Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I could never be a teacher

These past two weeks have been a bit hectic. I’ve been writing papers, studying for finals, trying to find a place to live, and training my replacement at work. I turned in the paper last week, and I’ll take my last final tonight (hooray!). I also found a fantastic place to live and got it for a fraction of the price most of the tenants are paying. Life is good. The only thing I haven’t quite enjoyed is training this new person. She’s a sweetheart, but…well…let’s just say it’s been a patience-building exercise for me. It takes every ounce of self-control I have to not reach over and yank the keyboard from her hands and do it myself. I’m sick of repeating the same thing over and over again, only to be asked about it five minutes later. I just can’t comprehend why it’s so difficult to grasp; my job is really not that complicated, especially for someone that supposedly has the required experience. I guess one month of training really wasn’t that far-fetched after all. I’m now beginning to think it won’t be enough time. She keeps saying “I should get your cell number in case I need help.” In my head I’m thinking, “Honey, if a month of training doesn’t cut it, there’s really no hope for you.” And “H no, I’m not giving you my number!” She started last Monday, so I still have another 3-1/2 weeks of this. My only consolation is that two of the weeks are broken up by holidays; I’ve never been happier for Christmas! Oh, and to make matters worse, she’s been sick this whole time and has been coughing all over the place. Yuck! Right now she’s only working afternoons, so every morning when I come into work, I take out my handy dandy Lysol sanitizing wipes and give my desk a complete scrub down. I just now used my last one to wipe down all my pens and pencils. Guess I better run to Wal-Mart before I come in tomorrow. The countdown is on!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I saw God today

I love music. It clears my mind of clutter and provides an escape whenever I need it. I rarely pay attention to song lyrics; the music is simply there to overpower my racing thoughts. However, I recently discovered two songs that I absolutely LOVE: (1) You're Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins and (2) I Saw God Today by George Strait. If you haven’t heard these yet, take a minute to go listen.

These songs remind me to take a step back and recognize the blessings I’ve been given in life. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and forget to give thanks for everything around us. How often do you hear people say things like, “I’ll be so much happier once I…” or “I can’t wait until…” The chorus to Trace Adkins’ song responds to this mentality:

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

It’s so true! I’m often guilty of thinking, “tomorrow will be so much better,” and I forget to just pause and enjoy today. Do we ever really appreciate life while we live it? Or are we constantly wishing for more, ignoring the small miracles that occur every day? In George Strait’s song, he talks about how God’s fingerprints are everywhere; we just need to slow down and look for them. He sings about seeing a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk, seemingly planted there just for him to see. The noises of the world around him are suddenly silenced by this small miracle, and he realizes he has seen the hand of God. I love the simplicity of this song and the writer’s recognition of God’s hand in all things. Those four words are so profound to me: I saw God today.

We have so many reasons to rejoice each day. I hope we’ll all learn to slow down and appreciate life in the moment. Look for “God’s fingerprints” in your daily life; I know you will find them.

In what ways did you see God today?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Writer's block

I had a dream about Spain last night, and now I can't stop thinking about that place. I would much rather be there than where I am right now (i.e., sitting alone at home trying to write my dumb Texas Politics paper).

Me with Vicky and Joaquin
(My favorite place to eat in the mission)

Plaza Moyua in Bilbao

Guggenheim museum in Bilbao

La Ria de Bilbao (with cutie Sergio)

Santander - the prettiest city I served in

Santander again

We spent many a days walking up and down
this path doing street contacts

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Do you secretly LOVE the new Britney Spears song, Womanizer, and blast your stereo whenever it comes on and dance in your car like a crazed teenager and belt out the lyrics like your life depended on it?

No? Oh. Me neither.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Memory Lane

