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Monday, May 21, 2012

Who am I?

Looking back over my life, and especially over the last couple of years, I have a hard time believing how different I used to be. I'm not the same person I was ten, five, or even one year ago. I'm not the same person I was six months ago! People say you never stop growing, and I'm reminded of that and the validity of that statement often. Every time I reach a point where I think I know who I am, something else comes up to challenge me and I am forced to think about something else and grow in another way. For a long time, most of my life actually, I defined myself by my friends. I followed my friends' lead and became like them. This doesn't meant I was a terrible person or did horrible things; I just wasn't being my own person. Gradually, one by one, most of my friends have left me and, standing alone, I've had to think for myself. I've had to decide who I am in and of myself, not based on the people I know or who likes me today. Much of those decisions have been made and I am more confident in myself now than I ever have been previously. The people who are still around as I've grown (and there aren't many!) are the true friends and they are all amazing and I love them. But even if they weren't around, I would still be who I am. I've come to the conclusion that in order to be a true, good friend, one has to be true to him or herself first. I'm not saying I am one hundred percent there - I don't think anyone ever is, if we are to be honest with ourselves. But I'm a lot closer than I used to be, and I'm willing to get even closer. I think that's the main thing.

So who am I now?

  • I am a Christian. A Christ follower. I seek the Lord's will for my life. My heavenly Father has a plan for my life and I want to honor and glorify Him in all I do by following His will. Why He chose me, I do not know, but He did and I am beyond thankful to Him for that. My chief end is to glorify Him on earth and continue to do so when I get to Heaven. This is who I am, first and foremost. My relationship with Christ defines everything else about me. Without God's choosing me, what would I be? Nothing. Less than nothing.
  • I am a friend. It is said that to have friends, one must show himself friendly. I believe "friendly" in that context means more than just being nice or polite or happy. It's an effort to go above and beyond, to do whatever you can for someone else because you care. One must show himself willing to make the commitment to being a friend. Throughout my times of decision-making, I've had to analyze what friendship really means to me and I've decided that it is a commitment, but it has to be a mutual commitment. I will no longer commit myself to people who are not interested in a true relationship. But once I decide I am your friend, you'll have a hard time getting rid of me. Once you betray me, we're not likely to be friends again.
I'm not perfect in any of these areas. I'm still learning and growing. Maybe this list should be longer. But I'm starting with the basics and going from there. Who knows what could be added in the future? God has brought me a long way to reach this point. Peace has been a long time coming. But it's here now, and I will cling to it. Knowing who I am helps me to stick to what I know is right.

Just because I do what I know to be right doesn't mean it's easy or I'm always happy with how things have turned out. But that's okay. Because doing what's right is the most important thing. And if I truly want to be the best I can be, then I will be constantly working to do what is right. If I do what is right, everything will work itself out.

In the end, all that matters is the Lord and His will. He is working all things together for my good, so why would I want to fight it, anyway? I'm resting in Him to guide my steps and my life for good - because it's been promised!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Days Go By, I Can Feel 'Em Flying

Time is passing so quickly. Looking back, the days all seem to run together. It's hard to distinguish one from another - even recalling yesterday takes some work. I guess I should blog more often and that might help, but there's usually nothing of any great interest to write about. Weekdays are much the same; the only thing that really changes is what time I work. My typical schedule each week looks something like this:

  • Monday: 12:30-6:15
  • Tuesday: 8:15-1:45
  • Wednesday: 8:15-6:15
  • Thursday: 8:15-6:15
  • Friday: 8:15-6:15

I work every third Saturday, but that's just until 12. Those weeks that I do work on Saturday, my schedule during the week is a little different so that I don't end up with any overtime. Overtime = illegal at Union First Market Bank. ;-) I love my job - everyone is so nice and I'm learning so much!

Lately I've been hanging out with a new friend a lot. I met Ashby through a mutual friend and we've really hit it off. It's nice to have a friend again, someone to hang out with and do stuff with. Last night we went to the Byrd Theatre in Richmond to see TRON: Legacy. That theater is very old and very cool! I definitely recommend it if you get the chance to go. At least look at the pictures and stuff on the Web site. (Also the movie is really good; see it on the big screen if you have a chance!)

