Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{opening ceremonies} the good and the bad.. but mostly good

Let me preface:  I meant to post this on Saturday morning, but life kind of got in the way (which is seems to be doing a lot lately).  My first (hardest) semester of my MBA program is winding down so I have been devoting extra time to my studies since finals are right around the corner.  If you think about it, say a little prayer for me in that I may look to the Lord and trust in him to provide me with the knowledge and confidence I need to make it through the next 10 days.  

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like someone aimlessly; I d o not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”  -1 Corinthians 9:24-27

The Olympics are FINALLY here and Friday night while watching the opening ceremonies I felt like a giddy child on Christmas morning.  I am slightly more attached to this year’s Olympic Games because they are being held in my absolute favorite city/second home. 

I have been fortunate enough to spend 11 summers of my life exploring this city.  You see, my Dad teaches on a study abroad program through Baylor University and my mom, sister and I have been able to accompany him .  I have enjoyed getting to know the city and there was a time when I firmly believed I knew my way around London better than I knew my way around Waco. 

Having said this, I am currently sitting at my parent’s house in Waco, housesitting for them while they enjoy another summer in the wonderful city of London.  I guess surviving the first semester of my MBA program takes precedence.  I am so jealous, but at the same time so happy that my family has had the opportunity to experience all of the events leading up to the Olympics these past few weeks. 

I love the Olympics because for the next 17 days, every country around the world will come together and unite.  It seems as if every year, our world gets more hateful and more selfish.  It is a sad sight to watch. But over these next two and a half weeks, we can forget the turmoil that is going on around us and focus on one thing: athletic competition.  Determining the best of the best. No questions asked. No politics. The best athletes will come out victorious.

With all of that being said, let’s talk Opening Ceremonies.  While watching last night, I was also following Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites just to get a feel of what the general consensus of the Ceremony was.  In order to really understand the London Opening Ceremonies, you have to realize that London is a theatrical city.  I believe that Danny Boyle played this to his advantage when developing the Opening Ceremonies.  For those who do not understand this part of British culture, the Opening Ceremonies might have appeared odd, but I thought it was an interesting and unique way to portray Britain’s history and accomplishments. 

Since I am currently working on my MBA in Healthcare Administration, I found it very interesting that Boyle decided to highlight Britain’s healthcare system during the performance.  It is incredible that the British people value their healthcare system as much as they do, and let me tell you, they definitely have something to be proud of. 

The Parade of Nations is my favorite part of the Opening Ceremonies.  Seeing the smiles of all of the young athletes from around the world almost brings tears to my eyes.  Talk about fulfilling a dream.  This is also the part of the event where you can really see all of the countries coming together.  These athletes are showing the world what true unity is about.  If only the rest of us could follow their example.  

I also loved the Boyle’s decision to give a group of young, unknown British athletes the opportunity to run the torch to its final resting place.  The moment where the legendary Olympic athletes embraced the young athletes was memorable. 

And last but not least, who can forget the closing performance by Sir Paul McCartney singing “Come Together.”  It seems that this is the underlying theme of the 2012 Olympics and I like it.  A Lot. 

So tell me, which sports are you most looking forward to watching this year?  For me it’s track & field, women’s gymnastics, swimming and basketball.  I’m still having a tough time believing all of the hype surrounding this year’s men’s basketball team rivaling the 1992 Dream Team.  Guess we will see. 

Here’s to hoping Team U.S.A. kicks some serious butt this year! 


Monday, July 9, 2012

{Happy Monday}

My family is currently frolicking through Europe.  Oh, what a life! I, on the other hand, find myself stuck in a classroom cramming my brain with more information about business law, finance and economics that I ever thought I would need to know.  Good thing I find this stuff somewhat interesting.  I came across this picture and it instantly took me back to thoughts of my last trip to Paris.  I am DYING to go back, and hopefully one of these days I will get that opportunity.  

