Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stillness, Intentions

On Easter Sunday, we went to the 7 a.m. sunrise service, which took place outdoors in front of the church. We didn't actually see the sun rise; the sky went from dark gray to lighter gray, the fog and mist obscuring any of the sun's rays.

Midway through the service, there was a moment where we were asked to be silent and just listen to the morning. And I realized that it was the first time in a long time — maybe even ever — that my mind remained completely still, allowing the cool breeze to wash over me as the birds and crickets competed for the right to sing.

And I thought that maybe I need to get up this early more often, watch the sunrise and just breathe. One of the things on my Life List is that I'd like to learn how to meditate, to keep my mind still for a little while every day. I have a friend that is always going on meditation retreats, and we've talked about what it means for a Christian to meditate, something that is traditionally seen as an Eastern religious practice. He says that he sees the act of meditating almost as another means of prayer or communication with God; a time of listening.

I'd really like it if I were better at the listening than the asking.

But I'm almost afraid to start, because I worry that one morning, the warm covers and soft bed will be too hard to leave, and I'll never find the motivation to start again. I'm afraid to start because I know that eventually I'll forget, or put it off until tomorrow, until it becomes just another thing that I've tried and failed to keep up.

Most of the time I have good intentions, big ideas, but too little follow-through. I wish I were better at following through.

What are you afraid to start?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ways in Which I Am Still a Teenager

I read an article the other day in the May 2014 issue of Glamour that I thought was kind of interesting. In it, the author talked about how different scents can remind you of different times in your life, and proceeded to chronicle the perfumes she had owned and used during many of those times — in high school, studying abroad, falling in love, welcoming a first child. Some of them were inexpensive scents, like the author's favorite in high school — Victoria's Secret Pear GlacĂ© — and others maxed out at $160 for less than 2 oz. of liquid.

And I got kind of curious. I am 26 years old, and every scent I own still comes from Victoria's Secret, where you can get a very large amount of good-smelling stuff for a very reasonable price. I have never owned anything that adults would qualify as perfume, and it made me wonder if I'm the only one who never jumped on the bandwagon of buying really expensive water? Then I started wondering what other things other people "graduated" to that I never did.

I keep all my scents on my dresser on this cute dish my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago. I think it makes my dresser look more sophisticated.

Beauty Products I Use That Are Beloved By All Ladies in the 16-and-Under Set

Body Mist
I have three or four different scents of the Victoria's Secret Body Mist that I've collected over the years, and it literally takes me years to get through a bottle of this stuff. Case in point? I have a bottle of Desire that I owned for at least two years before my wedding ... and I wore it at the wedding ... and I still wear it all the time, almost three years later. And I'm still only a quarter of the way through the bottle. How is this taking me so long?

(By the way, this IS a step up from High School Allie's collection. Back then I had a Mary Kate & Ashley two-scents-in-one set, and I was a big fan of that Calgon spray stuff that smelled like the beach.)

Lip Products
Yep, I still primarily use Bonne Bell LipSmackers when my lips are dry or chapped. I bought my first tube of actual Chapstick-brand chapstick earlier this year. They're exactly the same to me, except that LipSmackers comes in better flavors and you can get an eight-pack at a time so you don't have to buy more of it for a good long while.

Makeup
With the exception of my Mary Kay products (most of which my mom bought for me), I have no makeup from fancy stores. Everything I buy comes from Target, and most of it is by CoverGirl or Maybelline. I've been in a Sephora exactly once, and that was when my sister told me that I needed a new lipstick for my wedding. (The one I bought ended up being too brown, and I've hardly worn it since.)

At what age/point in your life did you start buying the "good"/"grown up" products? Do you still love any products you used as a teenager? What is your favorite fragrance?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Burning

I've been putting off talking about this for months, because I wanted to share it for the first time in a state of accomplishment and with lots of cool pictures, but I am feeling suffocated by the idea of doing something totally new with my time and not telling anyone about it. So I'm going to share a tiny bit now, and do a much bigger post with more details later.

Once a week for the past nine weeks, I've been heading down to one of College Station's fire stations in the evenings. The city offers a free 12-week class called Citizen's Fire Academy, and my friend Christina, who is running the class, encouraged me to participate. And ya'll, it is AWESOME. If your city offers something like this, you should definitely do it. 


We were given our own fire gear for the duration of the class, including heavy boots, a helmet and a thick jacket and pants set that are way too big for me. We got to see the dispatch center, where all the emergency calls come in. We get to play with fire extinguishers and ride on the fire trucks and work the hoses and cut open cars with the jaws of life. (No, we don't get to slide down the pole.) At the class' conclusion, we're going to the fire school, and participating in a live burn.*

I have learned SO MUCH. I'm fascinated by the firefighters' work, and having a blast taking the class, but I could never do what they do. (I get freaked out by medical stuff, and every firefighter has to be EMT-certified. They showed us how to insert IVs one night, and I squealed and covered my eyes while they stuck a detached dummy arm. What a pansy.)

There's a CFA graduate that has been at every class taking pictures of all the cool stuff we're doing, and has promised CDs of the photos at the end, so I want to write a bigger, better post once I have the photos. But I just wanted to share now, in case anyone — okay, me — needs a reminder that you don't have to be at a certain point in your life, or have a certain amount of money, or have completed certain goals in order to have big adventures.

*I don't think I'll actually get to do the live burn, because of a scheduling conflict. I was bummed, but Christina told me it was just putting everything else we've done into effect, and that I shouldn't be upset.