my foot through the flag barrier but had to keep telling myself “Self, if there is a real invisible fence you will have a nice electric shock go through your body and the rest of this walk to the metro my not be so fun with a limp” But man I really wanted to know… I will say somewhat sadly my better senses won out and I did not stick my leg through this apparent “invisible fence” so I will never know if there is one or not. Unless I decide to check tomorrow or on my way home tonight?

But the thought that helped my better sense win out was so often when I am struggling with something spiritually I know where the boundary is. Yet I continue to walk right up next to that “Invisible Fence” God has set for me. And I far to often swing my leg through it only to be shocked as I have in the past. I sometimes don’t trust that the boundaries set by God are for my protection. I began to realize I bet this fence was not to stop vandals from getting to there house but they probably got a pet most likely a dog who wanted to play in their front lawn. But the little dog probably ran into the main street too often risking his life. While he may be upset when the line of the invisible fence shocks him, in reality it is saving his life from being hit by a car. And far too often I get upset with God thinking the boundaries are for others to keep the bad people away from me and I don’t have to abide by them. But in reality this invisible fence by God is for me so that I know where to stop and while my crossing it may release a small shock, it is for my own good to send me back into the safety of His plan, and not to continue to wander into the street where who knows what could happen to me.
Then to be honest I was upset with God for showing me this little picture because then I got REALLY convicted about testing this literal “Invisible Fence” in front of me… I guess I will never know.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Bally's Blunders

My gym, I think is the craziest gym in the nation, just to be honest. It has almost become a ritual where my roommates cannot wait until I get home to hear the stories. Something weird happens almost every time I go. I am an early morning gym gal and the crew that is with me is pretty steady the same group of about 15 people who are crazy enough to be there when the doors open. Since we are a small crew we know when someone new joins our ranks, and rarely do they last over a week but it is fun to see new faces every now and then. I have a gentleman who has almost the same exact work out schedule as I do, and we usually end up on machines next to each other every day. Since we only exchange smiles and few words (I mean who really talks at 5 am) we don’t know each other’s names. But when telling stories to my roommates if anything ever involves him we call him Bill. Bill and I exchange many side-glances or smiles though at all the random stuff that happens at our gym and one morning we had a long enough conversation to decide our gym is one of the most random ones out there. Here are two of our favorite stories…

One morning Bill and I were running on the same end of a long line of treadmills, (we both like to watch ESPN and Fox News while running) and we kept hearing a loud thud. By the third time I took my ears phones out and only to be shocked at the cause of the noise. On the complete opposite side of the treadmills a young man had turned the speed up too fast that he could not keep up with it. He fell on the belt that thus it shot him off onto the ground. I was so shocked I quit running and was about to see if he was okay when he got up, turned the treadmill up even faster and jumped back on just to have it shoot him off once again. We watched him do this 3 more times and had heard the thud at least three time before that. So he had a total of six falls before the staff told him he needed to stop. After surveying the scene and seeing no video cameras or his friends there, Bill and I were only left with the question why would someone do this, and why do it at 5 am in the morning! Still a mystery.

Our other favorite was one morning a gentleman began showing up at the gym in his street clothes and walking around. He would look at the equipment but never get on anything. Every now and again he would stretch but then walk around the equipment again, and just stare at us who were actually using the equipment, and he was continually checking his watch as if annoyed to be there. One morning Bill and I were upstairs with the weight machines when he came upstairs and had the most disgusted look on his face as he approached some of the machines. He actually sat on one next to me did one leg lift and then quickly got up again scowling at the machine in disgust. I laughed because at that moment I saw he was wearing a wedding ring. I quickly put two and two together grabbed Bill and told him our creepy friend was probably not so creepy in fact but we guessed his wife sent him to workout and he was just killing time before he had to go home and claim his morning victory. I will give him this credit in that he now actually does workout but it took at least a month of him showing up and doing nothing to actually get to that point.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Rules of the Subway!

Since I have used the subway system these last 5 years as my main form of transportation to and from work everyday I have come to learn a few things about proper etiquette on the metro. Not to mention seen some crazy things on the metro… this list could truly go on and yes there is a story with all of them, but here are just a few of my pet peeves and random encounters on the train in the morning and afternoon.

1. Never sit next to someone you do not know unless there is no other option to sit by yourself.

2. In follow up to #1 when seats clear and you are sitting next to someone you do not know move to allow them a bit of personal space.

3. Especially follow number one and two is you a large man (by large I mean broad shoulders the size of my desk!) so that the smaller girl next to you can breathe and move her arms.

