Saturday, June 24, 2006

On Friends

My office has a litter of kittens for adoption. They are the cutest, fuzziest little balls of fur you’ve ever seen. If it wouldn’t lead me on the fast track to “Crazy Cat Lady Land” I’d totally take one home. However, a single gal, living alone with three cats in an apartment just screams ALONE FOREVER. Therefore, I shall let them find good homes with other people. In doing so, I called a client of ours that I knew was looking for a new pet. She immediately came over to visit. She had recently lost a beloved pet named Meg, and knew that if she adopted another, they could look nothing alike. Out of the bunch she selected the one that was opposite in every way from her Meg. I carried the fuzzy, orange ball of fluff into an exam room so they could meet. Upon entering the room, the woman began to get weepy as she recalled the pet she had lost. “They become like oxygen in your environment, you know? Even when you’re not thinking about it, they’re there. Ever present.” I left the room, thinking not of the kitten, but of the people I call friends.

Throughout my life, I have been blessed with people I considered acquaintances, friends and best friends. Each one has been exactly as my client spoke of, like oxygen. Without questioning their presence, they were there. Friendships came as natural to me as breathing and I owe that completely to people I chose to befriend. It is only natural that it should take time to learn about a person, but in each of these people, I immediately saw myself. That was a miracle all its own as I had been desperately searching for who I was. This leads me to believe that we are led towards each other and into each others lives, thanks to some much needed divine intervention. I received countless emails in the past that say people are brought into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime and I couldn’t agree more. I could go down the list of people I have known through the years and each one has been a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold or merely a laugh waiting to burst forth. I am eternally grateful for each person as they have had a hand in shaping who I am, and where I am today.

I won’t go into each person individually as it would more than likely bore the rest of you to tears. In addition, I have told most of these people already, sometimes on a daily basis, just how much I love and appreciate them. However, there is one person who I have neglected to thank. Through the years, I have felt it easier to ignore the past and look towards the future when it came to you. Every time I ventured down Memory Lane, it seems I always took a wrong turn at Regret Road. It wasn’t that I ever regretted being your friend; it was that I regretted not being able to do more, to be stronger, and to be better. You say that I never gave up on you, but I felt that I had. I wanted so badly for you to be the person I knew you could be that I overlooked the person you were. In trying to help you be a better person, I saw the flaws in myself and was more angered than I could have ever imagined. I saw weakness when I thought I was strong. When I finally realized I was being silly, the time for apologies had passed. Your life was going in a different direction, as was mine, and I felt it easier to just let go. All the anger and hurt that was associated with you vanished within no time and the void was filled with wonder. I wondered if you were happy, if you were safe, if you were doing what you dreamed of doing. Five years have now passed and I continue to wonder. Things have changed a little this time around, however. When I wonder, I can simply “log on” and ask you, “Are you happy? Are you safe? Are your dreams coming true?” Since the day we reconnected, all these years later, I have done a lot of thinking. I can’t articulate how wonderful it is to know the answers to these questions I have been bearing. It delights me to know that you are smiling behind the words you are typing. It creates within me a sense of peace I didn’t know I needed. Although, this newfound peace wasn’t without its own set of questions. Why, after all this time, have we found each other once again? Is there a reason that we have no anger between us? No contempt? No regrets? Yes. There is a reason. And I believe that reason is to shed light into a dark place within each other that shows us we have grown. We have come a long way from the days of awkwardness, teenage angst and juvenile fears. We have made it valiantly into the hands of adulthood where we can look forward without fear of what we once were. To you, I thank you for showing me that I really have come a long way. Thank you for loving the person I was and for being interested in the person I am now. I am glad, despite all things, that you were a part of my life. That chapter has ended, long ago, but life has an interesting way of doing flashbacks.

To this person, I believe you know who you are. If you’re reading this and wondering, “Is she talking about me?” chances are I am. Friendship is a valuable, valuable gift that I believe is just like the woman said. We breathe each other in, we help each other grow, we create a world of constant comfort that can only be built by a friend. Friends are oxygen.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Dad's Day

Before I delve into tonights post, let me first ask you, “How cool am I?”

