Thursday, February 28, 2013


I'm being uber productive right now. Not.

We're watching a film in class, and I'm writing this post. I don't typically do least not in this master's program. I enjoy my classes. Massively. I think I'm lucky in that respect. I find them relevant, engaging, important. They mean a lot to me. What I am learning means a lot to me. The students I want to work with mean a lot to me.

I'm trying to figure out where I am headed in the long run and even still, a year from now. I have an extreme dislike for ambiguity and the unknown. I like having a plan and sticking to the plan. I don't always have to stay with the plan if something else comes up, but I am a fan of a good list, setting goals, making a plan and using it.

I can be a bit of a control freak. 
I know, shocking. I'm working on it.

As a back up to changing my entire personality, I'm working on a plan. Where am I applying for jobs? I graduate in May of next year. I want to work at OU so badly. I also recognize that I am coming from a really cool program where a big chunk of the people in the program would also like to work here full time. Reason stands that it's just not a possibility for all of the recent grads from OU to work at OU. So, I need to look beyond the beauty of Norman and my beloved Crimson and Cream. Dang thinking like a grown up. 

I also need to figure out if I am going to pursue a PhD at some point. I've already taken the GRE. Twice. I scored pretty well both times (better the second). Those scores "last" for 5 years. I took it fall of 2011, so I have until fall of 2016 to use those scores without needing to retake it. I have no desire to retake that test. It's gross. This is keeping in mind that I don't finish this program until May of 2014. I plan to work for a year or two before doing the application process over again. Otherwise my dad may disown me, or at least threaten to. 

So, I've got a bit of a time line to when I apply if I decide that's what I want. In that, I also need to figure out what I want to research (because that's what you do in a PhD) and what program I want to apply to. Maybe I apply to multiple programs at different schools in different areas. Do I pursue a doctorate in higher education and student affairs like I'm currently studying and love? Do I look into trying for a PhD in counseling psychology? Do I dare try again for the clinical psychology PhD? I mean, I've only already applied twice to those programs with no success. I don't know. I don't have an answer. 

But, that's the problem with my desire to have it all planned out, isn't it? Yes, it probably is. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

a not so small life problem

Ever have one of those days where the things that happen are clearly hilarious as long as it's not happening to you? Yeah, me too. 

So, I have, um, a rather large chest. I've been busty since I was 15 or so. They magically appeared. This was something of a surprise to me. My mom is not chesty in the slightest. Far from it. She's actually very petite on her upper body in general. She is your classic pear shape. I understand that your chest size is supposedly tied to your dad's mom's chest. I have not stared down either of my grandmothers' chests and have no intention of changing that any time soon. I just know that I have more than enough love to go around in that department. 

Considering that I'm still significantly over weight, this isn't a surprising fact. I look pretty proportionate in regular clothes. If I wear anything remotely low cut, I look RIDICULOUS. I'm talking boobs for days, people. I wore square necked shirt on my 24th birthday to go out with friends to celebrate. My mom told me I looked that a tramp right before I left the house in front of a few of my friends. It was encouraging, as I'm sure you can imagine. It's also the first time my parents have ever referred to me as anything remotely like that considering I dress pretty modestly in general. This is also funny because my mom was a total sorostitute and my dad a fratdaddy. My sister isn't overly modest, and they certainly have NO issues with that. I just don't often show them off. It can be a lot. 

I have to be careful when taking pictures because otherwise all you see is my massive chest. 

These are two examples of what I'm talking about...

This has been part of my life for ten years, so it's nothing new or surprising. Things hit an all-time level of WTF in the past few weeks though while performing a certain activity - you guessed it, running. Now, good bras are an absolute where I am concerned. There is no avoiding the necessity and sports bras are no exception. I'm ok with that. I also anticipate some movement when working out. Unless I'm holding on to them, I can't help it.   I have consistently had no issues on the elliptical with these sports bras. So, I wasn't concerned when I bumped up to running on the treadmill. Epic Fail.

Apparently, my older sports bras were just worn out because I came ALL THE WAY out of the top of a couple of them. As in, out of the neckline of my sports bra, moving up and down with a higher vertical jump than I have in real life, almost hit me on the chin while I was running at the gym, all the way out of my sports bra. This has happened three times with three different bras of varying ages. 

You may be wondering how it's humanly possible not to notice your boobs coming out the top of your bra... I didn't feel the bra sliding down or anything. I don't know why, but I just didn't.  I did, however, noticed more movement that norman and looked down. That's when I almost was hit in the face. I realized what happened at that point, but I was mid run, so I didn't think I could do anything about it without slowing to a walk. I tucked my arms against my chest, finished out my last 30 seconds, slowed to my walk and then tried to inconspicuously pull my bra back in place (the gym was packed and I felt sooooo awkward). 

I then texted my mom and sister, laughed at myself and my awkward boobs, and then finished my workout with at least one arm trying to keep them somewhat still. Hah. What can I say, such is life. I suppose that I should just keep a smile on my face and be excited about the brand new sports bras I got to go buy :). 

Can anyone else relate? Anyone else have an equally awkward moment? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

the bump up

The past two weeks have been rough on the 5k training. Part of this is because of how beyond busy I've been in the past two weeks. I have had so little time to think straight, much less hit the gym. Every spare moment of my time has been spent working on some project, reading for some class, taking care of another thing on the list. Running had to take a bit of a back burner.

Two weeks ago I bumped up to the 3 minutes on 4 minutes off. The first two workouts were great. I hit the full three minutes, no big deal. The third workout was awful. I struggled to get through it. I decided that I should do 3 x 4 again last week since I had such a rough time at the end of the week. Last week I was only able to get in two workouts because of the crazy schedule. It still wasn't easy. That's for dang sure.

