Wednesday, December 21, 2005

live, laugh, love

LookinglikemypuppetI recently got an e-mail from an old college friend.  When I wrote him back I chose to dig up some old pictures to scan and send.  It brought back some good memories.  When I was at Liberty University, I was blessed to be part of a team called Youthquest.  Youthquest was really the selling factor for me choosing to go to Liberty.  I made some incredible friends on YQ.  We would travel in these 15 passenger vans on weekends to churches in random places and do skits and sing and stuff. Our goal was to live for Christ, love people, and make them, and ourselves laugh. We had a ton of inside jokes.  I think YQ will be one of those things that all of us will carry for the rest of our lives.  Lots of funny stores.  I'll have to post them when they come to mind.  For now, here's a funny picture of me.  Everyone on my Youthquest team said I looked like my puppet.  I did. Ha! Poor puppet!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

blast from the past

Today I got a phone call out of the blue.  It was my ex-boyfriend.  Not the recent one, the original.  My first love... also my first real ex-boyfriend.  We talked for about 45 minutes.  He's engaged to some medical student who I'm sure is beautiful.  But that's beside the point.  After the conversation, I was refreshed.  I think today he crossed over from the file of "ex-boyfriend" to "old friend."  You know what I'm talking about... the friends you have that you can just pick up where you left off... no matter how much time has passed.  They're the same people that know you.  Today talking to Chris helped me remember me.  Yeah, I've grown up a lot since then... so has he.  But he knows me.  It was refreshing to be able to just talk and laugh and know that he's going to get my message... without me having to explain anything, or make excuses for anything.  I am thankful for Chris.  Yeah, 4 years ago at this time, I was heartbroken.  But it's all good now and I can be thankful for things we shared like day trips to New York City and our first jobs in the real world.  And there are also the things he introduced me to that still remain part of who I am... like Starbucks' Caramel Macchiatos, Louie Giglio, and post-it notes. 

flat tire

Last night I was leaving the mall when I realized my left rear tire was flat.  In the parking lot.  In the dark.  I was alone.  All of you single people will be able to identify with me on this one.  There are certain things that just make you feel more single.  Last night, I realized flat tires are one of those things.  I had no natural person to call to come and fix my tire and rescue me.  I tried my sister.. and ended up calling my 16 year old nephew.  It turns out, their whole family came to my rescue.  My brother-in-law changed it for me today... and I bought a new tire, so now I'm back in business.  But last night, I was alone. Single.  With a flat tire.

office party

I just got home from my office Christmas party.  It was so much fun.  My dad was my date :)  It's always fun to get all dressed up and see my co-workers under stress-free conditions.  Plus, I LOVED my dress.  And I'm quite proud of how I looked in it.  Losing weight sure does help you gain confidence!  Please excuse me if I sound full of myself... I promise, I'm not.  I'm just proud of how far I have come.  Thanks to all of you who have supported me.  Here are some pics:Christmasparty05_001 Christmasparty05_002 Christmasparty05_004 Christmasparty05_005

ww update

Sorry for slacking... my computer room isn't heated... so I haven't been here for a few days.  Here's my Weight Watchers update:  This week, I was a "Big Loser."  I lost 3 pounds!! My total weight loss is now at 22.4 lbs.  I am very proud of myself.  All I want to do is shop though, which is an unexpected side effect of losing weight.  Be warned.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

i'm taking up more space

Hello all... I have an announcement: I'm taking up more space on the internet.  Shame on me.  Oh well... I realized a new way I could stay in touch with friends from college... myspace.  Check out "my space" at: 

Saturday, November 26, 2005

mane event




let your hair down

A couple of weeks ago, I was inspired by a post on my friend Gretchen's blog (check it out: about Courtney's past hairstyles.  I looked back at my hair over the years and it's funny.  You should do it.  I would be willing to bet everyone around my age has the three following stages documented: 1.  The mullet. None of us wanted it, but it was the 80's and we were too young to protest our parents cutting our own hair in the kitchen (half of them had mullets at the time too) 2.  The perm.  Remember when you were about to start middle school and you felt all big and bad, and ready for sassy Seventeen magazine hair?  This usually also involved a chair in the kitchen.  The smell was awful and unforgettable.  and 3.  The beginning of the slippery slope of hair dye.  For me, it was the summer before 10th grade.  My mom actually suggested I highlight my hair.  Of course, it got out of control, and over the years I have gone from a brunette, to almost platnium, back to the fake greenish/purplish brown, to a mix... there have been ups and downs... but this is where I remain.  That's a short hair history for me.  Funny pics will follow.  Please send me your hair-u-mentary.  If you don't want me to post it, I won't... but I think this could be fun! 

