December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! The last few days have been filled with festivities! We had our annual Mangialardi Christmas on Saturday. My brother-in-law, Erik, put it best: it was filled with laughter, food, loud conversations, and food. Trying to organize something as simple as a gift exchange became a battle between who's voice carried the most, and who had the loudest conversation. While trying to rally the troops, Auntie Angela wandered around the room seeming to look for a distraction while actually causing one, Parker and Bella became bossom buddies, Grandma Bea was busy gettin' her groove on, and the women in the kitchen were on edge and snap when interrupted. Somehow though, we gathered around the tree and in a condition of chaos, exchanged our thoughtful boxes and gifts wrapped in tight ribbon. I always wonder why we bother to wrap so nicely when the minute the hands reach the paper it is torn off in a way that makes any man look greedy. Who made up that tradition? Apparently, gifts have been wrapped since the invention of paper in 105 AD. During the Victorian Period, when the tradition of giving presents became a highlight, only the wealthy wrapped presents, with the most beautiful of gift wrap. Today, it seems we only wrap to disguise or when the gift is needed to impress. My family has resorted to tissue paper, bags, or in some cases as Rosie says, "The box was pretty enough." The gift is more important than it's appearance on the outside. That seems symbolic...
Last night was time with my sisters and nephews. I get joy out of watching them open presents. Parker opened gift after gift with such excitement while Kent used the boxes as building blocks.
Richie and I, this being my last Christmas at home, are trying our best to keep the traditions alive. We slept by the Christmas tree on the 23rd, although I woke up alone at 3 am. We also slept together in my room, a tradition that started with 4 and is now down to two. We also read the Christmas story before opening presents this morning after watching some of the movie the "Christmas Story," on tv. It was very different to be in a new house with a small tree and with only 4 of us, but being with my parents is soemthing so special, that will never lose it's feeling of tradition. I was Santa for my last year at home. I'll miss every tradition but it will always live on....i just feel bad for Rich, he has to do it alone next year! :)

December 21, 2007

Hectic Holidays

I'm here at last! Home for the holidays. We got back Wednesday night...the drive went by really fast. I slept, I ate, I sang, I made up games, and I sang some more...and JP drove. From a long ago tradition Sharon and I have, I sang the 12 days of Christmas, each day sporting a new language accent. When I asked JP why he didn't join in he said, "For two reasons, babe. #1 I can't tell any of the accents apart...they all sound the same. #2 You are just so's like I don't need a radio." That's why he loves me. Then yesterday, we left for Milwaukee around 1 and spent the afternoon and evening visiting our friend Geoff, one of the groomsman, and my old roomie, Madeline. This morning we left Milwaukee at 6 am, in order for me to get to work on time...for Rosie. Even though we were in Milwaukee for only 12 hours, it was still so nice to be with them. God has truly blessed us with some great friends, and although their hometowns are spread all throughout the U.S., it's amazing how with some people you can just pick up where you left off.
JP and I realized the source of many of our disagreements: car rides. I'm not a good navigator, but because I like to be in control, whether driving or on board as a passenger, I like to be the navigator. On the way to Milwaukee, i fell asleep, while i was supposed to be navigating. needless to say, I was fired from the position. JP thought he'd give me another chance on the way home, but I ended up getting us lost and having him take the wrong exit. Finally, he said, "I never thought I'd say it but, just close your eyes and go to sleep. You are making me nervous." I know I've heard those words before and they happen to be straight from the lips of my father, "RoseAnn, just close your eyes and go to sleep." THis is when she tries to drive from the passenger seat.
Tonight I have to do some Christmas shopping, that I left until the last minute, and then tomorrow we are going for flowers. By we I mean Jp's mom, mom, and I. All JP asked was, "When's the cake testing?" Fine by me! :) Then it's a very merry Mangialardi Christmas at our house tomorrow night. It's only just begun!

December 19, 2007

Headin' Home!

I'm heading home shortly! I had two checkouts at 4:30 and 4:45 this morning, then one at 6:30 and then three more before 11:30. After vacuuming the floor hallway, cleaning my bathroom, packing the car, and checking and turning in all the keys and filing the paperwork,....I'm outta here! It's almost Christmas!

December 18, 2007


I'm completely done with finals forever!!! Looking over my transcript it is crazy to realize how many classes, projects, tests, 20 page papers, and finals I have been through in the last 3 1/23 years. Last night Amber and I, for the 3rd night in a row, were up until 3am. I had a checkout to do starting at 6:30 this morning. I have 21 checkouts to do today...basically I have no life. All I keep thinking about is that at this time tomorrow I will packing up the car to head home and I can't wait to spend 8 hours in the car with JP. Amber got me the Hairspray soundtrack for Christmas, which I intend to play and memorize the whole way home. JP is not thrilled with my idea. He has come up with a new phrase, which he stole from "Friends"...when I do something or make-up something really weird and random, JP laughs at me. Then I say, "o, you know you love me because I am weird, and that there is never a dull moment with me. He replies, "yes, I love you because you are so wonderfully weird!" I can't wait to get home to be with family, celebrating the holidays with all our craziness and traditions. Soon I'll be "home, sweet home." For now however, it's back to cleaning. I cleaned my entire room from top to bottom today. I also, while in the cleaning mood, decided to clean out the floor storage room and the study room. I love organizing! Once I get in the groove, I can't stop! feels good to have a day of cleaning, because then I can truly relax.