I’m 24.
I’m single.
I live alone...
and I’m home watching, The Lion King.

YES! I am an amazing being and you all should be oh, so jealous. J

Today’s post is in reference to Father’s Day. I know...I’m late. But honestly, did you expect anything else? I thought it might be nice to reminisce a little and share with you my favorite memories with some of my favorite Dad’s. For those of you who are a bit confused, yes, I do only have one dad, however there have been many men throughout my life who are/were amazing fathers. So, here it goes...

Dad: My dad and I were the best of friends when I was a kid. There was never a question in my mind that I wasn’t the apple of his eye. I have lots of great memories of my dad, but my two favorites are from when I was little. We were living in Enid and Dad worked for an oil company. I got to go along on one of his trips to check on a rig. We got to eat out just the two of us and he would stop at a local gas station and buy me a soda and a candy bar. I wore his welding glasses and a big, old “Woolybooger” hat and sat in the front seat of his work truck. We would listen to Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues and Jimmy Buffett on cassette as we drove down the long Oklahoma roads. He taught me to wave at every.single.passing car. My other favorite was when we had just moved to Illinois. I was 13 years old and was laying in the living room floor watching “Father of the Bride”. He sat behind me reading the paper. I heard him lower the paper and clear his throat. I turned to see him staring at me. When I asked him what was wrong, he asked me to promise him that one day when I got married, that he’d get to walk me down the aisle. At the time, I thought it was an ubsurd request, because who else would I have do that. After a few years of changes and some harsh words were shared, the thought crossed my mind that I would have my brother do it when the time came. That promise from 11 years ago always pops back into my head and I know that I would never go back on. Despite all the changes that have occurred, I know that I am still the apple of his eye.

Granddad Harvey: One of the BEST men I have ever known. He loved quietly, and often in a reserved manner, but he loved like no other. I can remember countless times sitting near him on the couch. He would be smoking his pipe that smelled better than anything I can remember. We would watch hunting or fishing shows or some old western...we would watch in silence. But then, he would shake his fist at me, wink and call me Sugar Plum. He always had change in his pocket, too. It was such a treat, such a simple pleasure, to have Granddad give you a quarter from his pocket. I miss him terribly.

Grandpa Wayne: Probably THE funniest and most “character like” person I know. He always had a way of making me feel like I was his favorite, even though I’m sure all the grandkids felt that way. He tells the best stories, and the most random jokes. My Grandma Elaine calls them his “Wayneisms”. He has a talent for just about everything. Painting, cooking, wine making, woodworking, carpentry, stained glass, glass etching, name it, this man can do it. He loves with reckless abandon.

Papa: Papa Bear was not my biological grandpa, but he might as well have been. Since I was 4 years old he has loving referred to me as one of his own. He included me in family events and welcomed me into his arms and home. His granddaughter and I grew up as best friends and I think he found great comfort in that. There was never a time where I graced their dinner table that he didn’t specifically include me in his prayers. I remember his daily wear of white t-shirt and overalls and his laugh that could light up a room. He was a great man and I miss him very, very much.

Uncle Mark: Mark is definitely one of those guys who is a charmer. He has this amazing knack for making you feel like you are the most wonderful person in the world. When you’re with him, you are the only person in the room. I have great memories from him when I was growing up. When he would come to visit, it was a HUGE deal! He was fun and carefree and everything that I wanted to be. He has great taste in music and movies, he loves to shop and he is a hopeless romantic. When I need a shoulder to lean on or a good laugh, he is the guy I turn to. He gives advice, but only when it is requested. He is terrible at returning phone calls, but when he is truly needed, he is there without fail.