This week was the bump up to 4x3. I definitely considered staying on 3x4, but that seemed weak. I don't want to whimp out on myself. That is really important to me, actually. I don't need another week of 3x4, I need to get my head on straight and my butt in gear.

The bump up made me nervous for a couple of reasons. The first is that this week follows two weeks of mediocre success. I have struggled at three minutes. That reasons that four minutes won't be any better, and quite a bit more of a struggle. The second reason is that this is the first week that the time running outnumbers the time walking.

It was tough. I didn't end up wholly successful. I also had to run significantly slower than I started out, but I can do four minutes. I didn't know if I could. For the real world, that may not be overly concerning, but it scared the tar out of me. I have a TON of room for improvement, I couldn't do four minutes on, three off, but I can do four minutes and I know if I get my head right, I can do this. So, I need to slow it down, get my head on straight, have a little faith, and have a lot of dedication, determination, and desire.

the pen thief

I'm the type of girl that feels very self-sconscious about somewhat strange things. I have all the normal insecurities, too. Don't doubt that (haha), but I always worry when someone wants to look through my iTunes folder, the music on my phone, or my pandora playlists. I have always felt that you can tell A LOT about a person based on the music they listen to. I've always had a fear that people will judge me for not listening to the "right" music.

I was involved with a group on campus my junior year of college that brought a bunch of campus leaders together once a month. We did retreats and other fun stuff, as well as support each others' events. One of the things we did was a mixed CD exchange. We had a month's notice to bring this mix CD. I literally spent an entire month coming up with the playlist of 18 songs. I listened to them in order over and over to make sure they flowed, that the mix was fun, that it wouldn't be something someone could judge me negatively over. I also put a ton of music I LOVED on there. It wasn't just a party mix. It was a little piece of me in that plastic case. I wanted the person who got it to like it, to think it was a fun mix, to be excited about the surprise of it all. I was thrilled to get the mix I got. It was awesome and full of music I didn't have before the exchange. It was legit. I made a point of communicating that to the person who's CD I got.

The night of the CD exchange I was so nervous. The one person in the entire group I hoped would not get my mix ended up with it. She was actually a sorority sister of mine. At the time of all of this, she lived three doors down from my bedroom in the house. I knew from the minute she introduced herself to me during my freshman year by yelling at a new member (me - I'd pledged to join the house all of three days prior to this incident) for ten minutes about something I had no way of knowing about, she wasn't a person I wanted to be close to. For non-greek people, you shouldn't yell at new members, or anyone really, but especially the new girls... It's a good way to make them not want to join. It's also something we are taught from the very first moment after you are initiated. Treat the new members like angels because we love them, want them, and want to show them how much they have to look forward to. Epic face plant fail on her part with that move. She then continued to prove that she was not a very nice person. She had plenty of friends, so I'm sure she is perfectly nice to them otherwise they wouldn't be keen on friendship with her, but it just happens that the nice side of her personality was not what she chose to show me on the regular.

Her loss. 

Oh, where was I? Yes, the strange self-conscious things. So, I worry about how people will judge me based on my handwriting. I am always impressed with people's scrawls. I have handwriting envy. This is true of me since I was a kid. I have found there is a particular point width of pen that I like my handwriting in, so I got a lot of them. I use them more than any other pens I have because of this. Well, not really like the way I write, but with these I am less likely to think that my writing is gross and shame worthy. Hence, the pen importance. 

Then they started diappearing. I could not find them. They were mainly missing from my office. Clearly, someone stole them. Clearly. I had the one I kept in my backpack of this style and the one in my purse. The other five should be in my desk drawer. Dang pen knapper. 

Until I decided to clean out the "pen compartment" of my backpack, that is. I found all of the missing pens. So, I admit it. I stole the pens from my own desk at work and took them with me. I confess. I am grateful that I didn't voice my pen thief theory to anyone but my inner self. That would be embarrassing. I will also say I didn't realize I was stealing my own pens. I think that much is clear from this post, but it is no excuse. 

Except maybe an excuse to buy more school supplies. I love school supplies... they make me so happy. Just ask my mom or sister. You only think I'm kidding about that.

So, what should my self-imposed punishment be, oh wise internet and blog followers totaling two awesome and lovely people? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

The best laid plans...

Campus closed today at 1:30. Both tonight and tomorrow's performances of The Vagina Monologues were moved to next week. My reaction to this news is utterly mixed.

Next week - Sunday evening to be exact - I leave to go to Las Vegas for ACPA. I am thrilled about this. I had a really good meeting with Dr. Q. today. She's such a badass. Really. I want to be her best friend, know her entire life story, and geek out over the awesome research she does. I mean this in the most positive, least creepy way possible.

That said, because of the weather the show has been moved to the Tuesday and Wednesday of the week I'm going to be in Las Vegas. On a scale of important things in my life ACPA is significantly more important than performing in TVM. I would pick going and presenting over being in the show every time. This doesn't mean that I didn't put a lot of work and effort into memorizing, getting excited about the show, and planning a lot of things surrounding the show. It just means that I'm bummed. It would have been fun to put up on the stage for everyone to see.

Part of me thinks this is probably a really good thing though. I need to do some research for practicum with D. tomorrow. Now, I have some spare time to get on it. I'm not really in the mood to buckle down right this second though. Oh motivation, where have you gone? I think it's hiding. *sigh*

I am going to hit the researching at 4:30. I've got 45 minutes to find the illustrious motivation to work. That will work. Hopefully. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snow day

Tomorrow we're supposed to get between 6 and 8 inches of snow dumped on us. I am utterly torn about this.

I hate snow. Ok, hate is a little strong, but I am extremely cold sensitive. I am ALWAYS cold. This summer over the 4th of July when it was in the high 90s and over 100 degrees, I had goosebumps all over my body sitting outside that evening when it was in the mid eighties. So snow is really intense and really cold for me.