Happy Monday everyone! 

{Balancing Act}

I think this might be the third or fourth time that I have said this, and do not quote me, but I am really am going to try to become more consistent with my blogging.  Before now, I have had this weird insecurity that in order to blog one must have a "specific direction."  But I have learned over the past year that if you limit yourself, you will never discover your true potential.  Corny, I know.. but I dare you to argue the truth in that statement. 

Therefore, I am challenging myself to no longer limit the possibilities in my life.  I cannot begin to describe the changes and challenges I have gone through over the past 12 months.  I have experienced rock bottom and have also experienced the joys of bouncing back from such a low point in life.  I am glad my past is my past and I am ready for what the future holds :)

I think my biggest challenge facing me currently is how I am going to balance everything I have going on at the moment.  I am currently back in school pursuing my MBA in Healthcare Administration.  Grad school is 100% different from undergrad. I have never been more concerned about my grades and studying 24/7 has become a regular occurrence.  I am quickly becoming a nerd.. eeek! I also find myself creating multiple side projects and I constantly wonder if I am biting off more than I can chew.  Let's be honest.. I'm 23 years old and nothing in life is guaranteed.  Therefore, if I come across something that sparks my interest, I am going to pursue it.  And that's that.

Ok, I'm officially down off of my soap box and am excited to get back into the blogosphere! Be expecting a variety of posts and feel free to make comments/suggestions.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Wow! I do not know what it is about this week, but I have been in a huge rut.  Life seems to be going in slow motion, yet I still find myself to be a step behind.  It is times like these when encouragement is so important.  Encouragement can be found in the most unexpected places.  For me, I love inspiring quotes.  For example, today I woke up at 7:50 when I am suppose to be at work at 8.  Miraculously I walked into the office at 8:05, but was merely going through the motions all morning. While trying to finish up a couple of projects, I stumbled across the quotes above.  Immediately I felt encouraged and inspired.  Wow, God shows up at precisely the right times!

The next few weeks are going to be absolutely crazy.  Between working my full time job, taking the GMAT (19 days away) and beginning to train for my first triathlon, it is safe to say that I am the busiest I have been since my college days.  And while I spent my entire college career with a packed schedule, I have gotten quite used to getting off work at 5 and relaxing.  

I am so thankful for all of the encouragement in my life.  I look first and foremost to my creator.  When I find myself stressed or discouraged, I remember that the Lord will never put me in a situation that I am unable to overcome.  And. That. Is. Awesome.  

On a lighter note, tomorrow my Bears play for a chance to go to the Elite 8!  Oh, how I wish I was in Atlanta this weekend.  But I have to save my time and $$$ for New Orleans and the FINAL FOUR! I am completely confident that Baylor can make it there.  We just have to play like a team and not get discouraged (I say WE as if I am part of the team).  Baylor is one of the most talented teams in college basketball, but sometimes I am not quite sure that they realize their true potential, or maybe they have just been saving the real show for when it matters most! I wonder if Brady Heslip can beat the 9 three pointers he made last game.. That would be quite the show.

Alright, that's all for now.  Thank you for listening this dramatic post of mine and be looking for some exciting new things that are developing in my life! Despite having a rough week, there is still so much to look forward to! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Favorites//St. Patrick's Day

Happy Friday everyone! I am currently sitting at my desk, trying not to be distracted by the stress/excitement that is often referred to as March Madness.  I am so thankful that my Bears were able to pull off a win last night, despite a not so stellar performance.  

In a few hours, I will be heading up to Dallas for the weekend to celebrate a friends birthday and St. Patrick's Day.  It will be a nice, short break from reality.   I can't wait to share pictures with you on Sunday (I told you I would get better at this whole blogging thing eventually).  

For now, check out these St. Patrick's Day inspired images. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Life//March Madness

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!! March Madness is here and I am expecting my Baylor Bears to make a pretty far run in this year's tournament.  I have no problem admitting that I have a not so slight obsession with college basketball and I have been beyond giddy all day knowing that the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament is now officially underway! 