One of my favorite things about the holidays is that we always sit around telling funny stories from our childhood. Here are some amusing (to me, at least) highlights from my early years:
  • Ignoring the “No Trespassing” sign to go play in the river and jump off the mini waterfall
  • My friend Suzy getting too close to the waterfall and falling through the ice (fortunately, she was fine and only lost a shoe)
  • Camping under the railroad tracks by the river (Why on earth did my mother let us do that?!)
  • Sledding/skiing down the metal roof of the little shack by our house
  • Rummaging through the shack, trying to find hidden treasures (I still have a newspaper I found from 1918)
  • Packing up my favorite clothes and running away to the shack… then getting bored and going home a few hours later when I realized my mom probably wouldn’t notice I was gone anyway
  • Melting icicles on the wood stove when our mom wasn’t looking (she hated when we did that)
  • Sitting on the wood stove when we were really cold (ruined a few snowsuits that way)
  • Trying to build an igloo in our front yard
  • Pretending to have an invisible friend so my little sister would be jealous (and she WAS)
  • Doing flips off the top bunk
  • The creative fun we had whenever the power went out (Sarah and Rachel, do you remember “Ooga Booga”? LOL!)
  • Going to work with Mom and running around the doctor’s office while she typed (she worked nights doing medical transcription)
  • Spending a month in San Francisco with my friend and her supposed grandmother when I was only 10 years old: Wandering the streets by ourselves each day, getting chased by a crazy man, playing in a Catholic church (probably shouldn’t have done that), working in the flower shop… (Again, what was my mother thinking?!)
  • Collecting snakes, tadpoles, frogs, crawdads, etc. for our wading pool
What are some of your favorite memories?

Friday, November 21, 2008


I didn't know what I was getting into when I kindly gave more than two months' notice at my job. I naively figured the new person would start about a week before I headed out (it normally takes that long - or longer - to hire someone around here). But au contraire. Just two weeks after I gave my notice, they've already chosen someone to replace me. Turns out the new person will start in about a week, and I will have to train her for an entire MONTH. I am really not looking forward to that. Seriously, my job is not THAT difficult to learn. It makes me doubt the qualifications of this person if she requires five weeks of babysitting before she can handle the job on her own...or maybe I've just done a REALLY good job of making my job seem complex. LOL! January 9 seems so far away.

Side note: Our new mail delivery guy is really friendly. I wish I could be that happy in a job that's probably quite mundane.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A beautiful kind of love

When I showed up at my sister’s house on Sunday night for dinner, my three-year-old nephew, Liam, raced in from the other room, screaming my name with delight. He barreled into me, tightly wrapped his little arms around my legs, and kissed my knee. Beaming up at me, he exclaimed, “I’m fast! Watch me! I’m so fast!” With that, he ran back into the living room. I figured that would be the last time he’d acknowledge me until dinner. To my surprise, though, he snuck up behind me just a few minutes later and started hugging and kissing me again. I, of course, loved every minute of it; nothing is sweeter than hugs and kisses from one of my nieces or nephews. Part of me wondered if he had forgotten that he already greeted me at the door, but I didn’t mind the extra affection.

My youngest nephew, Austin, is about 20 months old. I picked him up to give him a hug and kiss, and he responded with the kind of smile that would soften even the grumpiest of hearts. Then when I asked (multiple times, I might add), “Can I have another hug?” he giggled and quickly complied, sometimes even adding a kiss. He is precious. He always lets me hold him as long as I want, as does my niece, Sarah. When I visit, she usually spends every moment either by my side or somehow demanding my attention. It’s so sweet and makes me feel important…and loved. But I digress.

About fifteen minutes after I had arrived, Liam came up to hug me a third time. I looked down at that sweet little boy and realized I hadn’t felt that kind of love in a long time. Without saying a word, I lifted him into my arms and held him close to my chest, his head resting on my shoulder. After a moment he looked up at me and said “I love you too, Becky!” I hadn’t even said anything, but he knew what I was feeling.

Liam’s affection melted my heart. How can this little child have such a strong comprehension of what love is and how to express it? How come I, with my 20-something years, am so far behind him? What did I do to deserve such love? Did I earn it, or does he just love unconditionally? Liam’s is the kind of love you absolutely know is true because three-year-olds can’t be forced to do anything, even give hugs. I quickly learned that when I was leaving: I guess I’d maxed out my “hug quota” for the night because he didn’t even want to say goodbye. That small “rejection” (if you want to call it that) made his earlier affection all the more special to me; I knew he meant it. His love is the most beautiful, purest kind of humanly love there is…the kind I’m not sure I know how to give.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I guess I'll start blogging

After some gentle prodding from The Chrissy Herself and Yangster, I've decided to start my own blog. I'm not promising anything fantastic or mind-boggling, just random (and probably quite sporadic) thoughts and experiences. I'll amuse myself, I'm sure, if nobody else. :)