That said, with that amount of snow we could get campus would possibly shut down. That would be amazing in terms of giving me time to work on all the things I need to get done. Then again, my mom came up from Houston specifically to see the Vagina Monologues. If campus is closed, we won't have the show tomorrow night. We will still perform Tuesday (as long as campus is open), but mom won't be there for that one. We also probably can't reschedule the Monday performance...

So, I'm torn. I suppose it's not a bad thing that I have absolutely no control over it. For once I think that's a good thing :).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Is that really what I see?

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the crazy busy ridiculous that has been my schedule.

Now, I may just feel that way because I stayed at my office until 11:30 last night to "finish" the prezi for ACPA. I'll be referencing Dr. Q and D. again in this post so if you're interested in understanding who I'm referencing and why it's a big deal for me, check out this post. So, I say "finish" with the quotes because Dr. Q. hasn't looked at it yet. She may totally hate it, which is def possible and kind of makes me want to throw up because I really want to wow her. D. offered to look at it before I email it over to Dr. Q. D. Is a bit of a prezi genius. If you don't know about prezi you should totally google it. If you don't have time for that, think way more awesome powerpoint. WAY MORE AWESOME.

I worked on it for a total of six hours yesterday on top of work and meetings and other commitments. I'm really proud of the work I put in. D. is a prezi whiz. I'm really thankful that she offered to look it over. I have to hope D. will like it, too. We've already covered that I think they're both awesome. 


On another note that leads me to think there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, I started the laundry. I know that this may not seem like something worth celebrating, but I was in desperate need to get it done. With everything else going on in my life that has just been something I haven't had the time or the energy to deal with.  My mom is coming up this weekend to see The Vagina Monologues on Monday night. She hasn't done my laundry since I was 14. She offered to do it for me because of all the other stuff going on. I seriously almost had a mild freak out about it yesterday, but it's a-ok. It's started, I will keep it up, and it will be finished. Thank goodness. 

And now, I need to hit the books and run my monologue about 75 times. It's memorized, I just want to make it second nature. Soon it will be over, and just one more thing I've checked off the to-do list. That is something I find exceptionally gratifying. So, I'm keeping my eyes on the prize and trying to work through ... well, EVERYTHING. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Today, my very dear friend, Kaitlyn from Put A Bow On It, tweeted me about a post she may or may not write for tomorrow. It's about something that happened to her in middle school. I'm not going to write about it until she posts first, so I can link her story to it when I talk about it, but I will say that she handled the situation with grace and poise no seventh grader really possesses in real life.

I suppose I should say that she doesn't know that I've been blogging for a whole, what...13 days. I started this blog after she tweeted about her blog publicly to all her twitter followers. I'm already a pretty avid blog follower, so adding her's to the mix was pretty natural. Seeing what she committed to putting out into cyber space was extremely encouraging. Then again, Kaitlyn is extremely encouraging in real life. It made me want to try my hand at blogging again. I've decided I will tell her that I'm back on the blog wagon after I can say I've been actively posting 3 times a week or dang close to that for at least a month (unless she magically finds me, in which case that would be totally welcome and pretty flipping neat considering how many blogs are out there). I want to build some permanency with myself, so I'm cementing blogging into part of my routine before telling the people I know "in real life". 

So, by the time she finds this post it will be old and dusty, but no less true. 

Kaitlyn is actually my oldest friend that I wasn't born into being friends with. My family moved from Oklahoma City to Houston when I was two and a half and Michael (my brother) was three months old. My mom was painting, or house hunting, or something (shockingly, I don't really remember this being two and a half and all...) so my parents' closest friends from college who also happened to be close friends with Kaitlyn's family brought me to Kaitlyn's house for a pool party so my mom could have a break from a toddler and an infant. We met in the plastic baby pool and have been friends ever since. Considering that there are few things I've done for 23 years straight, the fact that we're still friends continues to impress me. 

Kaitlyn is a ball of sunshine, glitter, grace, and joy. You should be so lucky to count her as a friend, and if nothing else, you should for sure follow her blog. She is the type of friend you wish all friends were, most sincerely. She has always had a ready smile, a certain humbleness that is genuine and refreshing, an excellent competitive spirit that never bordered on obnoxious (which is impressive considering our schools play each other in football occasionally and we're both desperately passionate about our teams that meet on the gridiron), and a way of laughing at herself that never made me feel inferior to someone like her with as much star power as she truly possesses. Now, I'm about 105% sure she wouldn't believe these things to be as utterly true as I believe them to be, but I would like to direct you back to the part about being humble as evidence to support my case. 

Anyhow, Kaitlyn was the most beautiful bride I've ever seen. I have a funny perspective on lace wedding dresses. I think you have to possess a certain something to pull off the timelessness, the elegance, the sincerity that lace embodies to me. I don't think I could pull off lace. Actually, I'm almost certain I couldn't wear a lace dress based on my thing about them. My mom and I talked about how stunning she was in her lace dress, and it occurred to me that it was a combination of things. The first thing; she radiated joy on that day. It was show stopping. The second, and more true of my friend, was her goodness

I googled goodness looking for just the right definition to explain exactly why she was perfect in her lace dress. I found it. says that goodness is, "the best part of anything; essence; strength". This could not be more fitting of Kaitlyn or made it more appropriate for her to wear lace on her wedding day. 
Kaitlyn and Andre at the wedding  ::  Kaitlyn and me age 6 at a dance recital  ::  Mrs. Stowe, Kaitlyn and me            

So, I'm a lucky friend. I will always wish that time and distance didn't do what time and distance like to do to friends, but I am beyond blessed to call her someone I know, much less a close friend even if we haven't gotten to be so very close these last few years. She is one of those people that I realize I have missed quite dearly when I come across something that reminds me of her. Reading her blog has that effect with every new post. 