Uncle Andrew: My Uncle Andrew and I never lived fewer than thousands of miles apart so I really didn’t get to grow up with him. But the few times we did get to meet, we had more fun than I can explain. We never even went to do anything, but he was SO funny and so genuine that it didn’t matter. Andrew was my lumberjack uncle. He’s from Washington state and talks with an Oklahoma drawl. He wears hiking boots with running shorts and has a thing for chocolate milkshakes. My favorite memory of Andrew was when I moved back to Oklahoma with my mom. He loaned us money to get a u-haul and personally loaded and moved us to Stillwater. He paid for a crew of guys to come help us unload and made sure that we were taken care of. He never once asked for anything in return, just wanted ‘his girls’ to be cared for. He is an amazing dad to his two young daughters and has raised them to be two of the most well rounded individuals I have ever met. He would take them fishing and hunting, and then the next night, turn around and take them to a father/daughter dance. He is a great dad to his girls and a great uncle to me.

I’m sure there are more that I should list on here, but these are the six most influential men in my life. A couple of them are gone now, but the imprint they left on my heart is permanent. Between these guys, I know that if I needed ANYTHING, it would be provided. Whether it would be a an ear to listen to my most recent broken heart, a recipe for a good casserole, a hearty belly laugh, a simple gesture of love and adoration, a bear hug or a walk down the would be provided. Thank you to the best men I know for being so amazing, that I am willing to share you with the world.

Love, Liz

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Natural High

Life is full of things that make me happy. Little things that make me stop and remember how great it is to be alive. Here are a few of my natural highs...what are some of yours?

1. A great song on the radio that just seems to fit your exact mood.
2. Having a crush.
3. Driving with the windows down.
4. A kiss from a snuggly kitten.
5. A hug from a friend.
6. A phone call from a friend you just happened to be thinking of.
7. Listening to a kid giggle over something you were dying to giggle at too.
8. Fully submerging yourself in a pool of water for the first time all summer.
9. Getting sunburnt and knowing that this time next week, you're gonna be TAN!
10. A new box of crayons.
11. Flippin on the tv for noise and having it already be tuned in to a rerun of Friends.
12. A bouqet of pink flowers on the counter at work, just cause.
13. A great workout.
14. A new set of scrubs.
15. That first sip of an ice cold fountain Dr. Pepper from Sonic. mmmm...
16. Being called beautiful.
17. Knowing someone misses you.
18. The smell of rain...the sound of thunder...OH! Storms in general.
19. Doing something for yourself, simply for the joy of it.
20. Saying thank you for something and seeing the look on that persons face.

OH! The list could go on...
Tell me yours.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

On the Sunny Side of the Street


*Carpets are clean.
*Ceiling only has a couple more steps until it's fixed.
*My kitties got to come home!!!!
*Pet deposit has been waived to compensate for the pet boarding expenses.
*Went shopping with Katie-Ladie.
*Have the speakers hooked up to my computer finally and can now listen to TUNES!
*Getting ready to do Pilates AGAIN and feel great about myself.

Thank you Lord for this blessed day. SO MUCH BETTER THAN YESTERDAY! (And even it had it's silver lining.)

This is Nicole our new nurse at the clinic and one of my squishy babies, Fuji. He is getting HUGE! He's not even a year old yet!!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Emotional Overload

This past week has been an emotional overload. I haven't been able to tell whether I am coming or going. The problem is completely mine and I just have to own up to that fact. I have been allowing things that are minute in existance, to grow and fester into things I feel like I might not be able to handle. I used to vent to my friends, but as of late, I feel that my venting is going to overshadow the cheery person I want to be and make me an unbearable nuisance to the people I love. Everytime I have opened my mouth in the past few days, it seems to be a complaint about an event or a person. And that is unacceptable.

Here's my diagnosis: I am a neurotic, PMSing female who can't see past her own nose.