she bangs, she bangs

Do you ever have a day where you just feel "frumpy?" Like, nothing is right.  Well Tuesday felt like National Frumpy Awareness to me.  My hair wouldn't lay right.  My eyebrows were all over the place.  My clothes were too big (not a complaint, merely a statement).  I had 3 zits that felt like Mt. Everest, the Matterhorn and Mt. Trashmore respectively, no so candidly on my chin... and I was feeling, frankly, "frumped out."  Well, I took action.  I made it to about 11:00am at work... and I called a salon I've never been to, and made an appointment.  I needed intervention.  The place is called "Changes," and well, I got one.  I told the stylist to do whatever she wanted to my hair (I didn't have the money for haircolor) and she gave me a straight style with bangs.  Now, a couple of months ago, I cut my own bangs, but they weren't nearly as heavy, or as cute.  I seriously have bangs now.  There's no hiding it.  I like it.  What do you think? (you can see the pic below on my Thanksgiving post in the pic with my brother)

giving thanks

I had to work on Thanksgiving, but afterwards I went to my sister's house and I got to see my "little" brother.  I haven't seen him in a really long time because he lives in New York, and can't come down to Virginia that often.  It was GREAT to see him.  It's amazing to me, just to see him.  He used to be this annoying little boy who taunted me and drove me crazy.  Now he's a handsome man.  He's still Chris though.  And I look forward to each time I get to see him.  I am thankful for him.  And you should have seen Brayden with him!!  He's so cute how he adores Chris... and you can tell Chris adores the attention.Christhanksgiving_001 Christhanksgiving_002 Christhanksgiving_003

cold case

Last Sunday, when I went to church, I picked my cold Bible up from the front seat of my car, when a harsh reality hit me.  This Bible was cold.  This Bible, the written word of my God, is cold.  I left it out in cold.  It was there all week... in my car.  It doesn't do any good sitting in a cold car for a week.  This is an admission.  My Bible often gets cold.  Why is it that I can have an honest yearning to know the Lord more, yet still leave my Bible in the passenger seat all week?  This humanity thing is hard to grasp, even though it is a reality.  I am thankful though, that my God isn't cold.  He was with me even though I abandoned His Word.  I am not a cold case in His eyes, thank God.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

good fortune

ScanScan0001The last time I went out for Chinese food (which was a while ago) I got this in a fortune cookie.  Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm not big into fortunes or horoscopes or anything like that.  I'm a Christian.  While I do believe that God has a plan for me and my life, I don't bank on anything I read in the newspaper or that comes out of a cookie.  But this one was good.  It's the only fortune cookie fortune I've ever kept.  I keep it on my desk under my framed autographed picture of Brian Williams. (don't joke)


showing off

I tried to post this a few weeks ago, but couldn't because of technical problems.  I joined my sister, my dad, her mom (long story) and my youngest nephew for lunch one day.  It was great to get out of the office.  But the best part was after lunch, I got to bring Brayden inside so the people I'm constantly forcing to listen to stories about him, could meet him, in the flesh.  Of course, I took pictures.1644chesapeakedrive_004 Wavy_007

cute baby!

Isn't it amazing how every female is born with the ability to dote over a cute baby, standard?  I will debate any female who says she didn't get that gene.  It's suppressed.  You may want to try therapy.  I acknowledge my maternal instincts, although I admit they are sometimes freaky. When I brake at the last minute, my right arm goes over whatever is in the passenger seat in my car. (which is usually nothing more than a magazine, a bottle of water, and a lunch bag)  I haven't ever even come close to being anyone's mother (unless you count my cat) yet when I see a baby, I'm quick to lather my hands in antibacterial hand stuff and join the crowd.  Every time someone brings a baby in the newsroom, the whole news operation practically shuts down.Meannkarinbraden_1 

Last weekend, I drove to Roanoke to visit my dear friend Ann.  We had lunch Saturday with another friend, Karin, her husband and their beautiful baby boy, Braden.  (if you frequent this space you know the pre-existing feelings I have for another little boy with that same name, spelled differently)  Anyway... I loved seeing Braden.  And I'm so happy for my friends.  They make such a cute family.

