Memorable Quotes

My siblings say the funniest things. Just to name a few:

As Mom and I are loading the twins into my car without booster seats (for about the thousandth time… oops!), Delis: “If you get pulled over, just lie and say they’re six.”

Daire: “My arm hurts ’cause I washed my hands.”

Dutch: “Daire, if you can’t hear the radio, you musta been born with peanut butter in your ears.”

Darcie: “I don’t wanna go camping! It’s too snakesy out there.”

Daire: “One time when I was a little boy and I was 18, I played basketball for the Grizzlies, and I was so good.”

 

Gotta love them.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

(Open) Letter to my little sisters

After not blogging for a while, I logged back onto wordpress and stumbled upon this adorable blog right here. The author, Lynn, uses her blog to write letters to and about her little sister, Josie. I LOVE this idea so much that I can’t even put it into words. I might think about doing a version of this for all four of my siblings in the future, but for today, I’m going to write a letter to my sweet little sisters. Maybe they’ll read it when they’re older. I hope y’all enjoy it. :)

Darcie and Daire,

Sometimes my words fail me when I try to describe just how much I love you. My chickpeas, you are just the cutest, spunkiest, funniest little girls.

Even though we’ve talked about how we don’t share blood, four days ago you chewed out another little girl you had just met when she made an innocent comment about our lack of shared genetics. You say that our mama is OUR mama, and you couldn’t care less that she didn’t give birth to me.

You beat up our brothers. You’re the same little girls who, when I took you to meet the entire Grizzlies basketball team, responded to a compliment from Zach Randolph about how cute you are by telling him you already knew. When you attended that party with me, we were videoed and recently got added to the Grizzlies’ new promo video reel. Also, just for the record, you’re obsessed with the Grizz Girls dance team.

When I try to leave the house, you try to persuade me to stay by crying. Sometimes it works. And even though I hate the idea of you being sad, it makes me feel so loved.

I love it when the two of you get into little spats because, Daire, you have a vivacious imagination, and, Darcie, it drives you nuts. One day we were in the car when Daire said, “I member when I was a liddle biddy baby and I was just borned in the hops-spital and you was holdin’ me.” I tried to remind you that I didn’t know you when you were first born, but you kept insisting that I had held you in the “hops-spital.” It was such a big deal that I finally just let it go.

Darcie, when you sing Hypnotize by Biggie, it makes my entire being fill up with giggly goodness. It’s ridiculously cute. And Daire, you’re so good at lip syncing that it’s scary. One of y’all’s favorite things is to yell, “Turn it UPPP!” from my backseat when we’re driving somewhere.

You’re crazy in the most wonderful of ways. I hope that as you get older and begin to grow and change you never lose sight of who you are inside. Those core personalities are what make each of you so very special.

Unfortunately, my loves, life is far from perfect, and no matter how hard any of us try to keep you from it, you’ll make a lot of mistakes. I hope that you can learn from at least a few of mine. You’ll eventually start dating, and I hope that your bossiness sticks with you through that. Be watchful, and don’t let boys distract you from living your lives or talk you into things you aren’t ready for. Your hearts will get broken, and you will cry on more occasions than I care to think about.

When things get rough, I will be there with you every step of the way – to bail you out, hand you a tissue, and tickle you until your tears turn into happy ones. And during those times when it feels as if the entire world is crumbling beneath you, don’t you ever give up even for a minute. One of my favorite quotes says, “You find the strength you need.” “And when you can’t?” “You hold on until you do.” Remember that, Chickpeas.

You’re this elegant mixture of sweet and spicy, and I find so much joy in sharing my life with you. I’m so proud to be your big sister. Your lives are going to be so incredible, and I just can’t wait to see it all.

I love you forever and like you for always. As long as I’m living, my sisters you’ll be.

Paula

Image

Sweet chickpeas at a Grizzlies game

P.S. You’re the greatest little sisters. Ever.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome to 2013

Happy New Year! We’ve all made it to see the beginning of a whole new year.

What’s in a year? According to RENT, it’s 525,600 minutes. But a year is more than a string of minutes to me. It’s a list of moments – filled with laughter, tears, and growth. 2012 proved to be a huge year for me. So much happened so quickly, and I learned many important lessons, including one about trying to plan out a life that was somewhat difficult to grasp at first. I grew a lot closer to God this year (the thing I’m most proud of).

It really has been a year. Like any other, it had peaks and valleys. Thankfully, I seemed to experience more of the former than of the latter. I failed and succeeded and gave it my all. And it didn’t turn out too shabby.

Even still, I have some plans for 2013. I’m not big on resolutions, especially at the New Year, because I feel like we can change whenever we want. There’s no need to wait for January 1st to try and live better lives. But in the spirit of the holiday, I did some reflecting and came up with a few things, some of which I’m sharing.