December 15, 2007


With three finals down and only one to go I have to get some things out. Although I am nearly done with undergraduate finals forever, and am graduating with a good GPA, I am still frustrated. I had my Tests and Measurements final today, one which I studied for for over 2 days and 24 hours. I wish this was an exaggeration. Someone explain to me why with being an elementary teacher, I am going to have to know what the heck a T-statistic, Z-statistic, sample variance, pooled variance,the difference between a one-tailed or two-tailed test is, an alpha value of .05 and .01, and things like difference sample means of a population sample is!!!!!!! The test was over 72 math questions on over 7 chapters and 4 assignments. I usually do well when studying or can grasp the overall concept, but I nearly ran out of time to take this test (as did 40 out of 50 students in the class), and for the first time in my career as a student, wrote down any numbers on the last two pages that looked familiar, threw the paper down and said, "I can't do this anymore. I give up." As a teacher, I would think that when your students as a whole class have gotten less than a C average on your statistics tests and have voiced their inability to understand their emotions of being overwhelmed, that you would take all that into consideration. I promise my future students this: that if I see my students "giving up and giving in," I will step back and take a new approach. I am so disappointed. I was about to graduate with high honors, something I have worked so hard for, and this class may jeopardize that all. I am on the border. Although I'm glad to be nearly finished with the semester, I can't seem to let go of the INJUSTICE! Yes...INJUSTICE! It's hard to talk to my family about the subject. I know that everyone goes through something like this and it seems so trivial, however, school is my thing. It's the only thing I can have pride about, that my family knows really knows me for...and makes fun of me for. Without school to have pride in, I can't seem to do school. I just thank God that this came at the final semester of classes for me.
Feels good to get that out!

December 12, 2007

Almost Done

I can't believe my semester is almost over. I officially am finished with actual classes. It's so wierd that after going to school for the majority of my life, I will never have to sit in a classroom desk again (unless I go for my masters). And in a week I will be finished with finals...never having to take another school test again!!!! YAY! However, bitter-sweet is the idea that I'll be graduating this spring. I"ll miss my Amber Delaine and some of our good friends here, and am scared to consider the fact that I"ll be on my own! Although I've been at school for 4 years, I'll really and truly be on my own when I graduate. HOW SCARRY! I know it's a normal emotion for an grad but it's still so eery...the unknown. The next week is gonna be crazy. Tonight we have our hall Christmas party at the roller skating rink. Should be interesting since I can't skate. I can't even balance myself on my own two feet. We all have to wear a costume so Amber and I are gonna be mistletoe...with kisses all over our faces, but the problem is we hafta figure out how to get the lip marks on our own faces. HAHA! Tomorrow afternoon is our floor Christmas Party. We are decorating cookies and playing games in our PJs. I'm gonna miss this girl time when I graduate. There's no time in your life when you can step outside your door to be surrounded by 40 other girls. If I ever want a girls' night out, i can knock on any door. Tomorrow evening we have our white elephant with our friends. That should be intersting. I bought an Enema kit and a "What's a Wookie" star wars book. I know, I'm good. Then finals start for me on Saturday. I can't wait to get home for CHRISTMAS!

December 10, 2007

Ice, Ice Baby

No, I'm not rapping to the old hit by Vanilla Ice himself, rather I'm starring out my window at work and all I see is exactly! I'm back at school, finally! I never thought I'd be so happy to be back. Reason for my joyful return is that JP and I spent 9 hours at O'Hare airport yesterday. We were coming home from Mammer's funeral and what should have been a quick day of travel turned into a day know where. Twenty minutes before our 11 am flight was supposed to board, we got a phone call from the airlines saying all flights to Springfield were cancelled until 6:30pm. We had no choice but to wait. I tried to sleep but something about being in a crowded place with uncomfortable seats surrounded by wierd people, didn't lull me into dreamland. At one point JP and I even saw a woman start feeding her baby, which wasn't so much a baby as a walking, talking toddler, in the middle of an overly-populated terminal. There was no blanket to conceal her womanhood...she just brought it out. I think JP was scarred for life. There was no ounce of jealousy in me...haha! We tried to make the best of the day. We played cards, walked around, ate, and watched some football, but all in all, the day was so so so long! Jp was such a comfort. I didn't feel well because my once a month friend came to visit, I had a sinus infection and my stomach was acting up, but he just tickled my arm, kissed my forehead and held me all day. He even ran out and bought $10 worth of any medicine he thought would help me and a pack of $5 playing cards that I could whip him in Speed with. This is why I love this man. I know I'm ready to say, "For better or for worse." Even in my worst moments, he stands right by me.
I am so glad to be back on solid ground though...OUT of the busiest airport in the world!

December 8, 2007

Lesson Learned

I'm going to be a teacher and have had some field experience, so I never assumed taking care of kids was easy. But even with experience, I was not prepared to's a lot of work! I miss my adorable nephews so much when I'm away at school. I check Bethany and Erik's blogs daily for funny stories, videos, and pictures of the boys just to hear about them to make me feel like I'm home. So naturally, when I was home this week, I wanted to spend some time with them. I told Bethany I'd take the boys Friday so i could spend time with them. Well I was without a car, and therefore trapped! While I was able to make Parker my ally ( i have no clue how to spell that), Kent is another story. The moment I turned my back I could hear his pudgy little feet running somewhere in the house and was able to track him down by his screams of joy when he was doing things he of course, wasn't supposed to. It was so hard to get mad at either of them for more than a minute because they are just so darn cute! For example: While the boys were playing bowling in the hallway, i took the opportunity to go to the bathroom. I left the door open so I could keep my eye on the mischievous duo. Parker came and slammed the bathroom door shut. I asked him why and he said, "D'tuz , Auntie J. Girls need 'deir privacy."
Later Sharon and I took the boys to McDonald's and to Target. Between the two of us we spent our dinner wiping the ketchup from Kent's face and I had to follow Parker through the playland, which I hadn't last visited since I was 5. In Target we devised a plan to take 2 carts, one kid each. Although I thought it would work, it lasted only until we passed the toy aisle. Quickly thinking, Auntie Shar-Shar got some goldfish crackers, which kept Kent busy in the store.
All-in-all, i had a busy, tiring, eye-opening and yet memorable time with my nephews. I just realized that parenting takes a team...ha. Sharon and I quickly learned that. It's funny how nothing these boys could do, could make me love them any less. THEY ARE TOO CUTE!

