Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY 2010!!

As the final hours of 2009 wind down, it's hard to believe it's about to be 2010. It seems like only yesterday the world was worrying about Y2K as we prepared for the year 2000. We were literally "partying like it was 1999" (yay, how long has it been since you heard THAT song!!)

Like most people, a lot has changed in my life. I've been through many, many good times, and some sad times.

In the past 10 years:
-I graduated college (in fact, my 10 year reunion is coming up next year- meaning 2010, it's still 2009 as I write this)
-I've lived in 4 different towns/cities
-I changed my hair color and style more times than I can count (although I'm proud to say I haven't dyed my hair in almost 5 years!) : )
-I mourned the loss of three close family members (R.I.P. Jack, grandma, and Uncle Claude)
-I made some wonderful new friends
-I lost touch with some wonderful old friends
-I reconnected with a few wonderful old friends
-I held 5 different jobs
-I became a great-aunt for the first time (and second, third and fourth time)
-I cried and prayed with the rest of America on 9-11-01
-I paid off my first car (meaning I bought it and made every payment all by myself).
-I went to the State Fair of Texas for the first time
-I went to New York City for the first time (flying all by myself).
-I attended my first NBA, NFL and NHL game. (if you know me, you aren't surprised I'm mentioning sports!)

These are just some of many memories. There isn't enough space here to list them all, thanks for letting me share a few.

Now, a look bad at the good, the bad and the ugly of the past 10 years (and I'm talking about my hair!) :)


 Oh yes, my hair was THAT blonde!

The best aunt in the world taking her nephew to a Cowboys game!

Breakfast at Tiffany's in New York City

Going to see the Statue of Liberty

If you are a Yankees fan, it's best you NOT read my sign (and also I'll be praying for you!) : )

We love the Rangers, regardless of the weather!

Chillaxing with new friends!

It's hockey time in Texas!

Some of my oldest and bestest friends, still putting up with me after all this time!

Happy 2010, God bless you all!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Most everyone who knows me is aware that I LOVE Christmas time. I am one of those people who can't wait to start decorating and sometimes I have to force myself not to watch a Christmas movie in June (but hey, who can resist Bing Crosby?) I also love Christmas music. I'll admit, about a week (or so) before Thanksgiving, I had already uploaded Christmas songs to my iPod and was jamming away on my drive to and from work.

I have too many favorite Christmas songs to mention, but I am going to list some of the funnier songs that always make me laugh or smile during this time of year.

I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas by Galya Peevey
How can you not smile while listening to this!

Nuttin' For Christmas 
I really wish I had access to the video of my niece singing this song when she was about 8, but I had to settle for one by the country band Sugarland.

Even though I'm not typically a fan of Adam Sandler, I do like his "Hanukkah Song". (Okay, it's not a CHRISTMAS song, but it's played during the holidays.) Hey, my dad even laughed when he heard this one! :)

I Did It All For You (Twist of the Magi) by Rascal Flatts and SheDaisy
I used this Youtube video because of my good friend Linda. She loves (a.k.a. is obsessed with) the BBC show Doctor Who. Someone made a video of this song and used clips from Doctor Who. This is for you LC!! :) It's like it brought my love of country music together with her love of Doctor Who. If you want to read the lyrics of this song, click here.

Chipmunk's Christmas Song
Some find it annoying, I personally like it. " I want a hula-hoop."

Monday, December 7, 2009

A sweet story...

My nephew James sent me this (how dare he send me something that made me cry at work!) : ) It's a very sweet story. I hope you enjoy it!

As Little Boy Loses Sight, He Asks to See USC Football as Final Wish

It's the heartwarming story of 12-year-old Jake Olson as he prepares for a surgery that will blind him permanently. His left eye had been removed years earlier, which was inflicted by retinoblastoma. With surgery looming on his right eye, he told his parents the last thing he wanted to see was a University of Southern California Trojan football game, according to a story on ESPN.

