Archive for March, 2009

He’s got my back

March 31, 2009

This morning, I took a trip to my local Publix to get some things for lunch. Actually, my mom wanted me to get her a few things including some Advil.

So I found the Advil, picked up the littlest bottle since it’s the cheapest and went on my merry way. Lo and behold, by the beer section (no, I wasn’t buy any. Geesh, it was 8:45 in the morning!) was a bin full of 100-pack Advil advertised for 7.49! The small, 20-pack Advil I held in my hands was 4.79. No brainer – buy the big pack.

So I did and the cashier rang my purchases up and the Advil rang up for 11.49. Um, what?!

Here’s what I am: non-confrontational. I walked out of Publix, pondered the fact that I paid 3 dollars more than I thought I would and pondered the fact that even my mom would have confronted Publix about this.

So, with a determined step, I waltzed back into Publix and went straight to customer service where a price check ensued.

Result? I was right. (Well, duh)

Result of that? I got a 100-pack bottle of Advil (normally 12 dollars) for FREE! And that’s why I love Publix so, so much. Not simply for their delicious sub sandwiches or the fact that they employ the cutest stockers around. Customer service, my friend. It’s a fantastic thing. If you pay more for a product than is advertised, they give you the product for free.

And as I walked outside, into the bright sunshine, I could just feel God winking down on me. He’s got my back. 🙂

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No Father-Daughter dances for me

March 30, 2009

I knew it would happen. I had absolutely no doubt in my mind it would happen. But I let the thought escape my mind.

I was having fun. We were at the wedding reception, celebrating the union of Anisah and Andrew. We had just eaten a delicious dinner and all of the bridesmaids were barefoot and happy. We watched a performance of Hawaiian dancers and a fun little game about the who’s gonna be who in their marriage (Who is the better cook? Who wears the pants in the family?).

And then Anisah and Andrew had their first dance as husband and wife. They danced to “At Last” by Etta James and all of us single girls sighed and looked on with jealousy.

And then it was time for the Father-Daughter dance. And I had no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t be able to stick around for it. So, choking back a sob, I excused myself from the table and rushed to the bathroom and unfortunately heard the beginning of the song Anisah and her father would be dancing to, “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman.

As I stood in the stall, crying softly, it just hit me that I’ll never have a Father-Daughter dance. I haven’t spoken to my dad in 16 months and it seems as if he has forgotten I even exist. And even if we do somehow reconnect and reconcile, it’s not the same.

He was never a father to me. I’ve never had a father. When I was young and cute, sure. He liked me. He played with me. I thought he was handsome and strong and everything a little girl could ask for. But as I grew older, I realized how wrong that thinking was.

He never made me feel beautiful, just because I was his daughter. He never protected me. He never showed me how precious I was to him. I never felt pretty enough, smart enough, athletic enough for him. I remember playing tennis with him and my brother and just standing there as he hit ball after ball to my brother, leaving me to just watch. I remember telling him of my “new dream” of being a homicide detective (I was 14 at the time) and him telling me I’d never be good at that. I remember being disappointed by him time and time again (not showing up for weekends, telling us of a trip to Ohio that we never took, etc.).

So that moment of a father giving his daughter away to another man…that’s never going to happen to me. He’s already given me away. He isn’t holding on closely to my heart until the right man comes along and he willingly gives it to him. He’s already tarnished and trashed my heart.

I’ve already decided long ago that my brother is going to give me away. He’s been the father figure that my father never was and has done his best to try to piece back my heart that my father broke. Now I just need to find a really good brother-sister song.

On a much lighter note, I forgot to mention that I caught the bouquet at the wedding! I told Anisah to throw it to me (since I’m totally her favorite bridesmaid EVER!) and she threw it up, it got caught in the rafters, and I used my keen ability to catch it, screaming like a wild woman when I did. It was fantastic. And my groomsman, who is also Anisah’s brother (who requested me because I’m “pretty” and “nice”), caught the garter. Quite fitting, wouldn’t you say? 😉

Just a little green with envy…

March 29, 2009

Well, yesterday was Anisah’s wedding. And it was everything a little girl could ever dream of. I have only attended 2 other weddings in my lifetime and I was very young for both.

This wedding was perfect. Anisah and Andrew got married in their church and she made the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. Her dress was fantastic. We bridesmaids did indulge in a little jealousy (well, at least Sarah and I did).