December 3, 2007

The Curtain Closes

With a dripping heart I grip the reality that Mammer, J.P.'s grandmother, passed away today. His mom called me early this morning to let me know she had been admitted to the hospital last night due to extreme pain. Then she told me that the doctor's were preparing them that it wouldn't be long. I heard the words but couldn't believe it. It has been about a year since she was first diagnosed with the fatal news of the brain tumor. But she has been through thick and thin, ups and downs, trials and victories with the cancer...which is why I didn't want to accept the words that I knew the family had been dreading all along, "any time now." J.P.'s main concern was getting to tell her he loved her one last time. Although she was basically unconcious his mom but the phone up to Mammer's ear and in a strong and sturdy voice he whispered, "I love you, and don't be afraid, Mammer." All I could imagine was Mammer, lying unconcious but still being able to think. Knowing her faith, I invisioned her saying to the Lord, "any time pain will be over and I'll be home with you." Less than an hour later I got a call from his mom saying Mammer had passed. She asked me to go be with JP when she called to tell him. I hugged him as he answered the dreaded call and without hearing the words, he threw the phone to the ground and fell to his knees. It was so humbling to see him fall to his knees first. I know when I'm hurting, the first thing I want to do is cry just to cry. JP just kept weeping and saying, "Lord, please help me. I need you." Although it was hard to see, it was something I will learn from.
The whole idea of death hasn't been something that has hit close to home often, by God's grace. I forgot how it feels to try and comprehend that someone fails to exist on earth anymore. As I sat in my practicum this morning, Mammer was taking her last breaths. As I sat comforting JP later on, she was leaving this world. As I sit here typing, she no longer exists. Death, although a celebration and followed by such an extraordinary promise from God, is something we can never fathom nor understand. I know that it will be more to take in when we return home to her empty house and grieving family, however I will never forget what Mammer has done for me. She planted Christ in JP's heart. She was his spiritual mother and for that I am always grateful. She had a hand in weaving the love of Christ in my future husband. Her actions inspired much of who he is today. Watching her suffer through the past year, with such strength and passion and quoting, "I am pressed but not crushed," (2 Cor. 4:8) despite pain, has been an encouragement and balm to my soul. I will miss Mammer, but as cliche as it may sound, "she is gone but not forgotten." She planted Christ as the base for her entire family and although she is gone, she has set the path for JP and I to continue to be Christ to the family and to share the faith as we create a new generation. Most memorable, she got to see me try on my wedding dress, so although she won't be there, I will have the image of her reassuring and excited smile in my mind as I say, "I do."

November 26, 2007

Yadda, Yadda

I'm back from Thanksgiving break. It's "back to school, back to school"..Yesterday was my birthday. I love that even though I was going to be on the road for most of my day, my mom made sure to have cinammon rolls ready with candles in them and to have my brother and dad sit and share a "happy birthday" tune before I left. I was so naseous in the car though, so JP had to drive the whole way. He was such a sweetheart. He kept tickling my arm while he drove to make me feel better. He is a multi-tasker...haha. Today I went to work with more thoughts about money stuff and found an unexpected card in my mailbox from my boss who had shared her Christmas bonus amongst her employees. It was small but so thoughtful and sacrificial. Once again, God blessed me when he knew I was worried about it. I had such a fun time at home, despite feeling icky. I got my bridesmaid dresses picked...finaly (as Sharon would say), invitations ordered, and was able to celebrate my birthday with JP downtown Chicago. And again, on Thanksgiving, I was reminded why I love my family. We never have an ordinary celebration. When most families fight over the last dinner roll and have sparkling conversation, we are in an uproar about Christmas celebration plans, playing musical chair and limbo, and watching the little kids make a mess! I LOVE IT! Then we decorated our Christmas tree, which insisted be done while I was home for break. Although it was our first fake tree as a family, it was special to do it together in our new house and made me excited to continue the Griswold/Elton tradition by cutting down my own tree with JP next year. Tradition never dies....

November 19, 2007

Almost Thanksgiving...already thankful

I've had a busy busy busy last few weeks. Today, I got a lot done and it felt good. Within 4 hours I worked out, went to practicum, got my hair trimmed, and ran to the mall. JP and I have been tithing as much as we can, and whatever we can. Although it's not much, everytime I put that check in the offering plate I think, "There goes breakfast for the week." or "Man, no more coffee dates." I've learned two things: 1. God is fatifhul 2. When we are glad to give.
The moment I began to gladly place my check in offering, I realized that God will take care of me. Money has been really tight the last few weeks. Then stuff came up with my car, which is going to cost more than expected, and more than I can afford. I had saved some money to get a haircut but at the same time, I ripped two pairs of jeans in the last few weeks and had none and knew that I had to splurge on those at some point. I knew I couldn't have both so I went for a haircut today, leaving the necessity for jeans til another week. As I sat waiting to get my haircut, an old man began to talk to me. At first I was kind of annoyed because sometimes I'm no in the mood to be social, but he was so sweet. He asked me about my engagement ring and where I went to school. Before I knew it he was in and out of the grooming chair and paying for his haircut. He gave a hearty "have a good Thanksgiving, sweetheart," to me before leaving and walked out the door. As my hair stylist called me for my turn she looked at me and said, "You know he just paid for your haircut?" I had no idea. I wanted to cry. He was out the door and gone without a chance for me to thank him....what I believe his intention was exactly. The woman said he told her that he knew I was a college student, and felt our kind needed a blessing every now and then. He had no idea what I had been going through with money and circumstances, but God did. That man made my day and maybe doesn't know how thankful I am, but he did more than bless me....he made me realize that when we give to God, we can trust that He will always provide...even when we don't deserve it.

November 17, 2007

My teaching certification test, the Praxis Exam is over. *relieved sigh* Now I can finally breathe and concentrate on finishing the final semester of classes and get ready for student teaching. I can't wait to go home on Tuesday and spend the weekend with my and JP's family. Whenever I feel like I'm gonna pass out from the number of things on my to-do list, Christ always has a gentle reminder that He is in control. I recently read in my devotional that worry is a sin, it's us not remembering to trust in Christ and that He is in control. Boy did I ever have to remember that this week. He got me through a week of tests and projects and now He'll give what He knows we need.....REST!