So, check out Put A Bow On It and love on Kaitlyn bunches. You won't regret it. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Geeking Out

If you haven't guessed it already, I'm currently in grad school. I'm getting a M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education - I want to work at a university with students. So far I LOVE this program. We've got some real rock star professors who are really all that and a bag of chips. I also have really enjoyed my classes and the people in them for the most part. It's really exciting.

This semester I'm doing a practicum. I'm working in Residence Life on some assessment stuff. My practicum supervisor is someone I have been in class with before. I'll call her D. D is a doctoral student in program I'm in. I think she is kind of awesome. I want to be best friends with her and follow her around all the time. This is not meant to be creepy. I just think she's really cool. I like the way she thinks about things. She's funny, down to earth, and really easy to talk to. When I imagine my best version of myself there are parts of that picture that I've pictured because D has already begun to influence things I think about in a really good way. It makes me really happy that I have an excuse to hang around her when I'm working for her on practicum stuff.

Dr. Q. is one of the rock star professors in our program. She's dynamic, engaging, encouraging, and a top notch scholar. She really is headed towards being a super star in the field. I am working with Dr. Q. to present some of her research at a professional conference in Vegas in a few weeks. I don't know why Dr. Q. thought I would be a good person to offer the honor of presenting with her at a massive conference like ACPA to, but she did. I leapt at the chance to work with her. It's a big deal. I also would love to just absorb the awesome Dr. Q. has got going on, much like I would with D.

I am learning so much from both of them. Really and truly.

Dr. Q. is also the chair for D.'s dissertation committee. They work together fairly regularly. D has admitted to me that she is also kind of in awe of the awesome that is Dr. Q. This only further validates how amazing I think both of them are.

Today, D. and I were chatting after going over some stuff for my practicum assignments and we started talking about ACPA and Dr. Q. I confessed that I am so nervous around Dr. Q. because I want to make sure I do so much better than the minimum when presenting with Dr. Q at the conference. I don't want to do anything that could be even the tiniest blemish on her legit-ness (yes, that's totally a word). It's a big deal and I don't want to be disappointing, ya know? Then, D. told me that she and Dr. Q. have talked about me and how they're both impressed with the fact that I'm doing the work of a full time job on a 20 hour per week time frame with GA pay scale (insert dropped jaw and rapid hand movements while trying to refrain from jumping up and down). D. said, "Dr. Q. really likes you."

1. They talked about me! Two of my semi-idols from this program talked about me. 
2. I've impressed two people who I seriously look up to and want to impress so badly it kind of hurts. 

Hence, I am totally geeking out. Ah! 

Do y'all do this, too? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

today's personal to-do list:

I'm a big fan of to-do lists. I love being able to check something off the list. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and allows me to make sure I leave nothing behind. I can keep track of myself and my progress this way.

This is today's list:

Tuesday, February 19th:


  1. Review practicum website materials 
  2. Read and do reading response for Practicum
  3. Read, do reading response, and do unit summary 3 for Adult Learner
  1. Memorize Monologue
  2. Work on Prezi for ACPA
  3. Memorize Monologue
  4. Meeting at Blu with Erin about ACPA
  5. Memorize Monologue
  6. Run
  1. Stop "whimping"out when running (yes, my notebook that I write all of this in really says whimping).
  2. You are worth it. 
  3. You can do it. 
Now, this should not be confused with my calendars (yes, that is intentionally plural) that has about 150 different other things that I need to remember or do for work, i.e., events, workshops, film screenings. This is my personal life to-do list for the day. 

All this in the name of organization, sanity, and motivation. I like to believe it's working... At least I keep telling myself that it is. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Things I'm working on in my life.

I sincerely believe in my heart of hearts that every person could benefit from therapy at some point in their lives. Whether you've survived the death of someone close to you, lost a job, watched your dreams stay dreams, recognized you're in a funk and need help getting out of it... going to counseling, talking through the things that are hard, that beat us down, that defeat us, it is GOOD.

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with asking for help.

There is NOTHING wrong with admitting that sometimes we can't do it alone. 

There is NOTHING wrong with seeking out a therapist. 

There is so much stigma with asking for help to deal with emotions or mental illness. No one will shame you for going to the doctor to put a cast on your broken leg, to get chemo and radiation (literal poison to your body) to fight the leukemia. So, why the heck do we make a point of tearing down people who have the courage to ask for help for anything else???

Seeing a therapist gives you a few specific things that are sometimes hard to find in regular life. 
  1. A safe place to discuss things and people that it might not always be easy talk about to the people around you. 
  2. A third party perspective that has no ties to your life, and can offer another way to look at things without the problem of muddled connections that sometimes friends and loved ones have to take into consideration. 
  3. And, a person to help you work through your own reactions since we can't change anything else. It's impossible to change our environment, it's impossible to control other people, it's actually not even possible to control our initial reactions to things. That said, we can choose what we do with all that information. That's what therapy can help a person do. 
Now, I have to admit to being a little biased because I once dreamed of getting a PhD in Clinical Psychology and going into practice with kids with attachment issues. That probably makes me a little more pro-therapy/counseling that most.  And, I'm in therapy right now. That probably also makes me a little more pro-therapy than the average joe. I'm ok with that. 

Therapy is hard. I think it takes someone brave, someone strong, and someone who is willing to admit weakness to ask for help instead of putting pride ahead of their needs. And work. Therapy is a place to analyze, to talk, to plan, and find the ways to work so things get better. It's active, not passive.

One of the things we're working on right now is that I feel the need to do things for people, to constantly prove my worth or value to them as a person because I don't expect them to want me around based on my personality. I'm not so sure I want me, why would anyone else? It comes down to not believing I'm good enough for them to want me around if I fall short of the mark or am less than perfect. At work, this means that I will say yes to the things I'm asked to do, and do everything I can to work above expectations and well into excellent. This is also how I view my schoolwork. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform at a pretty high level. Generally, this isn't a bad thing, but with me, it's not because I take satisfaction in a job well done, but because I am not sure they'll want to keep me if I don't do those things.

