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.