November 15, 2007


There are 32 girls living on my floor. I love and breathe for each and every one. So why is it that some can choose to be so hurtful, disrespectful and ungrateful? The study room, which I paid my own money to finish, is being destroyed. Rotting garbage is found under the futons. The iron is left on almost everyday, all day. Pillows are often strewn about or missing, and scrap paper left in all corners. I also purchased a floor announcement board with my own money. The $25 wasn't easy for me to spend, but I figured I was helping the floor. Then there are the girls that choose to write inappropriate and rude things on the board or to erase my messages left for the girls. It annoys me to death. I feel like I'm babysitting sometimes. The girls that forget they are 20 years old, that choose to disrespect, bother me because all they are thinking about is themselves. I also don't know whether to take this as an attack on my leadership and their feelings about me. I know the one or two girls that tend to cause the problems and stir up drama and don't doubt they are a part of all of this, however am also hoping they have nothing to do with it. This is when I feel Christ surround me and remind me to "Love my enemies." To love someone that is hurting and bothering you is easier said than done and sometimes it feels like they don't ever notice what I give and would do for them. Those are the people that I have to love more than others. They obviously have things that they need to work out and need to be broken with and I know that it's not my job to be their mother and correct them. I just hope that I am making a better impression and am a transparent hand of Christ.
That was a serious post, but I needed to get it out!

November 14, 2007

Day Off

Evangel has a day off school today- it's Conversation Day for professors. Funny how, when everyone else was sleeping in, I was working out by 6 am, leaving for practicum by 8 and running errands by 10. Then we have a floor lunch at 12 and then it's off to work from 2-5. Some day off!!!!
Thanksgiving is creeping up on us. All i think about is Christmas being right behind it. I can't wait to change my ringtone to "Deck the Halls," to start buying presents, and to see the end of a crazy semester. The closer I get to the end of this semester, the closer I get to student teaching, and therefore the closer i come to graduating! It's an endless cycle of things to come and I am on the edge of my seat for all of it!

November 12, 2007


I realized that I rarely ever able to simply write about the contents of my day. Other than a weekend, my days are typical of a college student, filled with books, pencils, tests, naps, and late bedtimes. Unless a student falls in the middle of the cafeteria, hurling food everywhere, there is not much worth sharing. To prove my is my today, my normal Monday.
I woke up at 5:45 am, and hearing the calm of a gentle thunderstorm, I did not want to get out of bed. After forcing myself to have a morning workout, I showered, caught some Saved By the Bell re-runs while getting ready, and rushed to my practicum. Upon returning from my practicum, I tied up some loose ends on homework assignments, straightened my room and then met my man for lunch. After a less-than-satisfying "gourmet" meal from the Joust, I headed off the work at 1pm. As I sit here typing while I'm supposed to be "on the job," all I can think about is the rest of my Monday! When I get back from work at 4:30, I will have about 30 minutes of Oprah to catch and then will head off for a floor dinner at 5:15. Trying to be the most supportive RA, I'll then go straight to my floor's intramural play-off game to cheer them on. The day as an RA and student is not over yet. My other job, as a fiance, kicks in when I head to JP's play-off game at 8. Then at 9:30 I reverse back into my RA shoes and head to a meeting at 9:30. Finally, I'll make it back to my room for some homework just before hitting the sack for some R&R...which will be interrupted by the alarm clock at 6am on Tuesday morning! WHEW! What a day!

November 7, 2007


My head hurts! All I've done for the past week is study! You'd think it was finals time, with the amount of time my books have been open. That doesn't happen much. I have two tests tomorrow. One I'm not all too concerned about, the other that I'm dreading. While at work today, I studied for 3 hours! My head hurts. I keep seeing numbers and vocabulary banks floating around my brain. It's swollen from the number crunching and graphing. I've realized that our family is not blessed in analyzing and dealing with numbers.
I'm supposed to be an Education major, which is why I question the reason for having to deal with statistics. I don't get it. What the heck is a Z-score? What am I supposed to graph? We Mangialardi women have a way with words, not numbers. I don't even balance my checkbook. If it takes explanation, I'm the expert, but as far as handling numerical values....give me a few days.

November 4, 2007


JP and I went horse-backing today, with his best man and his best man's girlfriend. It was a blast! The last time I can remember going horseback riding was during our Griswold Family trip to Montana, on a trail ride...which I'm told is not true horseback riding. My horse's name was Spider. He didn't seem to like me very much. I got on him and nothing I did would make him move. I was told he can be very stubborn with certain riders...just my luck. My uneasiness was obvious to even a four-legged friend. Needless to say, I survived a near-death, so it seemed, experience when my Spider got a little excited. Often, I found myself as giddy as a child. Each time the horse looked at me or ate out of my hand, I chuckled an innocent little laugh that kept JP smiling all day. It was an experience that reminds me we are never too old to revisit the emotions of a child...where simplicity, nature, and a little giggle can make your day.

October 31, 2007

"Gimme Five!"

So, one of my most interesting students in the 3rd grade class I'll be student teaching, brought tears to my eyes today. We sat in a small group trying to finish a math packet they had been assigned. William just sat there, uninvolved and unmotivated for a solid 20 minutes. I asked him what was wrong and he replied with tears rolling down his cheeks, "I just can't get out of my head that I was the laughing stock in the the cafeteria." He proceeded to tell me that the entire cafeteria was making fun of his shoes that some boys in his class had pointed out. They called them girl shoes apparently. I have to admit, I wouldn't buy my son a pair of the black heeled boots William sported, but there's more shame for a child in what others think. I realized for the first time how truely cruel kids can be and how aware children are at this young age, of their image and acceptance by peers. I can understand how at such an early age, kids can start with a memory such as this, and begin to take the wrong path. William and I talked for a little while and I told him that because I think he is so cool, I want a high five from him for every problem he finishes. I said that because he is such a strong boy, I bet he could make my hand beat red by the time he is done with the worksheet. A huge grin covered his chubby cheeks from ear to ear and he began to work through the 5-page packet. By the end of the hand was beat red!