I've had some very specific instances that have knocked the fact idea that I am unworthy of acceptance and lacking in value way out of the ballpark and into my head so succinctly it becomes really hard to dislodge it from my brain. The easiest of these experiences to talk about that still can make me cry if you catch me on the right day is the story of when I went through rush before the start of my freshman year of college. If you're not from the south or a school with a massive Greek system, you might not fully understand this, but I was not invited back to any houses for preference night. I was cut from recruitment. Now, part of me wishes I could say this was because I didn't have community service hours, or had made mediocre grades, or didn't have recommendations. But, I know none of that is true. I graduated in the top 2% of my high school class, I was a legacy to a house not only on campus, but to the house my mom was actually a member of years before (she went to OU, too), I had volunteer hours out my ears, recommendations in triplicate to EVERY house, I'd held leadership positions in almost every organization I was involved with in high school which equated to about 8 in total, I was rushed by family friends' children at almost every house I went to, and I was savvy when I went through. I wore the right thing, said the right words, was excited, open, willing and so very ready to join.

On paper I was a perfect rushee; an ideal PNM. I was also fat. In reality I became the girl that no one wanted to wear their letters, to invite to date parties, to mar their pictures on facebook. To say I was devastated is an understatement of epic proportions. The message came through loud and clear. I was not worthy as I was, as I am.

Now, I did end up pledging in the spring of my freshman year to a wonderful house full of women I came to love dearly. They also happen to be one of the 11 houses that cut me the fall before, but I found a place to belong.

But, this is just one of the cases where I learned I was not worthy of people to love me because of who I am with devastating clarity. 

In my personal life, it's sometimes really hard...

I found this picture on pintrest earlier this afternoon. For the people I care for, want to spend time with, find myself drawn to, I see that I work really hard to impress them. I feel the need to make sure they recognize what I can do for them, and then that's why I'm allowed to hang around. If I'm indispensable, then I'm not so easy to ditch. I'm worth the effort. 

Therapy Man (my doctor... he doesn't know that I call him that, haha) says that I shouldn't do this. He says my overachiever tendencies are a great thing in general, but when I let them overrun my ability to see that I am worthy - just as I am, I tear myself down far worse than anyone else ever could. 

And it's hard. Very hard. I've had quite a few experiences, more recently than in my past, where someone has told me that I am not good enough as I am. When that's replayed in my head over and over I simply hear, "I am not worth it. I do not have value outside what I can prove I am able to give. So prove it. If you can't - obviously you don't deserve it." Whatever "it" is. I do not doubt my capabilities to perform, but faith in others to want me just as I am without what I can give them is not a sure thing in my head. 

So, I'm working on it.

On my other blogs that I've had (and not kept up with), I would never have written about this. Never. But, this is a place for me to be myself, to be honest. So, I'm being honest. I'm not perfect, I don't have all the answers, I need help and have asked for it.

I'm finding a way to make sure I know I am worth it. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

An obsession of mine.

I am fascinated by foster care. I'm sure that sounds really strange. It sounded strange in my head when I typed it, but it's the honest truth.

I began reading blogs (mainly on tumblr) about the foster care system and a few people that were foster parents talking about their experiences. As a kid from a middle class family with both parents still together, dad in a secure job, no question that we were loved and well cared for, I never knew anything about the foster care system really. I knew it existed, but what it was and what it meant in the life of that family being separated, or that family taking that child in... I had no concept.

When I was pursuing clinical psychology as a career before I didn't get into the clinical PhD programs (I mean, that's only the most competitive grad program in the country - no big deal, right? I was a little more naive than I thought even with the MONTHS of research, planning, and pretty stellar GRE scores that still didn't get me an interview, much less a spot in a program...) I started down the Adult and Higher Ed - student affairs path I spent time reading about attachment in classes, seeing how attachment effects so many aspects of our lives from the day we were born and nurtured or not. If you don't know what I'm talking about... it's so interesting and has such an impact. Google it. Seriously.

I saw a random post from a random blog that linked to another blog about a single woman's journey as a foster parent. I read all the back posts in one sitting (it took hours and hours). I devoured what Rebecca over at Fosterhood had to say. I was hooked.

On the right hand side of this blog you'll see a section titled, "Other Totally Legit Blogs without Fancy Buttons to Grab" look there for some of the blogs I follow. Many of the ones listed there are from foster or adoptive (some through the foster care system) parent blogs about their experiences. Check them out.  You will be drawn in and captivated. I have been.

I am also pretty sure I'll foster at some point in my life. I've got love to share, I should give a kid in need a chance to have some of that love. They deserve it, too. There is nothing that child could have done to make this situation their fault. Nothing. So, someday, I will make a difference in a child's life. Not because I'm a good person on a crusade to help a child, nothing like that. I will do it because I can and I think I should. I am able, I am capable, and I should, so I will. A lot of the blogs I most enjoy are single women fostering on their own. They aren't set on adopting, though some head that way in the end, but they're set on being a safe place for a kid in need. And they deserve a gold medal that I don't think most of them would ever accept because it's just not like that for them.

The statistics on older child adoption fucking suck. It will be a rare thing for me to use language like that on my blog, but it's intentional and doesn't begin to cover the atrocity of it all. The stats are awful. They make me feel ashamed. We are failing innocent kiddos that didn't do a damn thing wrong. That said, THIS LINK is AWESOME. I love those photos. They make my heart smile.

This family, whoever they are, that decided it was important and worthy to mark the massive, awesome, huge, totally worth celebrating, YES! occasion of adopting an older child... YES.