I want to become a better listener. I’m a natural talker, and that definitely helps me in the social skills department. I need to listen more though. And not just in that paying-attention sort of way, but in the way that allows me to absorb and comprehend and remember the information.

I want to become more organized. I’m overly-busy, and that doesn’t allow a lot of time for being successfully unorganized. It’s time to get it together and save myself the mini-strokes that inevitably follow the issue.

I want to be better… give more… love more… just BE more. There’s always room for more, and you can’t ever stop growing and changing for the better.

So here’s to 2013 and another chance at getting it right this time! Cheers!

Tagged , , , , ,

The Early Years

Instead of doing a big post on my New Year’s resolutions with plans for the future, I thought it’d be fun to use this writing prompt and talk about how I got here in the first place.

 

 

There was a time when I wasn’t afraid of anything.

 

I once was a very chill baby, even though I often found myself in odd predicaments.

 

Did I mention the frou-frou I got caught up in?

 

I’ve never been the best at being quiet, especially when I’m trying to get a photographer to capture my best side.

 

I thought electronic bunnies and shoes were silly and unnecessary. I still think that now.

I was clearly destined to be a Ravens fan. My first favorite color was “burple,” and I clearly remember only wanting to wear “burple” shirts.

 

I developed crazy hair and a love for baking and cooking.

 

I guess that’s how it all came together… sort of. :)

Third Round of Manna Mondays

Add to my list of 1000 gifts:

31. a white Christmas… even though I’m not usually a fan of snow :)

32. the season of giving

33. being able to start a new year in a little over two hours

34. having all the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on Xfinity while on break from school

35. the most beautiful Christmas gift anyone ever gave me – a “JOY” necklace from my adoptive family that my little sisters picked out

36. a snow day/extra day off from school last week

37. friends who are in town for the holidays that I’ll be seeing tomorrow (I’m stoked!)

38. my new tattoo (it’s pretty awesome)

39. the way one of my little sisters cried when I left yesterday – I’m not happy she was sad, but it’s really sweet to know she cares so much. :)

40. talking about the NFL playoffs with my little brothers

Manna Monday

I’m still working on my list of one thousand gifts. Yay for Mondays and for being intentional about sharing what you’re thankful for! So without further ado…

 

16. two dogs that are recovering well (one from shots and the other from getting spayed)

17. the spirit of national unity in the face of tragedy

18. courageous people who aren’t afraid to lay down their lives for those around them (John 15:13)

19. taking my little “siblings” out this past weekend and spend some quality time with them

20. an instructor who let me leave early during practicals last week (with no penalties) so that I could attend a friend’s funeral

21. kitties that like to snuggle

22. a lovely first day of a new class

23. determination and self-discipline

24. long hugs from people who care

25. hoodies

26. seeing & hearing Darcie and Daire laugh, shriek, and have the time of their lives playing on the indoor playplace/slide

27. pictures that are worth WAY more than a thousand words

28. grace

29. people who make me think a little harder

30. warm blankets

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“The worst things in life come free to us.”

Most of you have probably heard Ed Sheeran’s poetic new hit, “The A Team.” It spoke to me the very first time I heard it, and I’ve known all the words for a couple of months now.

The song tells a story of a girl who became a fallen “angel” (not in the from-Heaven sense, but more in the sweet/had-potential sort of way). She’s a cocaine addict who sells her body for the money to get high, and all that’s left of her is the shell of the girl she once was. The cold world is slowly killing her.

Here’s the chorus:

“And they say
She’s in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since 18
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
And they scream
The worst things in life come free to us
Cause we’re just under the upper hand
And go mad for a couple of grams
And she don’t want to go outside tonight
And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland
Or sells love to another man
It’s too cold outside
For angels to fly
Angels to fly”

The first time I heard this song on the radio, I was drawn to the provocative line about halfway through the chorus that talks about the worst things in life.  I’ve always lived in a culture that is proud to proclaim that the BEST things in life are free, and I’ll admit that after first hearing it, I disagreed without really listening to him.

Today I was thinking about this song in a spiritual sense, and the entire thing made perfect sense to me. We all start out as God’s good creations. We’re small, squishy bundles that know nothing of the evils that exist in this world. Then we grow up, and we make choices – some of which are terrible. Sometimes we can laugh off our mistakes and learn from them, but others aren’t so easy to recover from.

On some level, we’re all wasting away, but I think of God as a preservative that keeps us fresher longer. I know from personal experience that pushing God away can and will quickly turn into a crumbling emotional situation. Being on a team with Jesus should be a simple choice, right? Because being with God is supposed to be free, isn’t it? At least that’s what I originally thought.