October 27, 2007

I missed the 80's

I realized today how disappointed I am that I missed the 80's. Today at brunch I wore my tribute to the 80's, cut off sweatshirt. I sat at the table and the first thing my friends said to me was, "Goodmorning Kelly Kapowski." I actually took it as a compliment. I mean who wouldn't. They claimed my ponytail sitting on top of my head and sweatshirt, gave me a strong resemblence to the Saved By the Bell beauty queen. I have no problem being compared to an 80's heartthrob. Talking about Saved by the Bell and Full House put me in the mood for musica! I went straight to my room and am currently listening to the 13 Going on 30 Soundtrack, which if you are familiar, features solely hits of the 80's. I LOVE IT! Tainted Love is running through my head and just a minute ago I was basically rapping with Ice, Ice Baby. I vaguely remember when Vanilla Ice was big. I remember having a crush on the hot guy rapping in his wife-beater, and I was only like 5. How is it that even though I barely grew up in that fantastic decade, that I have so much infatuation with its music, shows, and the like? I mean, I know that Saved By the Bell and Full House took place laregly in the early 90's, but to me that meshes closely with the 80's. I wish I could have been a part of that decade more than just to be birthed during its course. For now, I'll live vicariously through its music, shows, and of course the now fashionable return of its fashion. I'm going to wear my Kelly gear around town today....its the most I can do to fullfill the craving...Spandex and all!!!! (although i don't have her legs)

October 25, 2007

7 Unknown facts

Seven Unknown Facts About Me

1) I'm afraid of the dark. I sleep with my sink light on in my dorm room!

2) I get ready in the my birthday suit! Thank God I have my own room (for now)!

3) I'll skip any meal, but breakfast! (even a granola bar is important)

4) I can't manage time.

5) I've never broken a bone.

6) I had my first kiss at the movie, "Never Been Kissed." (unfortunately, it wasn't JP)

7) I pop a hershey's kiss into my mouth when I have a bad monthly cramp! (It really works)

October 22, 2007

This weekend flew by! Fall break seemed more like a day. In one weekend I saw my an aunt, my grandma, grandpa, papa, visited my sister's classroom, spent a day with Bethany, Erik, and the boys for her birthday, ordered my wedding dress, had dinner with JP's grandparents, had a "meet the parents" dinner with JP's Dad, stepmom and Vern & Rosie, got to see mi hermano, and took engagement photos! If that sentence seems hard to say in one breath, then you understand how crazy busy this Fall Break has been. I always seem to feel like a chicken with its head cut off when running around from one responsibility to the next, but when all is said and done, there's not better feeling than that of accomplishing everything on your "to do" list...and more!
My wedding dress is absolutely perfect! My mom was so right when she first saw it on me and said, "This is nothing like what she had originally wanted." It was one of those moments when it looks awkward on the hanger but fits like a glove! It doesn't come in until March and I can't wait to try it on again! I didn't want to take it off! It was so special to have my grandma, my mom, JP's grandma, mom and sister there. The best surprise was that Sharon and Kimberly showed up! I felt like an absolute princess...and for once, my mom and I agreed on something...that the dress was perfect! I can't wait to walk down the aisle and see JP's face on our wedding day! I keep toying with his mind asking, "what do you think it looks like?" I tell him it's super poofy and nothing like what i'd pick out. His facial expressions in reaction to my comments are priceless! He never can describe what he thinks it will look like, for two reasons...he knows how unpredictable my taste can be and because MEN have NO clue when it comes to fashion or clothing. If it's not a football play, they can't explain much of the abstract taking place in their mind!

October 19, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I'm finally home for a break! I can't imagine not being able to take a break from school. Even though this new house isn't the same as the one I grew up in, the walls are different, the floor is different, the fact that my voice echos is a contrast to the voice range from my old house; I still feel that I'm home. I've realized even more than when I moved that as tacky as it may sound, "Home is where the heart is." I feel like I"m home because I can take my shoes off, put my feet up, and just be with my family. The abode still feels somewhat like a hotel, but that could just be because I'm a visitor only 2 times a semester. How strange of a place will it be to me when I'm married and living in my own home? All I know is that I"m comfortable right now to sit at this computer typing, in our house. I love that I can hear my Dad's voice down the hall and see hand-written notes that Rosie left me, sitting beside the computer, and of course watching Cobi lying lazily at my feet. Someday soon this may not be the house I live in, but wherever my parents are, wherever I can put my feet up and walk up the stairs to see my Dad watching tv, will feel like home.

October 15, 2007

Red wire, blue wire, red wire, blue wire....?

I am the queen of Indeciseiveness. Whether it's which brand of juice to buy or whether it is worth it to splurge on that $9.99 clearance top....i can't seem to make up my mind in a timely or absolutely positive manner. Well, let me say that this flaw of mine gets worse while planning a wedding. Not only am I the type to want to please others, but I also can't seem to make up my mind about anything having to do with wedding plans. When I have 3 possible bridesmaid dress colors in front of me...which to choose? Which flower? Which type of invitation? Lord, help me to just get through this. Grant me the serenity to accept that I need time to decide and the patience to tide me over when ten other people try to make the decision for me, as well as the confidence to stand up and make it myself!

October 9, 2007

Oh me, Oh my

It's homecoming week here at EU....the one week out of the year I truly dread! Getting the girls hyped up to do activities that no one rightfully wants to do, is no fun when I'm busy outside of homecoming stuff as well! My back is feeling better, thanks to the drugs I'm on. It's like I can't wait to come back from class so I can take my medicine, knowing it'll ease the pain for a few hours. Then I look forward to bed for more than sleep, but because I can take my muscle relaxer...which is heaven!!!!! Due to the doctor's orders, I"ve been reduced to simply walking on the treadmill as exercise. If you know me then you understand this request is torture! I'm always in pain after I workout, but it's so worth it. However, I hope that giving it up to heal for a few weeks, pays off...or else I will not be a happy camper! I'm excited to spend some time with JP tonight. What this really means is that it's open hall night so while he writes a paper at his computer I'll be sitting on the couch doing homework...and we will be able to enjoy eachother's company, which means just being in the same room. Although we have little time alone together, I value moments like these because just being with him makes my day! I can't wait until it's every day...only 289 days til we get married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A
And I'd be able to keep better track of our wedding day countdown if my sisters hadn't broken the family countdown clock that was being passed down to each sister. I think they owe me a new one!