The wedding ceremony was beautiful and yes, I did shed some tears when I saw Anisah walking down the aisle and the look on Andrew’s face and also when Anisah said her vows, as she was crying during them. 😉

All throughout this week, God’s been working on my heart, it seems. I’ve known Anisah since 9th grade, even though I didn’t know her very well. She was quiet and there was something completely different about her. She had a different way of dressing, of walking, of talking. And when I got to know her even better in 11th grade, I found out why. She had an active, living relationship with God.

I went to church. I read my Bible from time to time. I even attended youth group (even though I hated it). I didn’t think anyone my age actually lived the Christian faith. We just attended church because our parents made us. Anisah lived it and she helped me see what life could be like if God was the center of it.

I’m not saying she’s perfect. She’ll be the first to tell you she’s not. But she believes and worships a perfect God and through Him, she is able to lead a life pleasing to Him. She started wearing a purity ring at the age of 13 and has kept her self pure for her future husband. She began writing letters to her future husband when she was 13 (something I’ve always meant to do but never got around to). On Saturday, she was able to give that journal as well as her purity ring to Andrew to show him how much she has been praying for him and preparing herself for him.

She entered her marriage completely pure. She entered her marriage night just as God intended and I’ve got to believe it was more special than what 90% of girls our age experience.

The entire time, God kept on my heart, letting me know that Anisah put Him first in her life. He was her one and only Lover until he brought Andrew into the picture. He ordained their marriage. He didn’t pick her up at a bar. They didn’t get married because she’s pregnant. They didn’t meet on some cheesy dating site. God introduced them a long time ago, knowing that He would witness their wedding day 8 years later. Isn’t that amazing?

I’m 21 years old and there are times I feel I’ll remain an old spinster. I’ll never experience the love of a husband. I’ll never get to be a “princess for a day.” But that’s just me letting Satan rule over my heart because it will happen.

There is someone out there that God made especially for me. My future husband is out there and it may be 6 months from now or 6 years from now that I meet him. But I have to be patient and willing to let God control my life.

So, yes, I’m a 21-year-old never-been-kissed virgin. I’ve been in 1 relationship my entire life that lasted less than a month. But I’m not into dating a bunch of wannabe husbands to find The One. God knows who “The One” is. And I’m content to let Him unveil that man to me when He thinks I’m ready.

Until now, I’m going to be content with the True Lover and begin to make Him the center of my whole world.

It’s all relative…

March 18, 2009

Yesterday, I had my second-to-last Appropriate Practices for Infants and Toddlers class which is a class I have to take for my job. Basically, it’s everything I already knew and a “If You Don’t Have Common Sense, Here’s What To Do,” type of course.

Anyway, my instructor who is a director for a Catholic church daycare, had her supervisor in class and she was observing her. And I could tell that my instructor was nervous and trying to do her best. I felt for her because I knew what that was like. She wasn’t herself and had trouble remembering words (English is actually her second language, although she speaks it very well with a slight accent).

Just 5 months ago, I was in the same position. I had spent the past 2 1/2 years thinking I was going to be an elementary school teacher. I would have graduated with my Bachelor’s in December except my last internship went terribly. You can read all about it here. I was interning in a fourth-grade classroom and had 2 teachers supervising me every single day. Once they left the classroom, I was so much more comfortable and things came easier for me.

But when my teachers were in the classroom, I was nervous and fidgeting and trying to remember my words, and English is my first language! Needless to say, my so-called supervising teachers (they didn’t do much supervising. . .) told my supervising professor (who never had much faith in me to begin with) that they couldn’t pass me which caused me to change my major, lose my financial aid, and force me to pay for my own schooling.

I still catch myself daydreaming about being a teacher, though. Just the other day, I was thinking about room arrangements and how classroom’s I’ve been in have arranged classrooms and how I would arrange my classroom someday. Until I realized that I will never have my own classroom. I get a little melancholy when I drive by elementary schools.

I really enjoyed the kids, especially the fourth-graders of my last class. They are full of energy and life and tell the best stories ever! I mean, I love my babies and toddlers and when I’m helping out in the older kids’ rooms, that’s fun, too. That’s what makes me a little sad about not doing elementary education anymore. The kids made all of it worthwhile.

I am happy with my new major and I think it’s the right fit for me. But I still miss those fun classes where we did art projects and pretended that we were seven years old again and I definitely miss those cheeky kids.

There’s an EGG in my THROAT…

March 17, 2009

Today I woke up with an egg in my throat. Well, I think it’s an egg. Everytime I swallow, I feel like there’s an egg blocking my spit.

