Sunday, June 26, 2011

To Dad (this is what I wrote him for his father's day gift)

You taught me how to change a tire and how to bale hay.
I listen, even when you speak no words, to everything you say.
You taught me how to work hard morning, noon and night.
And for things that I believed in, to stand up and to fight.

When I was sick you cared for me, when I was well you cheered!
And you were always there protecting me against those things I feared.
You taught me right from wrong, you showed me good from bad,
And you taught me how to find the happiness even when I'm sad.

You made me finish the things I started and do the things I hate,
Even now I hear those words "cooperate and graduate."
You taught me to kneel and pray when times were rough and hard,
and the things that brought me pain, you told me to discard.

You care about me now as you cared about me then,
and anytime I'll fall down, you'll pick me up again.
And when I'm angry, happy or poor, tired, joyful, or sad--
I know you'll always be there, how? Well, cause you're my dad!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lilacs and Pandora

Two things have always been able to calm me: the smell of flowers and music.

I remember the first day of high school, palms sweating, heart pounding, and adrenaline pumping. I was nervous, and I think my brother Danny could tell. He was a senior to my lowly sophomore and the chauffeur for the year. I don't remember too much, but I do remember the sound of Linkin Park's Meteoria pumping through the speakers of our car. Somehow, it suited the blood churning in my body and amazingly, I was comforted.

A year and some-odd months later I was about to take my first test on the driving range. Once again my brother drove and hard core Sum 41 pounded through the entire car and into my body. Somehow, at that moment, 2 wrongs (adrenaline from being petrified and adrenaline from the music) made a right, and my heart was stilled.

As I sit here the perfume of the lilacs float through my open window. It reminds me of the countless times I "ran away" and ended up in a garden or field, letting the smells mix through the air and calm my fragile heart. Tonight is no different.

Tomorrow is a big interview. The job isn't anything fantastic, but the benefits will be an answer to my prayers. It comes with great pay, great hours, and tuition reimbursement. I've always been stressed about school and money and this would be the best opportunity to finally put an end to all of it.

So thanks to an open window and Pandora, I think I can rest easy tonight.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clara Belle

Used bike: 100$, Bike lock: 30$, Wicked cool name for the bike: priceless.

(However all of this was bought on a Visa card so it's not as witty as I thought!)

So, today I drove by a thrift store and outside was this extremely cute bike! It kept calling to me "Lizzy, buy me!" I stopped by the store and asked how much it was and he said it was 100$. Well, recently I've been looking at bikes on ebay and everything was at least 150$ and then 40$ for shipping. So when this was already the perfect bike and I didn't have to pay for shipping it became sold.

I drove it home and tried to install the lock bracket thing (that holds the lock on the bike), but it wasn't working and then after an hour I gave up and just decided that I didn't need the bracket thing. So I decided to take her out for a spin. I thought this was such an amazing bike! It's so cute and so I christened her then and there: this is Clara Belle.

As I was riding her around the block I realized 3 important things...1) I am incredibly out of shape, 2) Clara Belle is one of those old bikes that have the brakes on the pedals (which is one of the reasons I fell in love with her, she reminded me of my childhood bikes) so I'm going down hill I'm trying out the brakes and...they're not really working. And the third very important thing I realized is that...Clara Belle doesn't turn! It has one of those really wide turning radius! So I'm turning and I'm braking and I'm huffing and puffing and I thought to myself "I just spent 100$ on a big mistake!"

I thought that I could ride my cute bike to school when I got to the U. I also thought that If I go to close places I could save Betsy (my car) from some unnecessary wear and tear. But now I have a bike that doesn't brake, doesn't turn, and can't really go uphill.

Life Lesson Learned: Never buy anything because it's pretty.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Imagine yourself...

You know what I'm sick and tired of? Women (no matter their shape or size) hating their body. I have a friend that constantly says things like: "I don't like wearing swimsuits in front of men." or "I would look so much better if I was just 5 pounds lighter." Why do we do this to ourselves?? Why do we let ourselves look in the mirror and destroy what's truly unique to us all? Why do we let the media tell us that we're not pretty enough or skinny enough? Well this is what I say to that...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I chose a long time ago to love me and I mean ALL of me. Every hill and valley, every thigh dimple, every acne scar, every bad hair day, everything. Elder Holland once counseled to the young women by saying:

"I plead with you young women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else. We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are thin. And almost everyone at some time or other wants to be something they are not!... We should all be as fit as we can be—that’s good Word of Wisdom doctrine. That means eating right and exercising and helping our bodies function at their optimum strength. We could probably all do better in that regard. But I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size."