If any of this stuff is interesting to you, let me know. I'll share some links of blogs that will rock your world like they have mine.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I'm at the gym cooling down on the recumbent bike as I type this post, and whoa. This last go at 3x4 (third of the week) run was capital ARE OH YOU GEE AYCH (rough). Holy cow.

I won't lie and say the first two were a breeze. They totally weren't. Not at all actually. This one was on a whole new level of hard. I was not expecting that. Set one was tougher than normal, but I managed. Set two I couldn't go to the full three minutes, and I was already going 0.2 slower than I normally work out. The third set I intentionally started slower to making it all the way through. I made it, but dang. I decided that because I didn't hit the full amount on set two I needed to add in a fourth set... Didn't hit three minutes on that one either.


Welp, guess this girl is planning to do a second week on the 3x4 rather than attempting to bump up. Good thing I've got a little time to do just that.

Dedication. Determination. Desire.

Yes, that. It's what I'll keep telling myself.

VDay bummer, awesome, and not VDay, BDay!

I've mentioned before that Drew lives in the United Kingdom. We met when I was over there to do school. Yes, he has a fabulous accent. I love it.

There are times that long distance isn't horrific. I honestly believe a couple can make long distance work if they are both honest, truly committed, and willing to sacrifice. I'd say that Drew and I do all of that. We work really hard to make it work. We see each other via skype almost daily, if not a time or two a day. We also email regularly to keep up with each other since we can't call or text like other couples do.

All that said, it's hard to go to events by by myself because I'm with someone. I adore that someone, so it's worth it, but it's hard. It's hard that we get to see each other four times a year. We're moving toward marriage and rectifying all of this, but for now, we do the long distance relationship, and days like Valentine's Day are hard.

We decided to mail handwritten cards this year and celebrate when he's here to visit in March. I'm so looking forward to March. It will be here sooner than I think, but until then, we're on our own for VDay and it kind of sucks.


On another, awesome, excellent and totally related note: Today we held the One Billion Rising event we planned in connection with this year's Vagina Monologues. If you don't know about OBR, you definitely need to check it out. The goal is to end violence against women all over the world. 1 in 3 women will be raped, beaten or murdered in her life time. In my family of five... that means statistically that either me, Kirby, or my mom will experience one of those atrocities. Pretty awful huh? Join us in DANCING to raise awareness and to stop the violence today.

I rise because I don't want to watch another person in my life - my sister, my mother, my friends - hurt by violence. Rise up, DANCE, stop the violence!


To wrap this special VDay post up, I'm going to end with a special message for my younger brother:

Happy 23rd Birthday, Michael! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pinup Girls

I adore pinup girls. I always have. I once had a weekly planner with pinup girls on it. I wish I'd looked at the manufacturer info before I got rid of it. I loved it that much. Because it's the day before Valentine's Day, I decided to post something fun and sexy that always puts a smile on my face.

I know a lot of people aren't fans of pinups because the objectify women. I can't fight against that argument. I can see what they mean. But, I love the sass. I think the women look strong, powerful, in control. I'd love to see a man do what a woman does in heels with the poise and grace we do it with. That's what the pinups represent to me.

This is my favorite brunette Gil Evergreen pinup painting. I love the look of surprise and something about her body language. 

Again, I love the body positioning. Something about the tilt of her shoulders. It reads as confident to me. 

This is far and away my favorite pinup picture of all time, without question. The wink, the grin, the hand in the hair...yes. I love the bold blue background with the white dress and red belt. I love everything about it. 

Even looking at the pictures now as I've just written about them, they make me smile. They always make me feel happy. I identify with these women in the pinups that I think know the power they have, how sexy, but confident they look. As someone who does not always feel sexy or confident in my own skin, I look at those pictures and think, "Yeah, maybe. That's not me today, but one day." And that's exciting. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I'm the busiest I've ever been...

and that is really saying something.

Currently my life is crazy. Really crazy. It borders on spinning out of control almost all of the time, or at least it feels that way. I'm well versed in juggling commitments - school, work, my personal life. It's something I have spent a long time doing, and trying to find a way to do very well. I like to think I've gotten good at it. I also must admit that I enjoy juggling things. It keeps me busy and honest with myself about organizing my time.

I am driven to not only meet the minimum requirements, but to get the gold star. I'm a bit of a gold star kid. I find stickers extremely motivating. Remind me to tell the story of the sticker club one day :). Anyway, I want to do well at all of the things I possibly can.

This leads me to my point of being extremely busy these days. School has put a lot on my plate this semester. I've got busy classes with more work to do in them than what I've ever had before. Some of it is really great, other parts of it feel a little like busy work. Now, I will say that in the particular class that has a mass quantity of busy work, it is intentional. It's designed so that we have a ton of notes left over for use in studying for the comprehensive exam we have to take at the end of the degree. That doesn't make it any more enjoyable in trenches of said busy work....

Work is utterly exhausting. I am a grad assistant with the Center for Social Justice. I love it. It's a lot of event planning, organizing the different programs we run, working with students, and anything else I'm asked to take care of. All that said, we have several events coming up that are beginning to overwhelm me a tad. We're hosting a conference next week that I'm responsible for logistical execution for, a film screening the following week, The Vagina Monologues the week after (I'm also acting in the production which is great fun, but another level of things to juggle), I'll be co-moderating another event the week after that. Like I said, a lot.

And my personal life... Drew and I chat nightly. He wakes up at 4:30 in the morning in England (10:30pm in good ole Oklahoma) to talk me to sleep every night. This is one of the best parts of my day. He makes me really happy. He also understands me and some of my hangups better than I could have ever hoped for from a partner. We email on and off throughout the day, but getting to see his face and talk with him is the closest we get to crawling in bed together and cuddling. He's coming over for spring break :). I can't wait.