I tend to have difficulty accepting that people are not like me. They will not always think like me or handle things like me. It's not that I WANT everyone to be like me. I value and appreciate diversity to its fullest. It's just that I expect people to act in a certain manner when that is a completely unfair wish. If a friend were to call me and ask me to go shopping with them because they needed to get out of the house, for example, I would quit what I was doing to go. No matter what it was, I would stop to help my friend even if it just means that I too, get out of the house. I tend to put others before myself in almost every situation and when they don't do the same in return, I get my feelings hurt. In all honesty, I should be applauding them for the strength they have to focus on themselves once in awhile. I always feel that I HAVE to do what everyone needs or wants me to do because if I don't, the will love me a little less. They will need me a little less. On top of the fact that its insane to expect the exact treatment in return from people, it's more insane when you stop and realize that it appears now that I do things for people in order to have favors done for me. And that's not the case at all! I do things for people because I love them and when I feel that that love is not reciprocated when I need them, I get all bent of shape. If I don't get asked to hang out and do something, I automatically assume I have done something wrong and I get defensive. I can't just accept that people are busy. If someone gets a tone with me or doesn't smile when I smile at them, I get unnecessarily anxious wondering what it was that I have messed up. I can guess at how I would handle a situation (having never really been in that particular situation) and if it isn't handled how I would do it, it's wrong. For example, say a friend gets a new boyfriend and suddenly doesn't have time for their friends anymore, I would irrationally speculate that if "I" were the one with a boyfriend, I would still make time for my friends. (First off, read back a few lines and you'll notice that I AUTOMATICALLY think that the fact they're busy has something to do with something I've done wrong.) When I think back to how I sulk over my "mistakes" I feel utterly silly. Their having a boyfriend has nothing to do with me. Their having a life has nothing to do with me. The way they handle things is fine, it may not be my way, but its fine. I take everything so blasted personally that I am appauled.

HOWEVER, in organizing some paper work last night, I ran across an old email from a friend who reacted the Exact.Same.Way towards me. He was upset that I didn't spend as much time hanging out with him as he wanted and then he gave me the silent treatment. I did the same thing to a friend this week. She upset me, I felt betrayed, and therefore I thought my not speaking to her would make her realize the error of her ways and she would apologize. To be quite honest, she really didn't have anything to apologize for. So, I sat in the floor with my friends letter and cried. Remembering that life is way to damn short to fret over these unbelievably small things. I had been to church that morning and felt that the pastor was speaking just to me. Envy is only going to ruin me and my relationships with others. And that's the truth of the matter, I was envious and jealous and acted irrationally.

Today, I am moody and emotional, but all by natural causes. haha! I have felt like crap all day, but I have made an extra effort to be a delight instead of a disappointment. I apologized to those I felt deserved it and made a boundful effort to bite my tongue whenever a negative thought arose. I came home and began cleaning my house, preparing for more maintenance men to repair my apartment. I found a box that I had left to the last of the unpacking because I thought I knew what all was in it. I was wrong. Inside, this box held a bountiful array of memories and good thoughts. Pictures of beloved friends and family and a secret treasure. A few months ago, my dear, dear friend whom I have come to love as a sister (there is no other word for it) made me a stack of index cards. Each card held a quote or thought of inspiration and love. There was also a stack of her favorite comfort food recipes including family recipes that she shared with me whole heartedly. God has blessed me so richly. I have never been more wealthy than I am right now. Thank you to each and every person who has put up with me, loved me, valued me and pushed me forward. I love you more than you could ever know. You have been my strength...even when I'm feeling, sappy, weepy and downright girly. :)

"I believe in the sun even when it is not shining, in love even when I am alone and in God even when he is silent."- unknown

Monday, June 05, 2006

Burn Outs & Donut Holes

Due to the recent "Swamp Thing" remake in my living room I have been staying at my mom's house. But this weekend my friend Kristen and her family invited me to their place. I drove down on Friday evening and we all drove to Weatherford for the best catfish I have ever had. It was so good! AND it was reinforced with humor when Kim backed the car into a pole at the gas station. Marvelous! Oh yeah, and the fact that my friend Brent was already drunk by the time I got there made it even more fun. He is FUNNY when he's been drinkin'. haha! The next day Kristen had school and Kim had to work so Brent and I took Reagan to the Burn Out! For those of you who don't know (I didn't either.) this is where it is LEGAL to burn your tires and peel out. In fact, they talked a police officer into doing it in his squad car. Quite entertaining! It was so much fun! The smell of burgers on the grill, burning rubber and suntan lotion. The sound of classic rock, squealing tires and laughter. Who could ask for more? Did I mention there were some amazing cars there??? There was a Nova I would have given my right leg for, but then I wouldn't have been able to push the gas pedal. :) I'm so funny.