Yesterday, my throat was scratchy and I told one of my babies in a very sweet tone, “If I get a sore throat, you’re in big trouble.” And she then proceeded to wipe her snotty nose on my collar.

Ah, the joys of infants. You just gotta love ’em.

So, since I started my job 4 weeks ago, I got my version of the flu (starts with a sore throat then merges into a stuffed-up nose, losing my voice, and a cough and lasts about a week) which I got after my 2nd week. Last Sunday, I managed to catch the 24-hour virus that’s floating around (my mom, in turn, got it the same day FOUR people at my work were out sick with the virus. Um, I’m sorry?). That was terrible. I wanted to die.

So now I’m sitting here with yet another sore throat. I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for the rest of the day. But, no. I have work for 6 hours and then a 2-and-a-half hour training class afterward (and the only way to get out of it is death).

So I just have to suck it up and deal. And hopefully, if I pray hard enough, this sore throat will be gone tomorrow. God, I hope so.

Beach day

March 16, 2009

Yesterday I had big plans to hit the library and spend 3-4 hours working on homework. Exciting, right?

But before then, I was walking around Largo Mall which is a big, open mall with my mom. We were shopping for shoes for Anisah’s wedding since I’m still trying to find some. And it was just a beautiful day. Sunny with not much wind, just your typical March day in Florida.

And Mom turns to me as we’re walking to Target and says, “This is a perfect beach day. I’d love to go to the beach.”

Which got me thinking: spend a few hours soaking up the sun at the beach or spend a few hours doing homework surrounded by strangers?

So we headed for the beach! The sad thing is, even though I live just 15-20 minutes away from the beach, Sunday was the first time I’d been since August 2007. Why do I not go to the beach more often? I mean, I’m not a fan of salt water or getting sand in interesting places. I don’t like to see my body in a bathing suit (and I really don’t like seeing girls who are much heavier than me wear bikini’s. Yuck.). But the beach is so relaxing and peaceful.

I mean, it’s a whole different world when you go to the beach. Nobody is rushing around, trying to do a million things at once. People stroll. They build sand castles. They throw footballs and Frisbees around. It’s a way to escape.

Not everything was peaceful as something is seriously up with the birds. They stole a potato chip right out of my mom’s hand and a sandwich out of another guy’s hand! I mean, literally just swooped in and snatched it! And then they just congregate around the beach, staring people down, daring them to open up a bag of chips. It’s scary, man!

Anyway, it was a nice escape. We made plans to go A LOT more often. It was exciting to be so spontaneous. I like it. It doesn’t happen very often but I think I need to be more spontaneous and put some adventure and excitement back into my life!

EDIT: Hm…up to 400 hits on this blog but no comments? Come on. If you read this blog, comment! I promise I don’t bite!

Really, really good news

March 13, 2009

So today was The Day. My deadline for USF to receive my Spring tuition of $649. So I went online and tried to pay it but my school’s website is so confusing that I didn’t know what I was doing.

Luckily, I am at school as I was working on training for my job and hopped right over to the Cashier’s office where I was told I had $980 due.

Um, WHAT? No, no, no. I have $649.

So I guess my fall tuition that I have to pay now before I can register for classes, that is over $700, was factored into all of that. But I thought it would be much, much higher. I figured it to be close to $1,400.

So here’s what I think happened: Even though the meanie lady at the financial aid office told me I wasn’t received federal aid, I did. It shows on my transcript that they gave me $421 for this semester. So, in reality, I only had $228 due today. But they also added that $700 bill as well, bringing my total to that $980.

So I stupidly paid $649 because that’s what I thought I had to pay. And USF better not charge me late fees for not paying the entire thing because the only thing due today was tuition, not what I had left over from fall. I need to find that piece of mail and make sure there isn’t a due date on it but I’m almost positive there isn’t.

I thought I’d have to work my tailbone off and not take a class for Summer but I just might be able to. 🙂 I really hope so. I would like to graduate before I’m 30.

The good news is, it’s paid. And maybe, just maybe, USF will refund me the difference if I overpaid (but that’s doubtful. We are talking about USF after all). The bad news is, my beautiful check this week? It’s gone. I have no money. I’m back to being poor and dependent on my momma.

But next paycheck? 🙂 It’s going to be beautiful since I have an all-day training next Saturday which will be on that check. I’m already counting down the days.

Sick as a dog

March 10, 2009

Sunday, I got sick with the dreaded 24-hour flu.