Tomorrow, RVA On Ice is letting Union First Market Bank employees and their families in for free in the evening! I get off work at 6:15 so at least one of my sisters and I are going to go. It's an outdoor rink and pretty new, so I'm excited to see it. I love skating in general, though I've only been ice skating a couple times and that was several years ago!

My sisters Tonya and Kristin and I went to another ball this past Friday night. It was so much fun! I don't think it was as good as the first one, but still amazing. This time there were just a lot of kids running around and goofing off, and they were having fun but it took away some of the fun for those of us trying to dance when the kids in our set weren't doing it right. But oh well, I don't hold it against them. I do look forward to the next ball that is more for adults, though. I also bought three formal gowns, so I definitely want another ball.

The weather is beginning to get warmer. I don't mind the cold like I used to - in fact, I sometimes like it. But there's something about the coming of spring and the warm weather that I still absolutely love. I can't wait to be able to drive to work with my windows open and the music blasting. I would like to get my A/C fixed before summer comes, though...

Almost time for bed! This morning was the first time I've woken up feeling rested in a couple weeks. I had some form of the flu (maybe swine flu?) a couple weeks ago and it really wiped me out for a while. I'm so glad to be feeling better now! I don't really appreciate being healthy until I get sick for a little while. Maybe that's one of the reasons we get sick. I guess I need to learn to be grateful for how the Lord takes care of me and not take things like my health for granted!

Here's hoping for good dreams tonight - dreaming is one of my favorite things to do.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

New Life

How do you start blogging again when it's been so long since the last time you did anything?

I've been staring at my blog off and on for the past week or so, trying to figure out how to get it going again. I failed miserably at keeping it updated last year, and so many things have changed. It's like I'm living a completely new life and I feel like I don't know how to come back to this blog and write and get it up and running again.

But then I decided I just have to do it!

Here's a little rundown of what happened the remainder of 2010:

  • Beginning of May - AWESOME managers at NY Grill got fired. I was very upset about this.
  • May 22 - Came home from vacation as a graduate of VCU, holding a BS in mass communications with a minor in English
  • May 28 - Found three stray kittens at work, a couple of whom had been injured by (probably) another animal. Took them home to try to take care of them. One I kept and named him Westley after the hero in The Princess Bride.
  • May 29 - Went to something called The Appleseed Shoot and learned about riflemanship. It was interesting even though I was a horrible shot.
  • June 12 - My sister Kristin graduated from high school exactly 6 years after my HS graduation day! We had a blast that weekend hanging out with friends and partying.
  • July 23-August 2 - Took a roadtrip down to Florida with my sister Tonya. WE HAD THE TIME OF OUR LIVES. Went to Hollywood Studies (formerly MGM) and Universal, the beach, hung out with friends and family, and general just enjoyed the Florida atmosphere. Also visited briefly with friends in Georgia on the way down and back.
  • August 3 - Bought my dad's car - a little red VW Golf stick shift.
  • August 14 - Saw Inception. (Just had to put that in there because it was an amazing movie.)
  • August 28 - Finally was able to see my musician friend Ben Berumez (look him up on MySpace and Facebook!) play since my busy schedule had calmed down after I graduated.
  • August 31 - Had a phone interview with Union First Market Bank after sending in my application and resume 2-3 weeks prior.
  • September 1 - Had an in-person interview with Union First Market at their downtown Richmond office. First time driving in the city with my new stick shift car!
  • September 3 - Had another in-person interview with the Ashland Union First Market Bank branch manager.
  • September 11 - Civil War lantern tour at Meadow Farm - always awesome.
  • September 21 - Don't remember exactly what date, but somewhere around this time I got a call from Union First Market Bank saying I GOT THE JOB as bank teller in Ashland.
  • September 27 - A friend from PA and her husband came down for the weekend and I met them for lunch. Always nice to see friends, and most of mine live far away.
  • Setpember 28 - Last day of work at NY Grill! (My last day at Martin's was Sept. 23)
  • September 30 - State Fair! I always enjoy it, but this year was a little disappointing compared to other years.
  • October 2 - Protesting Eric Cantor's Republican Round-Up held at a place not allowing guns (Innsbrook Snag-A-Job Pavilion)
  • October 3 - Honor Society concert at the State Fair - amazing!
  • October 4 - First day at the bank! I had a lot of training - several weeks - so I didn't actually start doing teller work right away.
  • October 23-24 - Celtic Festival. LOVE LOVE LOVE
  • November 6 - Mom and Dad were away this weekend for their anniversary so my sisters and I had a movie night at our house with friends (Toy Story 3 and Prince of Persia - both great!)
  • November 20 - BALL! My sister Kristin and I went to a Fall Ball that some friends held in a church gym. This was an old-fashioned ball, like from Jane Austen times, and we learned dances and had, well, a BALL.
  • November 25 - Thanksgiving. First year in as long as I can remember that I didn't watch Macy's Parade because the channel wasn't coming in!
  • December 3-5 - Sewing weekend at our friends' aunt's sewing shop, getting our outfits started for the Renaissance Faire.
  • December 25 - CHRISTMAS!
  • December 29 - Saw TRON. Amazing music.
  • December 31 - New Year's Eve! Karaoke party with the family, and a couple of friends came for a little while, too.