After that, we headed to the city where we visited Bass Pro Shop and Old Navy. Kristen was with us by then and we went home to dinner. Typical night, nothing exciting. Now Sunday morning is when the FUNNIEST thing happened. Kristen and I decided we were going to run to Daylight Donuts and get breakfast. We pulled up to the drive-thru and this little foreign lady was there. We gave her the order. She filled it. We gave her money. She took it. Typical transaction. But as she was handing Kristen back her credit card, she knocked over the bag of donut holes and one wee little guy rolled out onto the counter. She looked at us with this expression of absolute shock and amazement. "OH! I so sowy!" She then proceeded to pick up the hole with her bare hands (off the not so sterile window sill I might add), blows on it, brushes it off, puts it back in the bag and tries to hand it to Kristen. EEEWW! Kristen said, "Oh I don't want that one." So the lady says, "Ok." and puts her hand in the bag to take out the one, lone hole. "No, no, no...I don't want that BAG of holes." So the lady goes and gets us a "new" bag. We're not 100% sure it was new, but we hope so. (Hi BRENT! Hope you enjoyed those holes.) haha!

Sunday was spent by the kiddy pool with Reagan and babysitting the most IRRITATING cry baby I have ever met in my life. The only time she didn't cry was when her benadryl kicked in and she fell asleep. Her slumber was stoccatoed by the occasional "suck-in-the-bottom-lip-gasping-for-air" post cry. If you don't know what I am talking about, I'm sorry. I would so demonstrate for you if I could because I used to cry just like that when I was a kid. haha! I'm not kidding. Holy crap. If Reagan were like that, I wouldn't be there to visit nearly as often. muahaha...

I stayed last night too as it was getting late and I didn't want to drive through road construction on I-35 in the dark. So, I got up at 4:45 this AM to drive the hour and a half to work. Not my favorite thing to do, but it works. It was lightening like crazy and the clouds were amazing!! They made for an incredible view the whole way home. If I didn't think I would be late for work, I would have stopped to take pictures. Not kidding. It was that breathtaking. I wish someone had been there to share it with me.

Now, I'm off to nap. The apartment is still wet and muggy but it is getting better. I'm going to stay at mom's a night or two more just to be on the safe side. I keep telling myself, it could have been SO much worse.

Love, Liz

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Great Flood of 2006

So I was sitting in my apartment this afternoon, watching a little Oprah, paying a few bills. Generally, enjoying the peace and quiet. I had cleand the house, baked a cake and was sitting down to pay the remainder of my bills when (BOOM!!!) there is an explosion above me. I jumped straight off the sofa and suddenly, there is gallons upon gallons of hot water flowing down my north wall. I have never seen so much water. I opened the front door and saw that it was not only inside, but flowing out of the eaves. I hauled ass to the main office and burst through the door. THEREWASANEXPOLISONANDNOWMYAPARTMENTISFLOODINGOHMYGOD! The guy looked at me like, "Oh, s**t." He ran behind me and immediately went to the apartment above me. There was no water to be seen. He then ran to turn off the water to the entire building but the maintenance man apparently decided he needed to take the water valve key home as a souvenire. About 20 minutes and a trusty pair of pliers later, the water is off. The ceiling on the south wall of my living room is buckled and full of water, the carpet is flooded with approximately 2 inches or more of very warm water and all of my furniture has been shoved into other rooms. Turns out that a pipe between the floors burst (actually a part that was replaced ONCE BEFORE malfunctioned and now a law suit could be pending) and flooded my place and the one immediately west of mine that is vacant. I get a months free rent, my carpets cleaned for free and I only have to pay a pet deposit on one of my cats. So, today had its deep ends and shallow ends of the "Oh, s**t" pool. My apartment smells and looks like a swamp, but I can pay rent this month.

All is well.

It could have been so much worse and I am very thankful. Tonight, and more than likely for a few more, I will be staying at my moms house. The carpet is all pulled up and there are fans under the padding. Wouldn't make for a very good nights sleep I reckon.