Word spread to the ears of USC head coach, Pete Carroll, who brought Jake in for a practice and meeting with the players. Jake's involvement with the team grew to an inseparable bond -- his favorite player, center Kris O'Dowd, was at the hospital the day of the surgery -- and the two look to each other as inspiration to succeed.

Since the surgery, Jake remains optimistic and says of his new football watching time: "It's kind of more fun to actually hear the hits than to actually see the hits."

Inspirational indeed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We Remember...

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the collapse of the Aggie bonfire back in 1999. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years. I was in college at the time and remember waking up and hearing the news, and just being in complete shock. For those not familiar with the Texas A&M tradition, here is information about it here. It was built every year before the big game between the Aggies and the University of Texas Longhorns. For those of you not fortunate enough to be from the great state of Texas, the Aggies/Longhorn rivalry is as great as the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry in baseball.

Even though I did not attend Texas A&M, I've had a connection to it my whole life. My oldest sister graduated from there (in fact she was in college when I was born). I grew up in Austin, but did not attend the University of Texas. But, I have always felt some sort of connection to this rivalry despite not attending either school.

The collapse was tragic, but it brought the state of Texas together like nothing I had ever seen at that time (this was pre-9/11). Aggies, non Aggies (including Longhorns), came together for a time of mourning and healing. Even if you didn't "bleed maroon", you felt like you were a part of this family known as Texas A&M, and you shared in the sadness.

I was on YouTube earlier and found some videos I wanted to share.

The first one is the tribute the Longhorn band did at halftime during the Longhorn/Aggie football game. They dedicated their performance of "Amazing Grace" and "Taps" to the 12 Aggies who lost their lives.

The second is a recap that CBS News did of the bonfire collapse and a recap of the football game (which, by the way, the Aggie won).

Finally, a tribute to the fallen 12. We will never forget. God bless.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's your favorite scary movie?

I started writing this post a few days ago, but I haven't been feeling that great, so I haven't had time to finish and post it.

It seems the past few days I've been discussing scary movies a lot with different people. Probably because Halloween was last week and most cable networks were having horror movie marathons. Or perhaps because I am one of those people who love a good scary story.

For as long as I can remember, I've loved scary movies/stories. I think it started when my brothers let me stay up late and watch The Twilight ZoneThe New Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories when I was little (say, around 7 or 8). Not sure if I ever told my parents about that. Oops. Or I could thank my dear, sweet, loving, grandma. I vividly remember being 11 years old and being in my grandma's room, learning how to plastic canvas cross stitch, while she and I watched The Omen. I can still hear her saying, "Don't tell your daddy I let you watch this." I remember, looking at her with wide eyes, saying "Grandma, that man's head just got chopped off!"

I've seen all of the classics. Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th. I remember one time in high school my friend Jami and I stayed up and watched all the Friday the 13th movies (well, those that were around at that time-more have been made since the mid 1990s). They were on the cable station USA, part of USA: Up All Night (for those of us who remember that Friday night show). We made a game out of watching them. We decided which girl would die first. It was always the one who went running into the woods at night (in heels I might add).

Last Saturday some friends and I took advantage of Halloween and decided to go see the new "thriller" Paranormal Activity. If you have any plans or desire to see this movie, I would stop reading this post now. I'll try not to put too many spoilers in it, but I don't want anyone mad that they read something ahead of time. Okay, I'm serious. I'm about to start talking about it. Last chance. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Okay, if you are still reading, you either have already seen the movie or have no desire to see it. Let me start off by saying, it wasn't a bad movie. It was made in the same style as the 1999 movie The Blair Witch Project. For those who haven’t seen that movie either, it was filmed with hand held cameras (lots of shaking-like a home movie). Paranormal Activity started out making it sound like this was a "true" story, and the footage was discovered after the fact. That would have been fine, if the cast of the movie hadn't been on the cover of every magazine or the topic of numerous internet blogs the past few months. Also the cast was interviewed on The Bonnie Hunt Show the day before I saw the movie (we'll get into the fact that 1) Bonnie Hunt has a talk show, and 2) I actually watch it, another time.)