weight watchers update

Okay, because of issues like my chronic laziness and the website I post through being down... it's been a while.  I acknowledge.  The cool thing about it is... the more time in between posts... the more I have to say.  I am so excited to report this "Weight Watchers" update.  I've been doing WW for 8 weeks now... and officially, I have lost 16.2 pounds.  0.8 pounds more and I will have lost 10% of my body weight.  I am really proud of myself.  Today when I got on the scale, I almost cried.  It said I weighed 150...something.  Since I'm not a wrestler... I'm not too keen on the idea of publishing my actual weight... but let's just say I haven't weighed 150...something since I was in high school.  My goal is to lose 20 lbs. by the time I go to Hawaii (for Christmas) and to lose a total of about 40 lbs. all together.  Thanks so much to all of you out there who have supported me in this.  I couldn't do it without you.

november 13th

PaparedtruckSome dates get seared into your memory.  Your birthday.  Your mom's birthday.  If you're married, that day.  November 13th is a dark day for me.  Two years ago on this day, my Papa Tom died.  He died peacefully, in his sleep, at about 3:00 in the morning.  We were waiting for it to happen.  He had been very sick.  Looking back, I think he actually died before November 13th.  My Papa was a proud man.  He was of the Greatest Generation.  He was practical, loving, and funny.  He was full of advice and cute "Papa" anecdotes.  I miss him a lot.  Yesterday, I went to his grave and took some red flowers and an American Flag.  I was thinking of what he would have said to me.  He would have accepted the flowers, but said he didn't need them.  He would have appreciated the flag, then gone on to tell me about how you're not supposed to fly a flag unless it's lit up.  He would have glanced over to my car and told me I needed to wash it and asked how much gas was in the tank.  A clean car runs better.  You shouldn't let your car get all the way down to empty.  I laughed there in the cemetery, and cried.  Life isn't the same without him.  It's funny how things like death, things that are so separating, so permanent, can put things into perspective.  But then again, Papa could always do that.  I miss his big smile and his big belly, his crooked arthritic hands that just by looking at them, you knew there were stories there... and little things like how he used to bang out a little beat on the kitchen counter, trying to make me laugh. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

WW week 5: even steven

Last week at my weigh in, I was exactly the same weight as the week before.  Not an ounce less or more.  I was kind of bummed because my goal is 2 lbs. a week and a week of no loss is going to drag my average down.  It's kind of like not doing your homework and getting a zero.  So anyway... weigh in for this week is tomorrow... and I've been a pretty good girl, so, we'll see.  It's too bad you have to wait like 60 days to give blood again.. because I think that must have really helped me 2 weeks ago. Ha!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

and the band played on...

I just have to share this because it's so random... so this morning, I was sitting on my couch after sleeping in... reading the newspaper, drinking coffee, eating pancakes, watching College Gameday/Clean Sweep (my usual Saturday routine) when I heard something. "Left, Right, Left Right Left," I thought 'what in the world?' so I peered out the window on my front door and low and behold... there was a parade going down my street.  I was highly amused.  My neigbors were in their yards watching... so I went back inside and got my coffee and my camera and watched the parade from my front porch.  Isn't that so random?  It was really cute, nostalgic almost...Dsc01830Dsc01832Dsc01837 it seemed so small town, so American. 


Last night I went to Homecoming at Inidian River High School with my dad.  It Dsc01829_1was Dsc01828the first time I'd been back to the football field since I graduated in 1997.  Technically... it's been 9 years since I was at Homecoming.  It was an interesting experience.  I've never paid to get into a IR game, because I was a cheerleader in high school.  So I paid, and got a ticket and went throught a metal detector like everyone else.  It was so funny... the stands used to seem so huge when I was cheerleading, and last night, they didn't seem that big at all.  I ran into a couple of old teachers, a guidance counselor, and my best friend's high school boyfriend, Robert Luke... and his wife and baby.  It's crazy to think how much has changed since then.  Another thing... remember in high school, the homecoming court seems like the biggest deal in the world?  Last night, sitting in the stands, I noticed most people weren't even paying attention to the girls walking down the field with their dads and their new hats and suits, and dreams of being crowned homecoming queen.  Not many people even noticed who got the crown.  Perspective is a huge thing, isn't it?  Homecoming 2005 was a cool experience, I left feeling all grown up and like a little girl with my dad at the same time.  I think that's the perfect place to be right now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

WW week 4: back on track

As promised, here's my weight watchers update... today I weighed in 4.2 lbs. lighter :) Major rebound from last week!! That makes for a total weight loss of 12.4 lbs so far.   Not bad for a month, huh?  It's not as hard as I thought it would be.  This week I have been working out like a mad woman.  A couple of days I even went in the morning and in the evening. I'm having fun losing weight.  It's new to me.. I've never really done it... I've pretty much just been "growing" since the day I was born.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

WW week 3: no pain, yes gain

Sorry I didn't post a Weight Watchers update last week.  Bad news: I ate everything in my house and IGAINED weight.  Hmm... so that's really how you gain weight?!  I can't blame genetics I guess.(worth noting: my mom and my granny could fit in my jeans together)  I only gained 0.2 lbs so I'm not too upset about it.  I'll weigh in again tomorrow and post an update.  I'm hoping the fact that I donated blood today will play in my favor.  A pint of blood has to weigh something!