So, as you can tell, a lot happened in the remainder of 2010. One of the most exciting of those things was that I got a "real job" (as my grandma called it) as a bank teller for Union First Market Bank! I work 40 hours a week, have benefits and paid time off, and I LOVE IT. The people I work with are great, the customers are so nice, and the company is a good one. It's hard to believe I've been there 4 months already.

Big news in 2011...

My best friend Christina got married! I was a bridesmaid, so my sister Tonya and I drove down January 6-7, were there for the wedding January 8, and drove back January 9. It was the best weekend in a LONG time. I met some great people and got to hang out with friends.

I went with my sisters and some friends to see the latest Narnia movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, on January 22. It was better than I was expecting from what I'd heard from other people, but they changed [i]so much[/i] from the book. I still enjoyed it, but I wish they'd stayed truer to the original story, like they did in the first two.

So that pretty much brings you up to date, I guess! I can't believe it's February already; it seems like the year just started yesterday. So far 2011 has been pretty great, and I'm excited to see what else is in store. I might go to Georgia again President's Day weekend to visit, there's another ball February 25, my family is going to the beach again in May - so much exciting stuff is going to be happening!

Bring it on!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vacation Day 2

Second day of vacation and what did we do?

NOTHING. And it was great.

Actually, we did spend quite a bit of time on the beach, but other than that we mostly just sat around. We really love vacation! Here are some pictures from today...

This is the boardwalk that takes us over the sand dunes onto the beach. Just on the other side of this hill is the ocean!

There was an adorable 3-month-old puppy that a couple was walking on the beach. He was having fun barking at everything. When the water got close to him he ran away - I think because it was so cold!

It was a really nice day! This morning was warm but it got much cloudier and cooler this afternoon and evening. We just hung out and were lazy all day. Love it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


My family and I are vacationing in the Outer Banks for a week! We drove down to Avon, NC, today and have been spending the afternoon and evening relaxing and enjoying each other's company.

To get out to Avon we had to drive on this long road and it felt like we were driving to the ends of the earth! There was nothing around for miles except sand and vegetation and blue sky.

It worked out really well when we got here because the house we rented wasn't guaranteed to be ready until 6. We arrived shortly before 4 and were able to get the house right away and get settled and head to the beach!

The house we're staying in is really nice. It has four bedrooms and three bathrooms (one more bathroom than we have at home!), a great room, a dining room, a kitchen, a sunroom, a deck/balcony, outside showers, grill, wifi, TVs in every bedroom, a PS2...the list goes on. The picture is taken from the driveway. We have to go up the steps to get to the front door. Underneath is where the showers, etc., are. Behind the house is the beach!