October 7, 2007


So, the good news is that my back problems are not as severe as I worried about them being. I have muscle spasms up and down my lower back. As of now, I'm on a muscle relaxer at night and some anti-inflamatories, which unfortunately make me very drowsy! I fell asleep twice in church today, even though I had gotten plenty of sleep. I come back to my room and all I want to do is hit the hay. The pain is not as bad but I often wonder how I'll get through my school week being as drowsy and dizzy as this medicine makes me. Is it worth it?

October 4, 2007

Teach Me a Lesson

I'm truly enjoying what God is teaching me this year. Ironically, much of what he has taught me has been through confrontations, mistakes, and having to come face to face with uncomfortable situations. I'm learning, however, I am a confident and completely able person. I am more than able to do my job as an RA. I am able to handle sticky and unruly situations where I am the victim.. I am able to speak my mind with patience and tact. I am able to look into the mirror or the face of an adversary and know that I am mature and capable to deal with what comes my way. My experiences as an RA, my growth in the classroom, and my run-ins with life and relationships have created a confidence and a strength in relying on Christ and my ability to stand up for myself and on my own two feet. No longer will people be able to say that I allow anyone to walk all over me. I know that i"m not perfect and that I won't always have eloquence and poise in every situation, however I am equipped to deal with what life throws my way because Christ has equipped me.

October 3, 2007

Please Pray

I have had a lot of back pain for the past 6 months. I'm not sure what it is. At first the doctors labeled it as a result of a kidney infection, but it has persisted for the past 6 months. Now, when I thought it might be scoliosis, I'm finding that I have a lot of pain near my kidneys again, but none of the kidney infection symptoms. It's a lot of pain and hard to deal with when I play powderpuff and have a full day of school 5 days a week. I have a Dr. appt on Friday afternoon and am asking that you'll pray they locate the exact problem. They have yet to narrow in on the problem, which doesn't help me any. Please pray. It's scarry to deal with it away from home and to have this pain all the time.

October 2, 2007

Dirt in the Skirt!!!!

I just got done with a dirtier than dirty game of Powderpuff football. We won....but it woulda been worth it either way! There's nothing like the ever increasing feeling of intensity, sound of slushing mud underneath your caked cleats, and sliding from point A to B just to capture a chance at the opposing team's flag. I pulled a muscle and hurt my back, but all in all....dirt in the skirt= priceless! It is during these moments that we forget we are women because we are momentarily athletes, and solely that!

September 30, 2007

Although I'm about ready to be finished with college, I am thankful for the moments that help me to be thankful for the experience. Last night was girls' night. What started as a date with Cheryl, ended up with 8 girls gossiping in my room about weddings, life, and such. Then I waxed Amber's lip for the first time....which freaked her out! It was just plain old fun to be crazy with girls I never get to see. It reminds me that each of them are so sweet and I am thankful to have them as a part of the floor. When I don't feel that I have time with certain girls, God paves a way for us to connect. I love girl time.
During my girl time, JP was out with the guys watching UFC Fight Night. I love that we can spend time with our own friends without feeling abandoned or upset. We've come to that place of total understanding....and needing time with other people. ALthough i do love sharing my floor with 40 other girls, who walk around looking for a shirt to wear on their dates, I can't wait to finally live with one person, to live with a boy, to live with JP!!!!

September 28, 2007

Chop, chop

I got my hair cut today. I went in asking for more than a trim, but a different style. I wanted to do something different, something unlike me. I wanted to surprise JP with a new look for our anniversary. The stylist cut and trimmed, blowdried and straightened. When the hour was over, I looked in the mirror at a somewhat different style, but the same me. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed. It was then I realized that I don't need a new look for JP to say a random, " You are beautiful," comment. This man of mine will be just as impressed and taken aback by the same old me. I love him for that and can't wait to finally celebrate our anniversary tonight. I'm all apprehensive though....I have no clue what's in store, which makes it even harder for me to pick and outfit out!

September 26, 2007


A friend once told me that no annoyance is a small annoyance when you're in a relationship. This is so true. A friend of mine was upset over something she felt would seem so small and trival to her significant other. I reminded her that in a relationship, even though the other may not understand the reasons for feelings being hurt, what should matter is that your feelings are hurt. It should hurt the other to see you hurt. As these words habitually rolled off the tip of my tongue, they began to burn; I needed to hear them just as much. When JP and I don't communicate, the small things either become big things, or they appear more often. We have come to a place where I'm all too honest when I'm upset. I find that I'm so comfortable with showing that I'm annoyed or in a bad mood, or bothered, because I know he will stand by me in the end. Is this fair? Although he cares when my feelings are hurt, is there a middle ground between patience and hurt?
I think the answer to my own question is that you can't always avoid being hurt. One can't ignore how you feel. It's what you do with the inconveniences, that matters. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if I am hurt about circumstances or from a bad day, JP will comfort and ease the craziness. If I am simply annoyed by the sometimes nagging actions of my handsome knight, I have to be patient. The fruit of the spirit know as patience is the hardest for me to define and to exhibit. Communication could solve it all. If I am so comfortable with being honest, I can step back, look at JP and say how I feel, as well as admit that I'm working on being patient. Although neither of us are perfect, communication can open the door up for us to be accountable to one another in our weaknesses; mine being patience, and can help JP to know when my clock is ticking towards blast off!

September 25, 2007

Time, time, time

There doesn't seem to be enough time in a day. I'm having one of those weeks that is filled with responsibilities and priorities; one of those weeks that you wish would get over with quickly! I have powder puff games & practices, RA meetings, devos, floor council, duty night during open hall (which is a long 7pm- 1am), a floor event, and this all aside from the daily grind of homework, practicums, classes, and work study. There doesn't seem to be time to run errands, to spend with friends even for a quick cup of coffee, or to have quality and desperately needed time with JP. We haven't had time for each other in a long time. Although I know that this oft happens in life and relationships, I feel like there needs to be a break in time somewhere for us to spend running to the store or grabbing coffee. We started reading a book together a month ago and have yet found time to discuss the first two chapters. When does it end? I realize during crazy times like this however, that this is the beauty of a loving and committed relationship, that my future spouse understands, supports, and stands by me no matter the amount of time that is filled with my millions of responsibilities. Sometimes I feel I am neglecting him and our relationship, but i know that I cannot avoid my vital responsibilities and things on my "to do" list. I am thankful for this man that calms and winds me down when I seem to be going 100 miles and hour, that finds any way to help me, whether its completing my "to do" list with me, or waiting on the sidelines for a chance to jump in when I can finally call a "time out" to relax. I miss my fiance.