I don't feel like I have much time for a lot of socializing these days. It's kind of tough. I'm a very social person, but between school and work taking up SO much time and SO much energy, things feel rather out of balance in my personal life. Yes, I'm working out four times a week and I'm sure that counts as personal time, but I hate it. It's not actually something I enjoy or really want to do. I need to do it, so I do. I am motivated by the Color me Rad 5K, but as far as seeing it as pleasurable... Heck no.

So, I am going to keep breathing, keep working at this pace, and look forward to a break. It's coming. I can see it on the horizon. I just need to keep some faith and keep reminding myself that it will be ok. It always it.

WhenindoubtDDD, right? Right. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Today, I'm celebrating.

I recognize that many people will not see this as a massive accomplishment. I recognize that my ability to do this isn't really that impressive. That said, I ask you to celebrate with me on this one.

I survived the jump from 2 minute runs to 3 minutes!

If you're remotely in shape, have never weighed over 300 pounds, or are one of those totally irrational people that actually enjoys running, this is clearly not a big deal. I am not one of those people though. I'm working on getting in shape, I did weigh over 300 pounds, and I think running is a special form of torture, but I'm doing it.

My fancy-smancy running shoes that I really adore. They were so worth the money.
Today was the bump up from 2 minute run, 5 minute walk 3 times in a workout 3 times a week (though I've been trying to do it four times a work out, four times a week) to the 3 minute run, 4 minute walk 3 times a workout. I was really nervous about it. I know an extra minute doesn't seem like much. I know. But it was hard and a lot of work. Toward the end I needed to slow the run from a 5.2 mph to a 4.8 mph, but I don't care. I survived. 

It was an accomplishment and so I'm going to celebrate it as such :). 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

So, why DDD?

I suppose answering the question is pretty simple, but requires a bit of back story.

I grew up going to summer camp. When I say that camp was and, depending on the day, still is my favorite place on the planet, I am not exaggerating, people. I was lucky enough to spend the month of July at camp. It will always be one of the most influential experiences in my life.

Every summer from the time I was 11 years old, I went away to camp for an entire month. Camp was my first love. If I thought it was remotely possible for my 25 year old self to return as a counselor (again) this summer, I would not even blink at the chance. I would dive at it. I would drive 1,000 miles and attempt to break the land speed record to make it. But, everyone has to grow up sooner or later, right?
Rachel, me and Christen July 2004

The above picture is just one of the many from my summers at camp. This picture is me at 16 with my tribe sponsors. If someone ever reads this post and really wants to know about the tribe thing, I promise to give you enough details you'll wish you never asked. For the sake of semi-brevity, I will say they were one of the camp team counselor leaders. We were the blue team. I am a Pawnee. The green team, which my little sister was sorted into, are the Shawnees. 

One of the best experiences of my life, by far, was participating in something called War Canoe. I was a Pawnee War Canoer (PWC). It is a tremendous honor to make war canoe. Every year girls over the age of 11 that weigh over 100 pounds try out for a maximum of 16 spots per tribe's war canoe. With 180 campers on camp, it's a big deal to be one of the few selected. 

Each boat holds ten girls. The others are alternates. It's an honor to be an alternate, its a massive deal to be in the boat. I was 13 the first summer I tried out not actually expecting to make it. Most people don't. The older campers are 14 - 16, and almost always take the majority of those slots. Any given year there aren't actually 16 spots open. If you've been on war canoe once before, you'll be in it again unless you do something crazy like quit. Don't get me started on that.... 

Where was I? Oh, 13 and trying out for the first time. My first time in the boat I fell out and nearly tumped the entire boat of 9 other people. I was pretty bad. I don't know what happened, but one of those sponsors (counselor tribe leader people - not the ones in the picture above) decided I might make a good war canoer some day. I made alternate at 13. I was beyond thrilled. I bawled when they told me I made the team. I was shocked, thrilled, so very excited, and scared to death. 

The following summer I was told that I would try out for stern with two other people. For people who don't know anything about boats, the stern is the back of the boat. The stern in war canoe calls strokes, steers, and is the leader. One of the girls I was to try out against was another 14 year old who was just about perfect in everything and the other was the current Chieftain (highest camper office) of our tribe. I  never dreamed I had a shot. Especially that summer. Lauren (the current Chieftain) was a shoe in. She was smart, talented, a leader, knew PWC in and out, and had been in the boat three years prior to that. Susan, the other 14 year old, had been in PWC since 12 (another crazy accomplishment) and was bow (another leader in War Canoe and is important because they are the front of the boat without a partner) her first year and on first bar her second. She was the natural second choice. I was a distant, nervous, and unabashedly hopeful third candidate. 

That was all until Bekah and Katie, the current sponsors, gave me the job. I hadn't been in the boat before, I'd definitely never lead a team like that, and suddenly, an entire group of girls was looking to me to lead our team to win our 14th straight race over the Shawnees. The three summers I had the honor of being Pawnee War Canoe's stern, were some of the best, most exciting, most nerve wracking, humbling, educational, and important experiences of my young life. 

Me, sterning summer 2002

PWC practice summer 2002
After the final race my last summer as a camper in 2004. We won. 

Part of me thinks I should say something about having outgrown the lessons war canoe taught me about being a leader, hard work, how to be a team player, and what it means to want something with every ounce of your body. I can't though. I think that much is obvious. 

So, like any good team, we had our mottos, our War Canoe secrets. The Shawnee War Canoers had theirs that were sacred. We had ours; the most important of which was DDD. 

Dedication. Determination. Desire. 

I am dedicated. I am determined. I have the desire. With those three things I can tackle any obstacle. I can fight any battle. I can keep going when everything around me feels like it's crumbling beneath me. Those three words became a life affirming mantra that I now have tattooed on my left shoulder. I'll have to have someone take a picture of it so you can see it... I really love it. 

