Monday, January 31, 2011

Scripture Monday... yep.

Today's Scripture is kind of random. I am a pretty introspective person, so from time to time I take an inventory of the things I need to improve about my life. To be honest, I do this a little too much at times. But this weekend I was thinking about how I have the tendency to be critical. It is one of the things I really need to tackle in my personality, because I hate that my first tendency is to to judge rather than to offer grace. So I was flipping through my Bible and I started reading Jonah when this passage jumped off the page:

Those who cling to worthless idols
   forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

(Jonah 2:8, NIV)

Being critical can turn into an idol if it rules your life or your emotions. And if I am critical, I am forfeiting grace. And Lord knows I need grace in my life. So this week I am trying to give and receive grace. Hold me to it!

She's beauty and she's grace.... she's Miss United States

What a great weekend! Driving to Idabel for Abby's pageant was definitely worth it, because she was amazing! Hanging out with Megan and Cara was an added bonus!

Abby rocked the stage. I mean, I knew she was going to do well, but she just blew me away with her talent and poise!

She is such a little flapper!

But she is also graceful and poised.

So it was absolutely NO surprize to me that she got the Crowd Pleaser, Miss Congeniality, and Talent Awards! She also got 2nd Runner Up... not bad for her first pageant. The best part about it was that she was completely real on stage, and you could tell that she was having a blast and wasn't stressed out about winning or not winning.

The day of the pageant I prayed that no matter what happened on stage, that the love of Jesus would shine through, and I know it did! She is just an amazing person and such an example to me, because she loves everyone! I want to have more of that spirit in my life.

All the winners were so talented!

And Abby had a ton of people in the crowd that supported her. 

Plus her whole family was there to cheer her on... and we were all really loud.

After the pageant we hung out at her house and had a giant sleepover with Cara, Megan, Abby and Erin, plus Megan's friend from Harding. I am afraid we may have overwhelmed her with all of our craziness! But it was still fun. I love those girls and am proud to call them my sisters :)

And next weekend I am going home and doing it all over again. Except this time it is the Miss Broken Bow pageant and there are 29 contestants... should be interesting!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Country road, take me home

Today I am going home to Idabel for the Miss IHS pageant. I haven't been back to the pageant since the year I graduated, but the pic of me is in 2005, when I was much younger and whiter, apparently. I know I am fair skinned, but goodness! I just can't fathom the paleness that is emanating from my body. It's like I am glowing. Makes me want to risk getting skin cancer and hit the tanning bed, but I will try to fight the urge. I guess I can take comfort in knowing that millions of Victorian women would envy my skin tone. Yeah, that helps (not).

Anyway, I am going home to see my dear friend sister Abby in this year's pageant! I am beyond excited, because I know she will do an amazing job! Megan, Tim and Cara will also be there! Yay! And I am also just plain excited to be going home! I love OKC but my heart is still in Idabel. I know, I am shocked, too.  Norman is home for now, but I definitely miss small-town life. It's just a different world. So to honor that, I am going to listen to a ton of country music on the way home about pastures and pick up trucks, ha.

See you soon, Bel-town!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Goals, goals, goals. Not the soccer kind.

I had an amazing weekend, but I haven't uploading pictures to blog about it yet. Tomorrow, I promise.

Yesterday I was hanging out with Abigail and Laura before we went to Zumba. It was Abigail's first Zumba experience and I am happy to report that she liked it and wants to go with us once a week! Awesome. I didn't have such a great time at Zumba, though. About 4 songs in I started getting all dizzy and just felt horrible so I had to sit out until almost the end. Disappointing, because I hate missing a good workout that I actually enjoy. 

Also, Abigail asked La and I to run in the OKC Memorial Marathon as a relay team with her. La agreed immediately, but I am still on the fence. I'm not a runner. I am a dancer by nature, and I hate hate hate running. But I also know running is good for you. Running builds endurance and strength. And it would only be a 5K, which I think I could manage (but only if I trained, and then took some sort of drug on race day).

As you can see. the jury is still out on that decision.

But back to the point of this post, if there even is one: Abigail inspired me yesterday. Before Zumba, she was talking about how she wanted to create a bulletin board of her future goals and her plan to get her there. Brilliant. I am inspired through visual representations, because it is a constant reminder of the ultimate goal. It is a source of strength when you have lost most determination. So I started thinking about my goals and how I can find more inspiration to see them through.

Since I am in a time of transition, I get the privilege of choosing what I want to focus on. Two areas of my life that I really want to improve are my prayer/quiet time and fitness/nutrition. I think in both areas I need discipline and consistency. Focus on overall health and not perfection (because it doesn't exist, duh). I don't know exactly what my specific goals are, but it is just something rolling around in my mind right now.