Between the house and the beach itself are sand dunes where grass and other vegetation has grown. There's a boardwalk going up and over the dune so we can get to the beach fairly easily. But we're not allowed to be on the dunes at all, as you can see.

We spent quite a bit of time on the beach today, just walking and collecting shells. There was a dead shark on the beach that was kind of cool but also gross. There is a lighthouse further down the coast that I'd like to go see if we have the chance. We could see the light tonight, but it was too far away to really see the lighthouse itself. We mostly just hung out and took it easy. We played some ping pong tonight on the dining room table (haha!), some of us worked on a puzzle, and some of us (me) got online to blog, etc.

Tomorrow maybe we will fly a kite and/or throw a Frisbee, but we're not making any definite plans. It is vacation, after all.

To see more pictures, go to my TwitPic account, which is updated throughout the day. Or you can also see my Facebook pics, which are different but usually updated at the end of the day. Follow me, my sister Tonya, and my sister Kristin on Twitter to receive more updates.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A conversation in class...

Laura (to Rich): I saw you walking to class this morning and I thought about stopping to give you a ride...but I just kept driving...

Other girl: That's horrible! Why did you say that out loud?

Rich: Thanks...

A.J.: I did that one time when I saw Rich walking in the rain. But I decided not to give him a ride. I didn't want to get my car wet.

Laura: Well, I have picked up Rich on the side of the road before.

Nicole: Now it sounds like he's homeless!

Rich: It just gets worse and worse!


It amused me. ^_^

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Life changes quickly...

Each day goes by and it doesn't matter whether the individual day feels long or short, when I look back over the time that has passed, it seems that it has gone by so fast. This has been the case since the beginning of the year. Time has flown by. Some weeks feel long and some feel short - and when I am looking ahead, it seems that time will never pass. But then it does and I feel like maybe I have whiplash because it went so fast!

Things have been happening, on a small scale and on a larger scale as well.

Spring break has come and gone, and of course it didn't feel long enough. I've been keeping up well in my classes and not procrastinating (too much!), which is a bad habit of mine when it comes to school and homework. In fact, one of my classes finished before spring break started, and the other will stop meeting next week. Those are my journalism classes. I have three literature classes that will last until the end of the semester...

And then I graduate!

I got my cap and gown, even though I'm not walking, because I didn't have to pay extra for them. I also got my portrait taken, but I'm not buying the prints from this company because they are WAY to expensive.

The reason I'm not walking is that my family and our neighbors (who are like our adopted grandparents) are going to the Outer Banks and will get back on the day of the commencement ceremony. I'm really excited! We rented a beach house and everything. I've never been there, so it should be a lot of fun. It'll definitely be nice to get away for a while. My sisters and I and some friends are also planning a trip to Florida later in the summer, and I'm super excited about that, as well. I hope it works out!

Spring is here, and I'm definitely ready for it. We've had so major snowfalls since mid-December. I don't mind snow, but that's A LOT of it, and everything gets shut down and I can't get out to go anywhere (work or school) when there's that much snow.

I'm still working at Ukrop's, which has now changed hands and will eventually be called Martin's. Seems like Martin's will be a nice place to work, too. We'll see. I still only work there 1 day a week and work at New York Grill most of the rest of the time that I'm not in class. New managers came in to work in December and they are AWESOME.

On a bigger scale...things are changing very rapidly politically. The health care bill has been signed into law, BUT Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and some others are suing the federal government, essentially for breaking the law. Then there's all this hooplah with the militia group in Michigan which just happened to call itself "Christian," so of course the media is having a grand old time with that. All of it just makes me angry to think about.

Next week is Empty Holster Protest Week. I wish the VCU branch of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus was more active. April 12th is the 2nd Amendment March in Richmond and the 15th is the second annual Tea Party. I'm pretty excited about all these events and will probably write articles about them.

Speaking of my articles, check out my other blog, A Little Bit of Everything, to see what I've written. I've done quite a bit lately.