September 24, 2007

Give me rest. It's hard to go through days when everything is monotonous and a chore. May I thank you for every responsibility and relationship. May I thank you for another breath. May I joyfully complete every task, and to my best ability. Why is it that we as humans look forward to the "next big event" in our lives? Then when it comes....we are oft disappointed. I pray that you will help me to revel and delight in the moment, so that I may never be solely anticipating tomorrow.

September 19, 2007

Ready, break!

The infamous Powder Puff season has officially begun at Evangel. Girls are stretching out their unused legs, running sprints from the sidelines, and tightening up the dirty shoelaces on their cleats. Powder Puff is not just an activity here at Evangel, but an all out sport....minus the scholarships and traveling. As an RA, Powder Puff isn't my favorite pastime. I loved the idea of intramurals when I came to school. I thought that for the first time, I was going to be able to step on a field without the fear of being taken out of the game for a bad play or having to run sprints for every error made in the game. Although it's not necessarily life or death, this game is intense. I am always curious as to how it came to be this competitive. Then I look around and realize why.....competition can bring out the true fighter in a girl. Whether it's for a spritz of hairspray, a wool sweater, a boy, or bragging rights, girls are relentless. We like to walk with pride, confidence, and the winning bruises. I have to remember that once I am on the field I live for the adrenaline and the opportunity to put away my lady-like tendencies. The bonding that takes place on a grass field is like none other. The girl that is usually passive, prim and proper, and has an anxiety attack if she forgets to apply her mascara, is now the teammate running beside you, knocking down anything and everything in her path, gettin' "dirt in the skirt," and ignoring the broken nails that are a result of the battle. Everyone has aggression and everyone has something to play for...whether its heart, for fun, for exercise, or for commradery, there's place for everyone on the field. See you at the game!

September 17, 2007

Little Rascals

Today I met my class for the first time! The class, that is, that I will be student teaching with. I have a reading practicum with them this fall. I was more nervous than a child on her first day of school. I made sure to pick out the best outfit, which I pressed and laid out the night before. Before I left for the school, Amber made sure I had a good breakfast, which consisted of a Trail Mix bar, and then I sprayed some "neck", as Parker would call it....and sped out of the dorms. I was in such a frenzy that as I turned the corner I realized I had forgotten something. No, not a backpack or lunch box, but my wallet. I figured I could survive without it. As I pulled into the parking lot of the brick building, my gas light turned on. I tried to ignore the "sign" and walked into Robberson, fiddling with the keys in my hand. I reached the classroom and found a chattering class on the carpet. I took in the first ten minutes and let my eyes wander around the room...almost as if memorizing what would be my new "home." The curious and unattentive children came straight towards me with hugs and questions. There was never a dull moment within the first twenty minutes. I had to line the children up and remind Austin it isn't okay to steal the teacher's things off her desk. He finally put the Domino's pizza coupons back. There still seems to be one missing. I quickly took my keys from Quentin's hand before he put them in his pocket. Not only do children always find some way to be sneaky, but they are lucky we teachers are made with an extra set of eyes in the back of our heads! When the time finally came for sharing about themselves one little boy proceeded to show me his wrists which had wiggly "x"s drawn on them in marker as blue as the sky. "I, I, I have something to share about myself, Miss Elton." Thrown off by the formal name I was being called, I had to keep myself attentive to Tyler's personal fact he was sharing. "These dots are where my Web Blasters are." I couldn't help but grin at the boy wearing a Superman shirt who had shared his secret superpower with me. All I could say is, "Wow! I've never seen that before. You must be really special." Although this class seemed constantly distracted by one another, I couldn't help but fall in love with each one...even the rebels who asked me why I wouldn't marry them instead of my fiance. They may be inattentive at times, but they always know how to make me smile. I was so distracted by the constant questions and remarks that time flew by and before I knew it, I was leaving the school to head back to Evangel. Children have a way of making me feel right at home. The comfort level can either mean that I adjust quickly, or that I am doing what I truly was purposed to do...teach. I think the latter is the better answer to my riddle. It'll be an interesting year!

September 16, 2007

Busy Busy Bee

This weekend was busy, busy, busy...but a good busy nonetheless! Friday night I had sushi for the first time! I don't normally eat anything from under the sea, but my friends told me I need to at least try it. So i got veggie rolls and then tried some nasty crab thing....they were wrong! I hated it! It was an experience though and I was really glad to share it with my friends. I love them! They cheered me on when I tried it...hilarious! I couldn't help laugh even though the food in my mouth tasted like seaweed. Then we went mini-golfing and until that night I had never thought one game of mini-golf could take over 2 hours but with a group of 8, and a group like ours, it was so much fun! Then Saturday we drove up to Table Rock Lake were a friend of ours has a log cabin. Despite the 50 degree weather and the rain, we made the best of it and spent 2 hours in the 80 degree water. I cherish the fact that the times when things could be just plain fun, our friends seem to create moments to remember! I never have to worry that my friends are using alcohol or messing around to have fun. They always find everyday ways to help us to have fun and entertain us. I wouldn't trade these relationships for the world! Friends are what make college worth while!