I don’t remember the last time I have been that sick. The nearest I can remember is when I was in 5th grade and got the flu from my brother. My mom had all-day training for her job and I was stuck at home with my dad. He’s not the best nurse.

He actually asked me why I couldn’t make it to the bathroom and got sick in the trash can. Um, sorry, but cleaning up after your sick kids is what you signed up for when…you know…

I was so weak, I couldn’t even lay in bed and read. I didn’t even really sleep because I was never that comfortable. I just kinda laid around and dozed.

And it made me think of my grandma who went through over SIX MONTHS of feeling way worse than I did. She was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in May and is now completely healed but there were many days where she didn’t even have the energy to get dressed.

After Sunday, I can totally see where she’s coming from. Then I had to go and get a RAGING headache later that night and we had no Advil in the house at all. I felt like a million tiny hammers were beating against my head. It was terrible.

Luckily, I woke up Monday feeling much, much better. The last thing I wanted to do is call in sick. Yesterday was my one-month anniversary! 🙂

Now, if I can go another 10 years without getting the flu, I’d be happy.

No doubt

March 7, 2009

This past week I had a heart-to-heart with my mom. Basically, we talked about my school and credit cards and how we’re going to pay my school back and get on track with my credit cards.

And we were just talking about how stupid the college system is in Florida and how she wishes she could pay for my tuition (which is a moot point. She can’t. Oh, well. Move on.). And then I told her, “I know, without a doubt, that I am going to be a published author. That’s what I was meant to do.”

It was kind of a defining moment for me. I don’t think I expected those words to come out of my mouth, really. But it’s so true.

See, I was the girl who used my Barbies and dolls to re-enact stories from childhood books or stories from my own head.

I was much happier perusing the school supplies section of Wal-Mart, searching for new notebooks and pens to write stories in.

A notebook was never far from my reach as I wrote plot after plot. I was much more interested in creating characters and plotlines than actual stories. It’s so fun to make a figment of your imagination come to life on paper.

Writing has been in my blood for as long as I can remember. I don’t daydream about Brad Pitt or George Clooney. I daydream about my stories.

And while my major is journalism and not creative writing, I think I’m sticking with it. Many journalists become fiction writers, after all. It gets your foot in the door and your name out there. And it’s fun.

I also have a great story idea that if I could just find time (and a computer!) to write, I know it’d be a winner. It’s a new concept but in that fun chick-lit way. But not the age-old girl-turns-30-finds-out-she’s-single-and-suddenly-has-3-men-after-her-who-does-she-choose type of way.

It’s gonna rock.

You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone…

March 5, 2009

I don’t think I ever realized how dependent I was on my computer…until it was gone.

Sure. I knew the computer was big for me. It was my favorite piece of technology and I used it a lot.

But not having it? It really sucks, man. Particularly because I use it so much for school that when I do get a chance to swing by the library to use the computer, it’s usually because I need to do homework.

But do I actually do homework?

Not really.

I’d much rather catch up on my celebrity gossip and Facebook all day.

An average schedule:

Monday: I usually don’t get to a computer at all on Mondays. I have class from 9:30-10:45 and then work at 12. I need to eat lunch in between then and it’s too much of an issue for parking to get to the school library before class to get on a computer. So, generally, I don’t see a computer at all on Mondays.

Tuesday: No class so I get to the library when it opens at 9 a.m. to work for about an hour. By work, I mean catch up on celebrity gossip and Facebook. Then I have to go home, eat lunch, get ready for work, and then I’m at work until after 6.

Wednesday: See Monday.

Thursday: See Tuesday.

Friday: This is my “off day” I guess. I don’t get to a computer and just kinda relax at home with the doggy until I need to get ready for work.

Saturday: Up early and at the library at 9 a.m. where I put in about 4 hours. This is the day where I actually do do my homework. I get a lot done on Saturdays, actually.

Sunday: The library opens at 1 p.m. and I’m there for about 2-3 hours on Sunday, getting homework complete and the like. I also get a lot done on Sunday.

But it’s still really hard not having a computer. I hate it. I have $649 due for tuition next Friday and Anisah’s wedding is at the end of this month so I still need to get my shoes, alterations, and my hair done (!). Blegh. Mom and I have been talking with my brother about computers at his work. We’re probably going to have to bite the bullet and do the whole rent-to-own concept.

This post is going nowhere…so I’m just going to stop now. Kiss your computers for me!