I began to think of it like the democratic system of government we have in the United States. We give up certain rights (doing whatever we please) to gain others (being safe and protected). There are people in this country who don’t believe in democracy and who refuse to follow our laws. The fact that they don’t believe in them doesn’t cause the laws go away, and it certainly doesn’t make it okay for them to behave any way they choose. It just means that the system recognizes their right to be independent and be as cooperative as they decide to be.

Living for God is a lot similar. We’re recognized by our heavenly father as being independent, so we’re allowed to make our own choices. But in order to love God, you have to give up certain things and learn to prioritize others. While it’s certainly nothing compared to the price Jesus paid for all of us, it’s still something. It’s the price of accepting love and giving it in return.

We’re surrounded by evil things all the time – anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, etc. The devil has more locations than McDonald’s. His things – the very worst things in existence – are always free, but they’re not good for us. Poison might be inexpensive, but that doesn’t mean we should choose it over food. God is nourishment and love, and sometimes getting the proper nutrients comes at a higher cost on the front end.

I’m not a drug addict, but I’ve been lost like the girl in Ed Sheeran’s song. Some days, I still find myself without any idea as to where I am, but since I stopped taking free items and started investing in real products, I find that I always have a compass in the word of God.  :)

Manna Monday

The authors of a few blogs I’ve recently started reading have committed to blogging about one thousand gifts they’ve received from God (just like the author of the book you can check out by clicking that link). They do this over a period of weeks, listing a certain number at a time one day a week. I LOVE (notice the emphasis) this idea, and I’ve decided to do the same thing here at “So I Was Thinking…” and call it Manna Monday. (Manna was God’s sustaining food gift to the hungry Israelites after Moses led them out of Egypt. You can read more about that here.)

The number might fluctuate a little, but I’m going to make a goal of having at least 10 items on my list each week.

One thousand gifts – the beginning:

 

1. the opportunity to get an education

2. the caffeine that helps wake me up daily so that I can go get that education

3. friends who share revelations they’ve had during their individual bible studies

4. the beautiful church I’ve been visiting in hopes of finding a new “church home”

5. the amazing friend/play mama who invited me to attend that church with her and who gives of herself daily

6. my first experience helping to decorate the outside of a house for Christmas (SO fun! I felt like I was in a movie.)

7. the love of all the silly, giggly, dramatic, craycray children in my life

8. living in Memphis – I have mad love for M-town.

9. technology (specifically the combination of calculators, computers, the internet, and google) that has been helping me with a project this week after I spent a month procrastinating

10. books

11. food coloring

12. Grizzlies season tickets

13. pets that run to the door to greet me when they hear me in the driveway

14. the spirit of the holidays

15. the people who surround me and fill my life with wonderful moments

 

Ahh, I love this! (I actually had to cut myself off.) Check back in each week for more Manna Monday! :)

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A Cinderella kind of life

Childhood is magical because we lie to children. The truth is we haven’t ever lived in a world with fairy godmothers who give us shoes made out of glass.

Our world is much different. It’s full of brokenness and bickering, and it’s a lot more like the beginning of Cinderella, rather than the ending.

But we continue to make up fairies and Santa-like creatures that give gifts. At the end of the day, it’s easier to believe in the magic ourselves than to think about life being less than extraordinary.

Sorry, Forrest Gump.

I’m sorry, Forrest, but life isn’t like a box of chocolates at all. I think life is like the 96-count box of Crayola crayons. It’s full of vibrancy and offers the opportunity to create any sort of picture you’d like.

When I was a little girl, I loved to draw smiley faces. Actually, in third grade we had to draw a flow chart, and I illustrated the process of making a smiley. I loved the idea of making people happy, and I’d do whatever I could to achieve that goal. I’m still the same way.

The biggest of my life goals have very little to do with titles, money, or recognition. I really only care about loving people and trying to make a difference in their lives. It’s weird, I know, but I see that as my calling instead of a specific career path or something.

Don’t get me wrong – I have goals just like anyone else. I have hobbies, dreams, and lists. I just feel more flexible than most people, because my big dream could take on so many different forms.

I’m wild and free, and I blow through the air like a cool morning breeze in theafternoon sun – lovely, unexpected, and out-of-place. “Outside the box” is far too cliche for me, but I definitely don’t belong in one.

Since day one, I’ve been unusual, and I love that about myself. I’m not insane or anything. I just haven’t ever fit into any of society’s molds. The truth is, I’ve never wanted to either.

I like throwing paint onto the walls. I write song lyrics, quotes, and poems on top of it all, and I compare my walls to my own reality – my life. It’s messy, and that’s okay because it’s mine. I’m drawing this masterpiece that I hope will be featured in the galleries of people’s memories for many years.

It’s a great feeling to know that I can scribble all I want. After all, when my piece is done, my initials will be in the corner, not anyone else’s.

 

Tagged , , ,