Like I said before, it wasn't a bad movie, it just wasn't scary. There was all this hype about it being the scariest movie ever and how people were scared to see it alone. I saw the movie with four of my friends and not one time did any of us jump. Okay, one of them did, but I promised him I wouldn't use his name and call him a wimp on my blog! :) After the movie we just sat there, looking at each other going, "Are you serious? That's it??" We kept waiting for something to jump out on the screen at the last minute, but nope, after a few seconds, the theater lights came on. Honestly, the episode of The Waltons where the kids play with the Ouija board was scarier than this movie (yes, I have finally worked The Waltons into one of my posts, you knew it would happen!)

I do have a point to this blog (I blame the Dayquil for my more than normal randomness today). So, why do people watch scary movies? There are so many real life scary situations out there, why do we let “make believe” stuff scare us? I had a very similar conversation with a friend of mine last week (oddly enough, he and I were attending Fright Fest at Six Flags while having this conversation). I don’t really have an answer. I guess it would make for a great “round table” topic. If you are a fan of scary movies, feel free to comment and say why you watch them.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The newest addition to my family...

Just a quick note of congratulations to my niece Alice and her husband Ray on the birth of their second son, Espen Reese. He was born this morning and weighed 7lbs, 13oz. For those keeping track at home, this makes great-nephew number four for me!

I'm attaching a few pictures my sister sent me via picture text messaging (isn't technology great?!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I have a confession. I have wasted HOURS of my life in front of my computer watching videos on YouTube. You can find practically anything on YouTube. If you miss Rascal Flatts performance on Letterman- that's okay, it's on YouTube within hours of airing. Want to see the adorable Jim Parsons from TBBT on Craig Ferguson? YouTube.  Want to learn the dance steps to Michael Jackson's Thriller video? YouTube. Want to settle a 2 hour argument with co-workers about a M&M commercial that aired in the 80s that involved little league baseball? Again, YouTube (and yes, I'm proud to say I won that argument. No one believed this commercial existed, I proved them wrong. How sad that I not only participated in that argument, but I'm proud of it.)

From commercials to TV shows to even full length movies, YouTube has it all.

It's late, and really I have no point to this post other than to share some of my favorite YouTube links. Enjoy!

Anjelah Johnson's Nail Salon comedy skit (for anyone who has ever gotten their nails done, this is hysterical!!)

Charlie Bit Me (I just think the little baby, Charlie, is so adorable). Why someone would film their kids biting each other, I'll never know. But hey, it's entertainment.

David Robinson's Basketball Hall of Fame Speech (I love the Admiral! I love how he ends his speech with scripture!)

For those wanting a good cry, video of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Post for Lindsay...

So a friend of mine told me today I needed to post something on my blog so she had something to read while she was at work.  Must be nice!! I'm on the wrong side of the building, over on the southside of TMKB we are working non-stop! :) Just kidding girl! I told her I was going to dedicate this post to her. She probably didn't think I would!

I promised my family I would post pictures on here, so for those of you who have Facebook, some of these pictures might be repeats.

Last month one of my best friends got married, and this past week she sent a link so we all could see her wedding pictures. Her photographer Eric Tolliver did a great job (shout out to Eric), they look awesome. A few of these were taken with my iPhone, but I'll be sure to give Eric credit on his pictures (FYI, they will be the better looking ones!

Me and my friends' son Jules. He was keeping me company during the rehearsal. He was also my dance partner at the wedding! Photo by Eric Tolliver

Me and Brandy at the rehearsal dinner. My shirt reads: Maid of Honor..Best Friends Forever...Very Important Person.