My other big goal is a lot easier to measure: London Olympics 2012. I have loved the Olympics since I was a little girl and it is a lifelong dream to attend the Olympic games someday. So I might as well start trying now. I am not sure how the process works. I know you have to apply for tickets, so I am not even sure I will get chosen. BUT. I am going to give it my best shot. This involves saving a lot of money, and I am on a part time salary. But I think it can happen. I figure I will need about $5,000 for what I want to do: Hit a few days of the Olympics, and spend the rest of the time exploring Ireland, Scotland, and England (away from London, ha). This is such a big dream. It makes me feel nervous just to type it all out! But how much fun it would be!

So the question for me is: how can I quantify these goals? and how can I represent them visually and keep my eye on the prize? Maybe this will be my project for tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Scripture Sunday.... yep, I'm a day behind

Sorry I didn't post this sooner, but this weekend was incredibly busy (and so fun!), so I didn't even open my computer yesterday. Which, come to think of it, was actually nice.

This week's scripture comes from one of my favorite chapters in the bible, Romans 12. Sometimes I carry a attitude toward Scripture that makes it all seem a lot more complicated than it actually is. Granted, some parts of the Bible are difficult to understand, but this is not one of those passages. It contains eight snippets of valuable advice for life in general, and I love how simple it is. Maybe it is just me, but sometimes I just need people to spell it out for me, and this verse does a good job of doing just that.

My favorite part is "Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying." The NIV simplifies it even further, saying "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction , faithful in prayer." No matter what is going on in my life--good or bad--those are words that always inspire me. I hope they inspire you, too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Friday!

I've decided that my favorite Christmas present of 2010 was these cozy boots that my mom got for me. I didn't ask for them, because I didn't even know I needed some good snow boots. But they have kept my toes toasty and warm the past few days.

Also, I have never put my feet up on the desk before this moment, and I was really nervous that someone would see me, haha.

Me and God had a long talk last night and I know that I am in this moment, in this place, in this job, etc., for a reason and I have to trust His timing. God knows what I need better than I do, so I can wait on His plan with confidence.

One of the things I am most excited about in the post-college season of life is fashion. Is that shallow? Clothes aren't my life, but I do love creating a look based on style and mood. I need an anchor, though. A vision that will keep me from flailing about in the seas of the fashion industry. All that glitters is not gold, as they say, and some types of clothing, whether its because its immodest or just plain ugly, should be avoided for my aesthetic.

You could probably guess this, but I love all things vintage. I grew up watching Doris Day movies, and I read about the adventures of the American Girls and Laura Ingalls Wilder. And right now at work I am listening to an Andrews Sisters Pandora station.

So here is my work fashion inspiration. I call it "Nancy Drew Goes to Work", ha.

Polyvore is a great site if you want to make inspiration boards for fashion or interior design. I am definitely not an expert when it comes to looking sharp everyday, but I do enjoy dreaming about it. It's probably good practice for those moments when I just can't seem to get an outfit together.

Here is "Vera Ellen Goes Dancing".

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stir crazy

It's a snow/ice day here in Norman. Ordinarily that would be exciting, but I am going stir crazy. It's bad enough that I am already off work two days a week. Having a third day to twiddle my thumbs is not exactly fun, mostly because I think too much and all this free time let's me second guess everything about my life.

Right now it is mostly about my career, but topics can range from nutrition choices to the color shoes I wore the day before.

But like I said, the past few days I have just been bummed about the job situation. I do have a part time job, but sometimes I don't feel very effective. I rely heavily on other people in the office, and when they aren't there, I don't feel like I am accomplishing very much. Then when I look for other jobs, most position expect two or more years of experience. AHHHHHHHHHHH.

Sorry. I just needed to express how I feel.

I hate not knowing what path I should be looking for. I honestly don't know if I am cut out to be a career woman. I'm not really motivated by money. Yeah, I don't want to starve, but I am not going to mindlessly climb the corporate ladder because that kind of power doesn't drive me to do my best. Instead, I am inspired by people. I am inspired by stories. I think the nonprofit world really is the best fit for what I love, but the lack of jobs is discouraging.

Someone please tell me there is a light at the end of this tunnel!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Home sweet home: kitchen

Last week Laura and I welcomed our first visitors to our house, and it was so much fun! On Tuesday our friend Derek dropped by for dinner. We had chicken tortilla soup that I made in my trusty crockpot and mexican cornbread, and we talked about the state of American public school systems and European travel. Then we broke the party up early because it was getting too close to the 10 o'clock bedtime. Seriously, how old am I?

Crockpot, early bedtimes and mature conversation? Watch out world, it's a new Kaylee.