Each year, my Dad and I sit down and spend what seems like hours analyzing the bracket in order to choose as many correct outcomes as we can.  I think this year we might be onto something.. check out our bracket below:
 I also have my "fantasy bracket" where I have Baylor winning it all.  That would be nothing less that awesome! I'll keep you updated on how my bracket is doing throughout the tournament.  

I also wanted to share some pictures with you from this past weekend.  My friend Ashley and I decided to spontaneously road trip to Kansas City to watch Baylor play in the Big 12 Tournament Championship game on Saturday.  Despite the fact that the Bears did not end up victorious and and even though I got lost in downtown Kansas City, I would do it again in a heartbeat.   

FYI: I am in the middle of reconstructing my blog, so please excuse the mess :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 Before 30

I am sure most of you have heard of "30 Before 30" lists.  Well why stop at 30?  I have so much more that I want to accomplish and to limit myself to a list of 30 is just silly.  I would like to introduce you to my "40 Before 30" List (the ones crossed off are the ones I have already completed): 

  1. Read the Bible cover to cover
  2. Attend a Duke vs. North Carolina basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium
  3. Take a picture at the top of the Swiss Alps (picture below)
  4. Read the entire Harry Potter series
  5. Start a family
  6. Go back to Italy
  7. Attend a Jay Z concert
  8. Go gator hunting in Louisiana 
  9. Get my concealed handgun license
  10. Learn to surf
  11. Get my MBA
  12. Complete a triathlon
  13. Learn to snowboard (picture below)
  14. Learn to box
  15. Lead someone to the Lord
  16. skydive
  17. Watch a cirque de solei show in Vegas
  18. Move out of Waco
  19. Go on a mission trip
  20. Complete a half-marathon
  21. Take pole dancing lessons (thanks to Keely Foster's bachellorette party)
  22. Learn to play guitar
  23. Become a graphic design guru 
  24. Customize my blog
  25. Make a donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation
  26. Go to tea at the Ritz (I'm currently trying to find my picture from this moment)
  27. Take an adult ballet class
  28. Pay for someone's meal behind me in the drive thru
  29. Attend Tomorrowland in Belgium
  30. Become a Big Sis in the Big Brother/Big Sister Program
  31. Be in better shape than I was in high school
  32. Own a puppy (King Charles Spaniel to be exact)
  33. Be able to splurge on something nice for my parents 
  34. Go skinny dipping
  35. Get a tattoo
  36. Run 1000 miles
  37.  Own my own home
  38.  Play each golf course on the British Open rotation (I can mark St. Andrews off the list already)
  39. Conquer a fear
  40. Live without regret
John 10:10 says: 
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and live it abundantly."  

This verse has always been one of my favorites, but has really caught my attention the past few months.  There are times where I catch myself becoming idle and complacent with where my life is at the moment.  But in reality, I am light years away from fulfilling the dream that the Lord has for me and while I may not know what my final mission is yet, I know that I am called to always live life abundantly. 

I do not believe in regrets.  Every moment and event in my life has helped shape and mold me into the person I am today.  Regret is merely a setback and life is too short for setbacks :)

I am excited to be able to update you on my "40 Before 30" progress! Below are a couple of pictures from a few of the items I have marked off my list already. 

During a summer trip to Europe with the Baylor in great Britain program, my family and I were fortunate enough to visit the top of the Swiss Alps!! It was one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen.  God is so good!!
Alex Benda (who is now a very successful marine) taught me to snowboard over Christmas Break of our senior year! She forced me to face a personal fear and for that I am thankful!
Last spring break I went to Las Vegas with three of my best friends.  I don't have a picture of us at the Cirque de Solei show we went to, but I figured I would put up a picture just to prove that we were actually in Vegas. 