Me and Brandy. Photo by Eric Tolliver

Giving my maid of honor speech. I was so nervous, I don't like speaking in public (go figure, you would think I'd be good at it!) I was told I did a good job and no one saw my knees shaking. Photo by Eric Tolliver

Mel, me and Brandy singing "Summer Nights" (from Grease) to our friend Aaron. Photo by Eric Tolliver

Dancing to our song, "Brown Eyed Girl". Photo by Eric Tolliver

Tina, me, Brandy and Mel. The four amigos...wait, amigas! :)

Doing our white girl "gangsta" pose. Peace out!

Well, it's past my bedtime, and sadly I'm not tired. You would think I would learn not to go out on a "school" night. I get home late, then I'm wired and can't get to sleep. It's a cool 50 degrees outside, I can hear the wind beating against my window (so glad I'm on the second floor. My over active imagination would not let me rest if I was on the first floor and heard all that noise outside). I'm tempted to fix me some hot chocolate and watch 13 Ghosts (1960 version) on TCM. Sounds like a plan to me, so until next time....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Slow Down Time

I heard this Jeremy Camp song driving to work this morning. I just seemed to relate to it and wanted to share it with you. Have a wonderful day!


Staring at this empty canvas,

Waiting for the next stroke of my life.

It seems to go by so fast.

Another day I've wasted wondering,

How it all ends up instead of resting,

That it's all in Your hands.

My only piece is waiting before You.

My praise to You,

Drowning noise around me.


I wish I could slow down time,

I wish I could wait here at your feet.

'Cause with you is the only place that I wanna be.

I know I should take it all in stride.

I know you are there with every reach.

'Cause with you is the only place that I wanna be.

On my own I always fade out fast,

On the run my every step will last.

I'm resting in your words that never fail.

You’re searching every part of me.

I need to stop so I could hear You speak.

I long for you so here I am so thirsty.

My only piece is waiting before You.

My praise to You,

Drowning the noise around me.


It's where I wanna be,

The greatness of your presence always leaving me here speechless.

I've given up on making this life my home.

In the fullness of your glory is beyond my comprehension.

There's no greater joy then being with you my King.

(Chorus x2)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Being still....

For the first time in I don’t know how long, it’s Sunday night and I’m not asking myself “where did my weekend go?” I’m not saying I’m necessarily thrilled tomorrow is Monday and I have to go back to work (but let’s be honest, no one looks forward to Mondays). But, I actually woke up this morning feeling well rested, something I haven’t felt in a while.

I got up at an ungodly hour on Saturday and started cleaning, although it was not my intention to get up that early. For unknown reasons, someone thought it was a good idea for the garbage trucks to empty the dumpsters at my apartment complex at 6 a.m. on a weekend. After lying in bed for over an hour trying to get back to sleep, I realized it was a lost cause and got up to start my cleaning frenzy (which, by the way, my apartment looks great. I even cleaned and organized my pantry- I was a mad woman!) :)

Before the start of the Texas/OU game (Hook 'Em Horns, by the way), I was on Facebook and noticed my nephew Danny’s status was that he was trying to find the Texas game online to watch. As some of you know, my nephew is a missionary in Finland, he just moved there in June. (For anyone who isn’t familiar with my family, this nephew is 28). There is a program called Skype that allows you to make phone calls/video calls on your computer, so I called him. Since he was running a video program to watch the game, we just used the phone call portion of the program. It was so cool. I was talking to my nephew, who was watching the same football game as I was, but he was halfway around the world. I still had cleaning to do, so I moved my laptop around as I did the dishes and cleaned my living room. We talked for four hours. We hadn’t talked since July so it was great to hear his voice. I have missed my chats with him, so I have no doubt it was a God thing that I was home watching the game and was able to talk to him. If I had gone out, I would have missed that chance.

After Saturday night church services, I went to a party at my friend’s new house. It was a lot of fun to just spend time with some of my wonderful friends that God has blessed me with. They helped me forget about my bad week by just being their typical goofy, loveable selves. It was awesome. I definitely needed that time.