Writing this blog post is a better use of my time than this class. We're supposed to be talking about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight but...we spent 30 minutes talking about the possibility of football at VCU. My teacher for this class always rambles about totally unrelated stuff.

Movie class tonight! We're going to watch Romeo and Juliet, the old version. Hopefully it's interesting or I might just fall asleep!

Friday, January 08, 2010


All my grammar teacher wanted to teach this morning, before reviewing for our exam, was evolution. So I decided to rant about it.

It always amazes me how hard people are willing to work, how much they are willing to twist their logic, and how far they are willing to stretch in order to shove God out of the picture. When they do, they end up with a confusing argument that makes no sense when you pick it apart logically.

I'm a lazy person. I don't want to have to do any more thinking than necessary. If I have to sit for hours and give myself a headache and throughly befuddle my brain to try to understand what you're saying - most likely I'm going to give up on it. That's how I feel about evolution. It just doesn't make sense to me. I'm not trying to be close-minded, that's just the way it is. Creation is SO much easier to believe - it all makes sense and fits together neatly with time lines, etc. Not to mention it's more interesting! Evolution is demeaning, weird, gross...whatever.

My teacher was trying to explain why all languages seem to have a common ancestor, and the fact that people all seem to be descended from one small group of humans. To me, that's easy! God created us and gave us the ability to speak - He's also the one Who gave the variety of languages at the Tower of Babel. Of course languages are all going to be similar. God created Adam and Eve, and everyone on earth is descended from those two people. It all falls into place, it's easy to believe, there are no holes, no stretching for excuses and trying to figure things out for hours until your brain is twisted in knots - it's all RIGHT THERE. When trying to explain it WITHOUT God, however, it's unbelievably confusing, there are holes, you have to work really hard to come up with excuses and then it just sounds...dumb?

If someone else wants to believe evolution, whatever. That's their prerogative. If they want to discuss it with me, that's fine. I'm willing to talk about it and discuss it. I'm willing to listen to their beliefs. I don't necessarily hold it against someone if they hold to evolution. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.


When you try to shove that belief down my throat, especially when you have no REAL evidence to support it, THEN I have a problem. I respect that you have a right to believe whatever you want. The LEAST you can do is respect that same right for me. If you want to discuss evolution with me, fine - be willing to accept that I'm going to disagree and want to discuss creation right back.

I believe in creation for the simple reason that God said that's what happened. And since God can't lie it's obviously true!

And, like I said, it's a LOT easier to believe for a simpleminded person like myself.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Ever have a class when your teacher talks about stuff that's relevant to the class, but is obviously not going to be on the exam and isn't particularly interesting? That's what's happening to me right now.

I was having a hard time paying attention anyway, but now it's even worse. It doesn't help that I'm tired.

Sorry, I wasn't planning on whining and complaining when I started writing. That's just what's on my mind right now and I'm not sure what else to talk about at the moment.

I have to work later. I just want to go home and sleep. -.-

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Future

When trying to make decisions for my future, I generally look to my past experiences, when applicable. Even if it's not exactly the same kind of situation, there are things that I can learn from and principles I can apply.

As I prepare to graduate from college this spring, however, I feel as if I am starting completely from scratch. It's not that the slate has been wiped clean - more like I've been handed a completely new slate. This seems strange to me since the last few years of my life were to prepare me for the moment when I enter "the real world" (which is always pronounced with emphasis in a deep voice) and proceed to live my life. College is supposed to get you ready for your career and the rest of your life. I don't feel ready. Not in that sense anyway. Obviously the Lord is in control and I'm ready for anything in that way. But when I think past graduation I see nothing but a void. For so long (all my life really) things have been planned out. Even if the plans didn't always work exactly as I thought they would, there was still a structure and a plan. After graduation...what is there? A job? What job? What else is there?

It's times like these when I realize how amazingly thankful I am that the Lord is in control of my life and that He's given me incredible parents who will always be there for me, and my wonderful sisters and the rest of my family and friends. I know things will be okay and will work out. I may not know how, but I know that they will, and for now that's good enough.