September 13, 2007

Passion Aflame

Spiritual emphasis week at Evangel was more powerful this semester than any I've been a part of. It was so refreshing to watch God move so strongly. By the end of the night we as a student body were jumping and dancing and enjoying being in the Lord's house together. We "danced like David danced!" Something that our speaker, Herbert Cooper continually said was that it is easy for an ignited flame to burn out when its just a momentary emotional high and not a passion. He encouraged us to spend time at the altar calling on God to create or further burn a passion in our lives that would be evident and strong even when there is no Spiritual Emphasis week on campus. I know that at the moment God has birthed a passion in me for my girls on my floor. As an RA I weep for them, I petition God for them, and I rejoice with them. I sometimes wonder how I came to be so passionate and in love with each and every personality and individual on this floor. I realize that God gave me this passion and to be there to help carry their burdens. I wouldn't trade a moment of it!!! Tonight however, it really hit me that I will be walking off this campus for good in less than a year and I will leave these girls behind. What passion will the Lord burn in me next? I wanted him to begin to burn it in my heart tonight and because He is faithful when we ask...HE DID! I know that I enjoy being in front of the classroom and being with children but tonight I prayed that I would burn for them...that through me they would see Christ. I pray they would know that they are special, fearfully and wonderfully made, each designed with a purpose and a plan. I pray that in the schools like those low-income schools here in Springfield, that the children who come to school with bruises, with tattered clothes, from broken homes, and dropped off daily by their mother's begrudging boyfriend- that they would know they are loved and they are precious. I know that this task will require patience, favor, and wisdom...and unconditional love. I pray for exactly that. Faith like a child's is worth more than gold and if these children can see Christ through me, not only will they realize the beauty and value of their life but also, may their pure faith be contagious to those around them. LORD I WANNA BURN!!!! I realized that we as an American society, and a community of believers don't ask God enough...."What's my passion?"

September 11, 2007

My Biggest Sister

She was the one I looked up to,
Except when she had the boy-cut hairdo.

She taught me what not to wear,
Like her Starter jacket of the Chicago Bears.

Her plaid shirts and paisley shorts,
Looked better than those she wore for sports.

She would always leave some room in her bed,
For me come to sleep in when I couldn't rest my head.

Less concerned about boys and more track,
She found a real catch, a real Daddy mack!

My biggest sister is like a Monica wanna-be,
With her house spick-and-span and no crumbs to see.

I'll never be able to thank her for the few mistakes she made,
Because to my parents I'm the angel and that name will never fade.

She hates that I wrote poems so eloquently,
And wishes that she could rhyme just like me.

So what will she do with story I've told?
Will she realize her little sister thinks she's precious as gold?

September 10, 2007

An Ordinary Day

On this ordinary day,
My alarm clock refused to go off.
I awoke unrefreshed
And with a hacking cough.

The room remained unchanged,
Clothing heaped like piles of hay.
New opportunities seemed unwelcomed
On this ordinary day.

Mind and body raced through the motions,
While my heart was fast asleep.
Had I forgotten what a new day's blessing meant?
Had I allowed Christ's love to seep?

Falling down in desperation,
To my heavenly father I had much to say.
I thanked Him for his grace and beautiful love,
On this all but ordinary day!

(Psalm 118:24)

September 9, 2007

Shoe Cents

I can't remember the last time that I purchased any pair of shoes that wasn't a Target product. Today, I broke down, pried open the piggy bank, and went to the mall for a "real" pair of running shoes. I blamed my crackling knees and burning back on my dire dedication to running....that puzzle piece didn't seem to fit. It was today I realized that it was about time to walk away from Wal-Mart's aisle 4 and to invest in an over-priced pair of kicks.
I brought my shoe connoisseur, JP, with me to the mall. JP was ecstatic that I had reasoned to buy an authentic set of athletic shoes. The moment we deliberately strolled into the store I walked straight towards the "Clearance" section while my other half began to pick out the most dynamic women's shoes. It didn't matter that I had chosen to break the bank for these shoes, for I have been conditioned to look for the best deals, despite the product. It took several moments for JP to pry me away from the "SALE" wall. As he picked out shoes that would fit my running habits, I browsed for the most fashionable. It was here I realized yet another difference between men and women. My fiance, the ultimate bargain shopper, views shopping excursions such as these, as moments destined to spend more than a dime on, while I on the other hand take several doubting and guilty money-spending moments to decide that if I must empty the wallet, the product must match both wardrobe and personality!
Needless to say, I left the store with the cheapest pair of quality kicks that my money could afford me and that my feet gladly accepted. However, it will probably take me a week to introduce them to the track....I'm not sure if I feel justified to keep them.

September 7, 2007


Last night JP and I had a long conversation about money, our honeymoon, and the like. When talking about our post-wedding vacation plans I became so over-concerned about spending the money that we don't have. It's a scarry thought....knowing that we will be on our own. That is the understatement of the year. But while I was clouded over with my worry-wart syndrome, I failed to remember how faithful God is...and not just with finances. JP was my calm after the storm. Who ever thought that there was a man out there who was born to deal with me, and to do it with such finesse. In the midst of my panic mode, my soon to be fiance looked into my teary eyes and whispered a phrase that will resound in my ears anytime I am less than calm, "You will be mine and I will take care of you in the good and the bad, with whatever it takes. It is not because I have to but because it is my honor to have you." I never doubt the man that I am going to be with....and this is exactly why I'll never have to. If there is any other earthly man, besides my superhero father, that I would trust my future with, it would be my future mate.

September 6, 2007

In Sickness...and in health

Being engaged hasn't been the thin slice of heaven that Hollywood depicts it as. There seems to be 20 hours in a day rather than 24. The tension between my all-too-similar mother and I has only grown at times and the realization that money really does create limitations has never resounded louder. There are those ideal moments however that help me to understand why love is worth it all. This morning as I sat in educational psychology, my knight sitting sniffling next to me, I fell in love with romance all over again. As he sniffled and snuffed and I watched his nose run from a competing sinus infection, my heart couldn't help but melt. To many people, the sight of a Ny-quil knocked-up man rubbing his nose, isn't enchanting. Although I can't say this occassion had my mind wandering on the clouds with resonating violins in the background, it did give me this sense of comfort. I imagine rainy mornings like today, when going to work is inevitable and difficult, waking up next to this seemingly-average human and feeling more than content to stare at his droopy eyes and to feel the corners of my mouth curl up in joy and empathy. This whole picture paints the true image of is a choice. Love is not necessarily always having those butterflies or looking your best but knowing that at the beginnning and end of the day, at their best and their worst, the other half of you is what you want...not just need. The sinus-congested male in the seat next to me is all that I want at the end of the day, to love, to care for, to nurse back to health, to laugh with and at, and to be mine..."In sickness and in health," is more than a phrase but a choice and an ultimate privilege. I can't wait to be with this man!