Like I said earlier, I woke up feeling very refreshed this morning. For as long as I can remember, I go through “fits” of having sleeping issues (going back as far as high school). Sometimes I’ll wake up and I’m not able to get back to sleep. Other times I’ll wake up every hour or two, but eventually fall back asleep. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I think I slept 8 hours without waking up. I got up and went grocery shopping (so that is out of the way for the week). I made it in and out of the Duncanville Kroger in 30 minutes, which is a miracle in itself!

I had a very relaxing afternoon. I watched a Cary Grant movie I had never seen before (The Awful Truth) as well as Double Indemnity, starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. I’ll never be able to watch My Three Sons or Christmas in Connecticut the same way again after seeing those two play “bad guys”. :) For those of you who aren’t fans of the classics, in Double Indemnity, those two plot to kill someone (I’m not spoiling anything, it’s written in the description of the movie). I had never seen those actors in that kind of role before, it was almost like watching Dick Van Dyke be the killer in an episode of Columbo! Nevertheless, it was a good movie!

I did learn some things this weekend by “being still”. I had more than one friend message me this weekend asking if I was being still and listening. :) It’s amazing the things God will show you when you give Him the time. I think I might do more of these “me time” weekends in the future. They are really a blessing.

I hope everyone has a great week. Be blessed!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Have you ever had one of “those” weeks? You know, one of those weeks where you just want it to be over with. One where you are screaming “DO OVER!” and it’s only Tuesday? I am so happy that it is Friday that I’m not sure I can even put it into words. Well, obviously I’m going to try. But I honestly feel like I should be in a Judy Blume book. “Are you there God? It’s me, Rachel.”

It started Sunday with the “Great iPhone Near-Disaster of 2009”. Then Monday I had to leave work early in order to get my car worked on. By the end of the day, I was $157 more in debt, but my car problems were fixed, at least for now. It’s amazing how much work has to be done to a vehicle AFTER it is paid off. I paid my truck off in March. Since then I have had to replace the starter, the battery, the timing belt, miscellaneous thing-a-ma-gigs under the hood, and the flux capacitor. I guess I can add a new tire to the list now. Oh, despite my car woes, I need to give a big shout–out to Randy at Petrik’s Auto (located on Main St. in Duncanville). He’s getting a shout out because 1) he was nice and didn’t treat me like the dumb car-clueless girl that I am, and 2) he didn’t charge me for the brake fluid or advice about my tires. Sadly, at Discount Tire, they did not take pity on me and give me a free tire. But Nate, the kid that helped me, was very nice.

Tuesday I went to the dentist and found out I need to go back next month because it's time for my yearly X-rays. I don't understand why they couldn't have done it then. I mean, I was already there and no one was in the waiting room. But no, I had to set up another appointment. But on a more positive note, I still have a credit at the dental office from when my insurance overpaid them when I got my crown.

Wednesday I got my second jury duty notice of the year. I went over 30 years and never got called for jury duty, now I've been called twice in less than 6 months. It's not that bad, but I do have to serve the week of Thanksgiving, that is kind of a bummer. At least it's the Tuesday before and not the day after. The first time I got called for jury duty was for a murder trial (obviously I didn't get picked). Maybe I'll just remind them I'm a conservative Christian who is pro concealed handgun laws and the death penalty. That seemed to work last time in me not getting picked! :)

So, on top of all the "petty stuff", it’s just been one of “those” weeks at work. I try not to complain because I am thankful I have a job, and that I no longer work at the evil place that is AHFC. I’ll just leave it at I’m having work woes. I won’t go into gory details. Who knows who might stumble across my blog on the Internet!

So after a week of feeling like God is sitting there, looking down, going, “Okay, nobody move, no one help her, she needs to figure this one out on her own”, I think I figured it out. I thought of this verse last night. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Be STILL?? As in, SLOW DOWN? My friends joke that there is a 2 month waiting period and a down deposit just to spend time with me. They are kidding, of course, but I do tend to overextend myself. I mean, I have had friends plan events from house warming parties to weddings around my schedule before. I can’t help it, it’s in my blood. There are other members of my family (who shall remain nameless since they can read this blog too), who tend to overdo it and take on too much as well.