Brayden4thbirthday_014_1Hooba is one of many affectionate names my sister calls her youngest son.  His real name is Brayden and he is so cute it's ridiculous.  Sometimes when she tells me about things he does or says I'll write them on a post-it note as to not forget to share my "Brayden stories" with my co-workers.  Sunday, he turned four.  Four!  Four is old.. he's a big boy!  I remember being four.  It's amazing to watch him thinking right now, he could be forming some of his first memories.  They may end up being his oldest memories one day.  Yeah... I know it's ridiculous.  What can I say?  I'm in love with a 4 year old who's in love with the Power Rangers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

WW week 2: shooting for the stars

Here's my weekly Weight Watchers update:  I lost 3.4 more pounds.. that makes for 8.4 pounds total. :)  I'm very happy with how things are coming along.  Also, Tuesday I started walking on my lunch break with two of my co-workers, Angela and Maria... and it seems we are an inspiration!  We were given silver stars at our meeting today.  I know, it sounds kinda cheesy... but that little silver star totally brought back elementary school mems of those stars the teacher would hand out to the good kids.  I would do anything to get one then.  Some things never change.

les is more

Scan0002 I think I may have missed my calling.  Or maybe I was a bit too obsessed with Encyclopedia Brown as a child.  Last night, I couldn't sleep... and I accomplished something monumental.  That's more than I can say for any other night of insomnia on record. When I was growing up, my brother's best friend, Les, had trouble at home.  His mom was a crackhead.  One year, she dropped him off at my brother Chris's birthday party and never came back.  Les pretty much grew up at our house.  Then through some circumstances, he ended up leaving, circa 1997.  Two years ago, when my Papa Tom was dying, I tried really hard to find Les because Papa wanted to see him "all grown up."  I tried.  I couldn't find Les Smith.  Well... last night, through some pretty impressive detective work, I FOUND HIM!! I haven't exactly made contact yet... but I have an address and phone number and I'm 100 percent sure it's him!  I called, no answer... I drove by his apartment, but it was a little sketchy and it was getting dark and I was alone, so I didn't get out of my car.  But I know he's out there.  "Out there," HA!  It turns out, Les and I live in the same city... the same city we met in when I was 9 and he was 7.  I can't wait to see him now.  I'll make sure to post an update.  Until then, here's a pic of les from a long time ago. 

Saturday, September 24, 2005

muffin head

my cat katy lu-lu muffin head of all heads booger head stinky love girl she is a good girl.  that last statement is just about word for word what I say when I get home in the evening.  If Katy could speak, what would she tell me about her greeting?  Would she even respond?  Would you, to that?  Either way... I do have a bond with my little 12 lb. (and growing) ball of fur.

  4digital_pictures_029Digital_pictures_037 Self_portraits_007

my two (news) dads

As I ponder what step to take next professionally... I'd like to give a shout out to the two men who gave me a chance, and taught me so much.  I could never thank Shane Moreland and Gary Stokes enough. 4digital_pictures_035_1 Gary_stokes

WW week 1: heavyweight

Last Wednesday, I started Weight Watchers.  So far, I am doing pretty well.  The WW Meeting is at work, which is fabulous because it makes it really hard NOT to go.  Plus, it's fun to get to know some of the ladies from upstairs in Sales (it seems like such a different planet up there!)  And I'm having a blast going through this with my co-worker, Maria.  She's already lost 9 lbs! In one week!  And I've lost 5 lbs.  Too bad my junk cravings are starting to come up in full force.  I'll try to keep track of my weight loss here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Oh how the years go by

After Courtney's wedding, I was downloading the pictures from my digital camera when I started to get a little reflective and did some digging.  We've been friends so long...



Recently, I had the honor to be the "maid of honor" in my best friend Courtney's wedding.  It was a great time.  I have never danced so much!  I had a blast and it was so great to spend time with Courtney, reconnect with Amber, Sagay and Katie, and make a new friend, Gretchen.