4. Try not to fall asleep on the shoulder of the older man sitting next to you on your 45 min ride home.

5. Please shower before entering the metro.

6. PLEASE follow #1 and #2 if you have not followed #5.

7. Singing to your ipod is not welcomed no matter how great of a singer you think you may be… Paula, Randy and Simon are not on the metro to discover you. As well as dance moves or trying to teach dance moves to your singing is also not welcomed especially in the morning hours.

8. Please also read quietly to yourself. Not everyone is interested in Britney Spears latest escapades.

9. Please leave all public displays of affection to private times with your significant other.
10. Contrary to popular belief the aisle between the seats on the train is not best used to obtain your morning run you missed by over sleeping. Especially if you are working up that sweat in your suit for the day.

The One the Only J-Rod

J-Rod and I at Home Plate in Camden Yards
Chillin in Miami

One of the many weddings and few non-self-portraits of us!
Us at Brian and Becky's Wedding

Tough faces on in Kyle Field!

Well since I dissed Jared and demoted him the other I felt the need to give Mr. J-Rod his own props… my friend J-Rod may not play professional baseball but he does make one of the best professional wedding dates and all around friend a gal could ask for. Jared and I met under some pretty funny circumstances at camp a long time ago, needless to say there was some drama and Michelle had to step in to control the situation. But since then I have found a very loyal friend I can always count on. Many may remember in college I used to introduce him to girls in college as “Any girl not dating Jared is missing out” and I believe that still holds… He gets really embarrased when I say that :)

My favorite Jared story is after the hurricane, he took off of work and tirelessly searched for my missing family members in Houston. I never asked him to do this he just called and said I am heading to the shelter give me all the names… And contrary to popular belief we found he was not “dead inside” (as many believed) because he cried when he located my Aunt Rita at the very last hospital he checked. He has been my loyal wedding date to many of my sixteen weddings often driving me hours around Texas so I could fly cheaper into Houston. And I have even convinced him to take on many roles volunteering for the Republican Party, thus turning him into yet another political junky!

Jared is the king of self-portraits and rarely asks anyone to take pictures for him, he toured DC while I was at work and took all his pictures via self-portrait. There are MANY funny road trip stories or vacation stories to tell of Jared. But most of all I am glad to call him one of my closest friends no matter how cranky :) he gets!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Dance Floor Divas!

So I calculated it the other day and realized that I have been in 16 weddings! With my brothers still to come in April! Recently I have been running the gauntlet of weddings with four in five months all back in Texas! (While I am excited to be able to make so many trips home this can put a strain on ones wallet…) but alas I am a sucker for weddings!

I get so excited to see my friends find the one God made just for them, and its neat to see God’s hand in their lives. I love it when I can say I was there from the beginning but sadly recently since I have left the Great State, I often meet my friend’s significant other for the first time at the rehearsal. But one of my favorite things about weddings is the reception! I love the fun and laughter and dancing… now you won’t be seeing me on Soul Train or American Bandstand with my moves, but I do love to break it down even if it means others laugh with me… well mostly at me.

My friend Jared is often my official wedding date as most of my weddings are in Houston or for mutual friends. But this past weekend I took my good friend Chris with me to Heather and Mikes wedding… and so sorry Jared… but he was the best wedding date ever! Want to know why… he danced just about every song with me! Often we were the only folks on the floor but heck we did not care we were there to have a good time and a good time was had! So I just wanted to give props out to my friend Chris for a being such a great wedding date and allowing himself to be embarrassed with me. Guys take note… all it takes is a few moves on the dance floor and you can have the girls swooning!
The pictures above are of the wedding fun. The first is Mike, Heather, Myself and Chris. The next is of my other dance floor partners Tricia (aka Trashy) and Melissa.

Uncle! Uncle! Uncle!

Okay I have given in folks! MAN! I treid so hard first it was MySpace, then Facebook and now blogging! This is getting out of control... But alas I have decided to enter the bloggin community now that I have more time and now that I don't want to bore my friends anymore with mass e-mails they may not want to read... (if you are on the e-mail list never fear there will still be e-mails going out) but I thought this would give me a forum to post my random thoughts and adventures that people may not want flooding their in-boxes. I am not going to make this a politcal blog so if you are looking for that so sorry... and I am sure there will be little to no words of wisdom on this page... but there may just be some fun stories of my adventures and such to keep all my friends who are scattered to the wind up to date on my life and all my crazy antics (that you had hoped I would have left behind in college or high school even) but of course I have not! Hopefully you will enjoy this and get a smile in your day!