Last night I was going over my plans for another jammed packed, fun-filled weekend in the life of Rachel, and I got exhausted just thinking about it. Couldn’t I just stay home on Saturday and clean while watching the Texas/OU game? WAIT- CLEAN?? “Georgeanne? Is that you??” (for those who don’t know, Georgeanne is my mom. She is a cleaning queen.) Okay, now that has to be divine intervention when I would rather clean than go out with friends and watch football. So, new plans for the weekend. Besides going to church on Saturday night, and my friend’s house warming party afterwards (which yes, was semi-planned around my schedule), I’m taking a “me time” weekend. God obviously wants me to slow down, so I plan to be obedient and do so. I have no clue what He wants me to hear or get out of this weekend, but I guess I need to “be still” and listen to find out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cell Phones

I've been thinking a lot lately about cell phones and how we have come to depend on them. More so since Sunday when my $200 iPhone decided to take a swim (we won't go into details where it decided to take a swim at, just know it was clean water). By the grace of God, and with the help of my friend Jub, aka the electronic/technical GURU, my iPhone is working again. FYI, if you have an iPhone, Apple warranty DOES NOT cover water damage. If you come across iPhone water damage, turn it off and put it in a bag of rice. Yay, it sounds weird, but the rice absorbs the moisture. Hopefully you will luck out (like me), and your phone will keep working.

Granted, I go days without my phone ringing (or even receiving a text message), but not having it almost drove me crazy. No texts, no phone calls, no updating Facebook to let my peeps know what I was doing at that exact moment. My family likes to joke that my cell phone is surgically attached to my hand. They might be right. Since my phone is also my watch, I couldn't even tell what time it was (I was at the State Fair of Texas).

I can remember back in junior high/high school when only the "rich" kids had cell phones, and those actually belonged to their parents (they just wanted to look "cool", so they brought them to school). And even then, those phones were huge, like a cordless phone. I remember Zack Morris, played by the still gorgeous Mark-Paul Gosselaar, on Saved By The Bell having the big cell phone he would always be talking on.

Hard to believe that cell phones really looked like that. Now they can fit in the palm of your hand. You can check email, get weather and sports score updates, even watch TV from phones now.

I can remember growing up always having a quarter in case I needed to use a pay phone (those aren't even a quarter anymore, whatever few are left). My dad would drop me and a friend off at a mall in Austin and give strict instructions to be back at the entrance at whatever time he was picking us up at. No leaving. No going outside. If the mall caught fire we had to wait by a security guard until the fire department got there (oh yes, these were his exact words). We also had to wait inside the mall until we saw his car pull up at the front entrance. There was no "call when you are ready to be picked up" or "I'll call you when I'm outside." And if he was running late, we had no way of knowing. We just knew we had to wait there until he arrived.

I think about how many times I make plans with friends now and it's always "I'll call you when I get there" or "call when you are on your way." Hard to believe it was just 10 years ago (before I got my first cell phone), when people had to actually make plans in advance. You had to have a location and time you were meeting. And if you were running late, you prayed your friends would wait on you.

Although I'll admit a cell phone is usually just a convenience for me, it has also come in handy during emergencies. Driving home about 11pm one night a few months ago my timing belt broke about five blocks from my apartment. I was able to call a friend who drove out to help me tow my truck home. Before cell phones I either would have had to wait for a safe looking stranger to offer me a ride or walked to a nearby gas station (and in my neighborhood, neither one of those are really an option). Also, if I get lost (which is not uncommon), I can either call a friend, or now, pull up a map on my phone to find out where I need to go. Sometime I'm still amazed how far technology has come, even in my lifetime.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Blog

I've never kept a blog before, not quite sure what I plan to put on here. I've read many friends' blogs and it seems to be a place to share stories, ideas, thoughts or just to vent. Maybe I'll do all of those things. I'll try and post as often as I can. Thanks for reading!