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Road to Becoming a Big Sister

"Being passionate about something makes people nervous.  It means you have something to die for while they are still searching for something to live for." - Unknown

Let's start from the beginning.  I was born in Waco, went to college in Waco and am now working in Waco.  If you were to have asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I would be moving to Dallas, living with my best friend Emily and working an entry-level PR job that probably wouldn't pay enough for me to afford living in the big city.  Once again, the Lord hit me with the reality that the plan I have for myself will never prevail.  Instead, I find myself sitting behind my desk in Waco completely humbled and thankful for the opportunity I have been given.  And while I am confident that the Lord has greater plans for me outside of Waco, I know that it is vital for me to delve into this new chapter of my life (even if it does begin in good 'ole Waco) with everything that I have.  

I will be the first to admit that I spent the first 5-6 months of my post graduate career sulking about being in Waco and not being where it seemed like ALL of my friends were.  This attitude that I was portraying negatively impacted everything from my job to my relationships to my health.  I vividly remember the morning that I woke up and came to the realization that I had lost the passion that I had once had for life.  I was strictly going through the motions.  For those of you who know me, you know that I don't just "go through the motions."  I spent my college life being involved in anything and everything.  I would leave for class at 8 or 9 in the morning and would not get home from meetings until 11 or 12.  So it was a reality shock, to say the least, when I would get off work at 5 and have NOTHING to do.  

Recently, I have made the commitment to regain the passion I once had.  Volunteering has always been a big part of my life.  Specifically, inner city organizations really tug at my heart.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something about seeing the faces of those children light up that brightens my day.  

"Portraits" is an organization I have volunteered with since I was a sophomore in high school.  It is a performing arts organization for African American youth.  I was in charge of the 3-5 year old's and as you can see from the pictures below, they are PRECIOUS
I also spent a summer working at a Kids Across America (KAA) as a counselor/swim instructor/lifeguard.  What a humbling experience that was! I had a couple of campers who had never even seen a pool before.  

The following pictures are from a project I did for my Advanced Photography class in college.  They were just too cute not to share! 

So, now that I have shared all of these pictures and background information, I guess it is time to get to the point of this post.  I am in the beginning stages of becoming a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.  I am extremely excited about being able to directly impact the life of a child in the Waco Community.  And I also firmly believe that my "little sis" will be able to impact my life as well. Be looking for many many more blog posts about this process :) 

Check out this video to see how Big Brothers Big Sisters is impacting families in the community! 

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Like Who I'm Becoming

I cannot believe it has already been eight months since I walked across the stage at my graduation from Baylor University.  And what a crazy eight months it has been! Come to think of it, crazy might be an understatement.  I have learned more about myself since graduating than in all four of my undergraduate years combined.  I have faced fears, formed friendships with unexpected people and realized that life is not going to be perfect. 

So why start a blog now? And what direction am I planning on steering this blog? Those are two very interesting questions.  I have been telling myself since the summer before my senior year that I wanted to start blogging.  I majored in journalism during undergrad and LOVE writing.  Blogging will serve as a way for me to write down my thoughts on a number of different topics.  Therefore, I do not plan on having a "specific direction."  I want to be able to share my thoughts with you and I am excited about being able to look back on past entries and see how I grow as a person!

"The Optimist" seemed like the only way to describe my outlook on life at the moment.  I spent a lot of time looking at what was not going right in my life; rather, what was not going MY way.  One day it hit me:  I will never accomplish the plan the Lord has for me if I keep focusing on the plan I have for myself.  I know you have heard this a million times, but it is 100% true.  I am blessed, period.

Let's catch up on the last few months.. through pictures!

I'm a Graduate... WHAT!

Kylie Gets Married! 

I have the greatest friends.

Robert Griffin III Brings the Heisman to Waco! 

The Bears are Victorious at the Alamo Bowl! 

My last Chi Omega Formal

 Allison Gets Married!