So here I make the same pleading to all of you: love yourself, for you are unique. Love everything about yourself that you cannot change, and change only the things that are unhealthy. Here I've included some pictures of models and celebrities who are constantly breaking the Hollywood mold. These women are famous for being different...that is something to celebrate.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Nikki Blonsky. She is the star in Hairspray and the TV show Huge. They took this picture of Nikki and the next day she found it on billboards everywhere. Miss Blonsky could have freaked out and apologized for her curvy ways, but she didn't. Mad props Miss Nikki.

Paparazzi took a photo of Tyra Banks and photoshopped her to make her larger. Then, in an effort to turn this into a giant scandal, they posted it all over the National Enquirer. What this magazine never anticipated was what happened next:

Tyra Banks went on her talk show and started the "So what? Campaign". She even appeared on her show in the same bathing suit and posed next to a cutout of the photoshopped pictures. Instead of denying that this was her body and being ashamed, she declared to the entire nation...So what? So what if she really looked like that picture? Does being curvy make her less smart, less beautiful, or less successful? No, and that's why People magazine did a cover and spread on the lovely Tyra. She wore that red tube top bathing suit and posted her weight, (161 pounds) and then made an episode on her show where everyone in the audience donned a red tube top with their weight planted on their chest.

Miss Tyra made huge waves with this "So what?" movement and made the media coward away with their tail between their legs. She even warned these salacious magazines that they can "kiss my fat a$$". Thanks Tyra for sticking it to the man.

Whitney is Cycle 10 winner on America's Next Top Model. She is the first plus size model to win the competition. There have been many plus size model contestants who have competed on the show but halfway through, they let the other models' size get to them, their confidence wavers, their pictures fail, and they are sent home. Miss Whitney never faltered, never wavered, and never lost her confidence. To this day she still holds the title of the only plus size model to win. Go Whitney!

Laura Stone is one of the biggest names in the fashion world today. She is know for her bigger bust (albeit tiny waist), voluptuous hips, and a big gap in her teeth. She is praised, nay, worshiped! for her quirky teeth and womanly curves. You can see her in every fashion magazine anywhere from Vogue to Marie Claire and Elle to Vanity Fair. Brava Miss Stone for daring to be different.

Just to prove that I'm just as secure with myself as any of these gorgeous celebrities, I'm including a picture of myself in my cute new bathing suit. I love me, and I hope that maybe this blog will inspire you to love yourself too.

Be your own beautiful!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Car, Kitchen, Catastrophe!

Well now that everything in my life officially is good again, it's time for all the bad stuff to come pouring in. Let's see if this time I can handle it without a breakdown.

Monday was my second french test. I wasn't all that prepared for it but I figured I could just take it and see what happens. So I'm on 5th S and 5th E about to get on the freeway when, all-of-the-sudden my car starts smoking! Now I've told Betsy (my car) time and time again that smoking is bad for her health and can cause serious lung damage, but here she is, her temperature rising and smoke coming out of the hood. Drat you Betsy.

So I pull over and say a quick prayer that I'll make it somewhere so someone can do something about poor Betsy. I finally pull into a Jiffy Lube (about 4 blocks away) and it's smoking so much I can barely see past it. So the attendant at Jiffy Lube looks at the smoke and asks "is this why your here?" In my mind I was thinking (No captain obvious I'm here for an oil change!) but instead I just said yes and he walked me into the waiting room.

So I was there all of 2 seconds when the man came back in and explained to me that my radiator was cracked, so the coolant was leaking out. So he filled it up with more coolant and told me to just fill it with water if it does it again until I can replace the radiator...which is $150 or more.

Now every morning I diligently pour 1/2 gallon of water into Betsy and say a mighty prayer that I'll get wherever I need to safely and without incident (and so far it's doing ok). BUT! Silver lining is, I didn't have to take my french test and my teacher allows one dropped test. Yippee! Now I just have to do well on all my other test.

Now about my kitchen....there's a leak in the plumbing and it infested all of the drawers and cupboards below the sink with mold. So the landlord had someone to come and clean it (which was kind of embarrassing because my house wasn't clean and I didn't know they were coming) and he was having a hard time because there was so much mold everywhere! He took out one of the drawers and he realized that it was covered in black mold...yes black! Meaning I should have been in a hospital bed a long time ago (another amazing miracle from a very loving God).

This morning they were supposed to come and fix it (fixing the leak in the plumbing and clean all the mold) but when I got home everything was where it was at when I left it. So now I'm just waiting for that to get fixed and time (and money) to get my radiator fixed. Oh and I had to throw away my mixer, my blender, and my crock pot because the mold got in all the nooks and crannies and there would be no way for me to completely clean all of it. And seeing that I'm allergic to mold, I didn't really want to risk it.

So after all that has happened I can still see God's hand in everything. I'm so grateful that even in the most difficult of times I can still have mini miracles given to me to know that I'm loved.

Life is beautiful!