Here are some pictures:Dana_joe Courtneyswedding_013 Courtneyswedding_014Courtneyswedding_022 Courtneyswedding_003Courtneyswedding_031Courtneyswedding_028

hooked on foniks

I have to add this: so I was just spell-checking my last blog entry and get this -- apparently the spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "blog" or "blogging," it suggests "bloc" and "flogging"!!
Below are the definitions of above suggested words, per

Bloc : A group of nations, parties, or persons united for common action
Flogging : To beat severely with a whip or rod

I do not suggest you try Flogging a Bloc... however Blogging on a blog seems to be quite enjoyable.

a whole new world

Yeah, I know... the title brings back memories of Aladdin. No magic carpet here. I can't believe it, I'm blogging! I would be remiss not to give credit to my blogging forefathers.

Ronandfish Here's my Emmy speech of the blogging world. I first heard of the word from my pastor, Ron Jones. He leads Symphonic... the church I am a part of. I say that loosely because I haven't been that great about going lately. Thankfully, they still love me. I know Ron does. I love him too. His blog is awesome!!

BrianwilliamsSecond, is Brian Williams.  No, contrary to my wildest imagination, he's not a personal friend of mine, nor a co-worker.  But hey, maybe someday, huh?  And I'll tell him how I can't get through an afternoon at work without refreshing his blog every hour.. or, maybe not, for the sake of not appearing to be a stalker.

GretchenAnd I have to send a little shout out to my new friend, Gretchen. She started out as Courtney's friend, then she was Courtney's ultimate matchmaker, because she is Courtney's new husband's cousin. I guess she's Court's cousin now too! Anyway I met her because we were bridesmaids together in Courtney's wedding... Gretchen is hilarious and fun to be around... Her blog is full of laughs, I promise.

Click and enjoy!

Monday, May 30, 2005


Isn't being surprised cool?  Not like, you know your friends are throwing you a party, but you fake it surprised... but like, you are expecting something, and you get something totally different?  It's cool, huh?  Like a reminder that there's something bigger than you...

Tonight I was at a barbecue at my Pastor's house.  My church is a little group of people that don't really have much in common other than the fact that they want to follow Christ, and keep Him in the middle.  I guess that's all he asks, huh?  It's us who notice things like what we look like or what we do that makes us so different....

Anyways, after we ate a group of us girls went inside to pray.  Kind of like an impromptu small group.  Only it wasn't my usual group of girls.  There were three women there that aren't usually at my apartment when we meet.  One is a woman about 10 years (I'm guessing) older than me, who is going through a divorce.  Another is married.  The other is a senior in high school.  Random.  But that's God's people.  We're random... but as my Pastor Ron says, that's Symphonic.  Symphonic is the name of my church.  Symphonic is the sound God's people make when they are living thier lives, and they bump into and go alonside eachother.  My sound.  Your sound.  Our sound together.

Tonight my sound met a sound it was surprised to hear.  That high school senior that prayed with us, really touched my heart.  I shared what I was going through, and she has been through something similar.  Her experience mattered to me.  It gave me hope.  Surprise!

Remembering A Hero

Memorialdaysalute I am a television news producer.  Often times, unfortunately, local news consists of shootings and other crime stories that seem so day to day.  It's sad, because I know those shootings affect the families that lose loved oves to bullets, even on the streets of bad neighborhoods, where it's almost expected... but to the rest of us, it seems like the same old stuff. 

Tonight, my newscast started with two crime stories.  A woman attacked with a hammer.  A guy killed in a double shooting in a neighborhood, an innocent grandmother hit in the foot with a bullet.

But today was Memorial Day.  A day that many Americans associate with a 3 day weekend, a trip to the beach, or an excuse to grill out.  But today we are supposed to remember the men and women who fought and died... so we can sit on our back porch with our families and enjoy an extra day off.   So many times, I think people miss that.  I miss that.

Today my dad called me.  He had a story.  Yes he did.  A couple found a Purple Heart, a man's picture and a letter of condolence from FDR.  His date of death was June 6, 1944.  D-day.  The day the world was won back.  The day Europe was saved, and the tide of World War II was changed.  This guy, who's name I don't even remember was there.  He died.  Maybe on the beach... I don't know.  But this is a real story.  His story.  My dad called me because he wants this man's family to have his medal, his pictures and his letter from the President.  This man deserves to be remembered.  He's a hero.  And so is my dad.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


I am blessed by this song by "Shane & Shane"

Your grace is sufficient for me
Your strength is made perfect
When I am weak
And all that I cling to
I lay at Your feet
Your grace is sufficient for me


I'm going through a really hard situation right now and I feel blind.  I can't see what's ahead.  I don't know what's next.  My only instinct is to feel... but feelings are so unstable.  If I stand on my feelings, who knows what will happen.  But maybe that's the idea, huh? 

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  --Hebrews 11:1Blind