When it came time to decide a blog title I didn't want something I'd have to change or reevaluate in a few months. Grad school won't last forever according to my father, and I'm not a mom, I'm not married, I don't cook amazing recipes everyday (though I do occascionally and will totally share the awesome with you)...

 DDD is one of the few things that has been a present, reassuring force in my life for over the last ten years. It was just right. When I am in doubt, dedication, determination, desire. DDD. Those three words calm me down, give me a center of gravity to focus on, and give me a place to start moving forward or to keep treading water. 

So, that's how this came to be

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Today has felt productive

It's only 12:57pm, but it's true. It has felt productive so far. I was up early to get ready for a meeting with a group mate for a class project. We headed over to Barnes and Noble, got our project squared away, and now I've got to do another hour or so of work to get it presentation ready.

Not too shabby since I I've been awake for three hours at this point. I've also eaten lunch. See! Productivity people, productivity.

Now, to re-buckle down. I want to knock out this last piece of the project before I try to talk myself into head over to the gym to get in a run.

That's right, I'm doing the Color Me Rad 5K in OKC this May.
I'm training with a Couch to 5K 8 week running guide. Considering that I'm REALLY out of shape (as in I used to weigh 302 pounds and have lost 58 pounds, but by no means does that mean I'm a skinny minnie), I've modified it to go a little slower with more increments for increasing my running so I don't kill myself on the dang treadmill so I can ease into running over 12 or so weeks instead. I'm finishing up my third week tomorrow. I've gotten in my three workouts a week (though I'm aiming for four) this week doing a two minute run followed by five minutes of walking. I'm always good for the first two goes, but the third round is really hard, and by the fourth, I'm gasping. 

I figure that adding in the fourth workout a week will help me bump up to fitness level, burn a few more calories since I ate half of a BBQ baked potato for lunch, and hopefully make the next level up easier. I'm supposed to jump to a 3 minute run, 4 minute walk on Monday (gasp!) three times a work out three times a week for one week. I'm nervous. Like I already said, I'm dying at the end of my two minutes at a run already. 

I suppose this is where I should remind myself that my blog url is Remember: dedication, determination, desire. Yes. That. 

Ok, back to the books, and then to the gym (maybe). 

Update: 5:56 pm.

I have done both. I finished my homework AND went to the gym to run. I'm not sure how well I'm going to handle the bump up to three sets of three minutes next week, but I did my 2 minutes this week. Tomorrow is a day of rest and homework and memorization. Have I mentioned I'm in the Vagina Monologues this year? Because I am :). 

Friday, February 8, 2013

I'm starting another blog...

Hi, my name is Mallory (Hi, Mallory).

I am a perpetual starter and not follow through-er. Well, let me amend that statement. It really only applies to blogs, working out consistently, and taking pictures regularly. Otherwise, I'm pretty consistent on my general follow through. And by pretty consistent, I mean I am ferociously attentive to commitments and making sure I tick the boxes. I also have a tendency to quantify statements. For an example, please reread this paragraph.

So, I'm starting another blog. This one, I hope, will be a place that's less about a theme (like the blog I somewhat successfully tried to keep while living abroad to work on a master's degree that turned out to be utterly useless great for helping me get into another master's program that might actually be useful), and more of a place for me to "talk" through the things going on in my life that are great, frustrating, exciting, draining, and just there.

So, to introduce myself with a little bit more clarity than my first paragraph or two, Hi, my name is Mallory. I'm 25; currently living, working and going to school in Oklahoma; I grew up in Houston, Texas with a set of wonderful, once in a lifetime, friends (who I miss so fiercely it sometimes brings tears to my eyes) I did not fully appreciate until I hit 24; and I'm working my butt off to figure the rest of it out.

These are some things that I'm sure will come up as I write about my life, so I'll put this out there for reference. I'm thoughtful like that, you know.

  • I'm training for a 5k in May. 
    • I hate running, but I decided this would be a good idea. We'll see how that goes. Please reference the afore mentioned inconsistency with working out.
    • I'm also not sure why this was the first thing on my list of things you should know... Yes, you'll hear about it, but is it a vitally important life thing for me? Hmmm, oh to ponder. 
  • I'm in my first year of my second master's degree. You will hear all about how that came to be.
  • I have a brilliant family who I love deeply. They're sometimes a tough bunch to please. I have always been well loved, but I sincerely believe that no one grows up without a few scars. 
    • I especially adore my younger sister. She's kind of my idol. I'm pretty sure she doesn't actually know that, though I try to show her regularly. She really is a rock star, I want to be just like her when I grow up. 
  • I'm dating someone significantly older than I am. Yes, he's met the family. No, I'm not sure they approve. 
    • He also happens to live in England. Yeah, let me just tell you about long distance relationships...
  • I'm a girl filled to the brim with feelings. I have always felt everything stronger than I think most people do. When it's joy or passion or happiness or excitement, I will be the first to cheer you on, to congratulate you, or dive right in ready for an adventure. I'm tenderhearted, but fiercely passionate. When it's the tough stuff, this occasionally causes my eyes to leak (who am I kidding with that - I'm a total crier and have hated this part of myself for a long, long time). This is hard for me because I spent a large chunk of my childhood learning that my sensitivity and ability to feel what other people feel makes me weak. I am currently working to actively change my own mind about this. Being empathetic - sincerely feeling what those around me feel - with a particular sensitivity to disappointment toward me from others and myself, does not make me weak. It occasionally makes me cry, but never weak. Never that. 
My fingers are crossed, and with a little bit of luck, I'll stick this blog through. I hope you'll share in the smiles, tears, fun, and laughter. In the mean time, maybe we can just be friends.

In case I didn't introduce myself before... Hi, my name is Mallory. Nice to meet you. 

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