Christy, my roommate from sophomore year, came to Norman on Thursday and went to Zumba with us, and then we caught up at the Pita Pit on Campus Corner for a healthy dinner. Seeing a few familiar faces was great, and I loved welcoming people into the house! Here are a few pics of our kitchen area.

This is the darling kitchen table that my mom found on Craigslist. The price was right, and the former owners were alums of Oklahoma Christian! Such a small world.

The baking rack, which we found at The Bronze Leaf in Moore, holds our plates, silverware and our crockpot. One of the only downfalls of this house is that there is very little cabinet space in the kitchen... but the house was built in the 40's so that is to be expected. It's part of its charm, yada yada yada.

Also you will notice that two of the main themes in the room are coffee and roosters. La and I just kind of combined what we already had.

See all the coffee? It's obviously a priority in this kitchen.

The stove/range is gas, which is new for me. So far I like it. Since everyone on the Food Network uses a gas range it just makes me feel a little bit more culinary.

This is the view from the backdoor, which leads to the shed. Even though the kitchen is small, its lay out is user friendly. It also has our stackable washer and dryer, but for some reason I didn't take a picture of it. But let's face it, a washer and dryer aren't all that exciting.

But then again, how much of my kitchen actually is?  

Don't answer that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dream On

Today is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Most people recognize his "I Have a Dream" speech, or the first few lines anyway. But there are plenty of other speeches and letters that show his vision was deeply rooted in his life. In other words, he talked the talk and walked the walk.

I am so thankful that he stood strong against oppression to voice the dreams that God gave him. And that is one thing that everyone has in common. It doesn't matter how old you are, what color your skin is, or if you are male of female. God gives us all dreams that we should act upon in our lives. Sure, they may not be as epic as defeating racism. But they may mean big things to you, to your family or to your community. Every dream is important, so as cheesy as it sounds, keep dreaming. Don't give up. And let God use your dreams for the good of other people.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Happenings

It's been a pretty eventful weekend here at the Base avenue house. Laura and I got to hang out with Abigail  and Henson on Friday night. Originally we planned to go to Iron Starr Urban BBQ, but the Norman location is closed! So we changed gears and ate at this amazing place called Victoria's Pasta Shop. It rivaled the pasta I ate in Italy, which is a high, high compliment. Please check it out if you are ever in Norman. Or better yet, come find me and we will go together!

Saturday I went to Journey Church to find out more about their in school tutoring program, which in one word, was amazing. They have such a great vision for the children in the Norman community! Instead of just meeting the academic needs of the students, it encompasses leadership and life skills too. So cool. I can't wait to help out with this great cause! And hopefully there will be a fitness and healthy food segment of the program eventually, which is definitely something I want to get involved with. Did you know that if the state of health doesn't get better in this country, that children are no longer expected to outlive their parents? Crazy, right? Crazy and sad. And of course, OKC has a high percentage of overweight people anyway, so kids are not learning good habits by example. I have this dream to start a non-profit someday, and I would love for it to emphasize community nutrition and fitness. But anyway, that is in the future, and I am just trying to learn from experience now.

Saturday night was the Miss America pageant, and Tiffany, Brittany and Abigail got to experience how crazy I am about pageants. I have watched Miss America for just about every year since I was born. I was obsessed with Heather Whitestone. I met Jennifer Berry in 2006. And this year the contestant from Oklahoma goes to Memorial Road and used to attend OC. So I definitely wanted to watch the pageant this year! I even made ballots, so whoever predicted the highest number of actual winners won Hello Kitty lip gloss for a door prize.... classy, I know.

Sunday brought the flu to Laura, so Abigail and I went to church this morning and we all watched a movie and had some pretty delicious soup this afternoon. It's been a pretty lazy day, and I am looking forward to the next two days off work! Happy MLK Day, everyone!

Scripture Sunday

This was the main text for church this week and I just love what it promises. So I decided that I would memorize this Scripture for the week.

Even though this was written thousands of years ago, it is still wise advice for today! And I love the imagery of being a strong tree planted by the streams of water, always being nourished by the Word of God. I hope we can all find that kind of strength!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Scripture Sunday.... and by Sunday I mean Wednesday

Scripture numero uno for my goal of 52 this year... of course it is not about meeting a goal as much as it is meditating on the Word, but having a goal will help me stay focused. Plus I can keep on making these little pictures to help me memorize. Desktop background, maybe?

I will try to post these on Sunday instead of mid-week. And I will have to double up one week since I was just getting in the groove last week. 

I'm obviously no graphic designer, but if you want to save this image (or even memorize with me, that would be cool!), feel free. I used Picnik to create this.

Also you can keep track of my progress on the Scripture Memorization page!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Home sweet home: living room

Like I said in an earlier post, I really love the house I am living in right now. Since it was built in the 40s, it totally fits my style. And we were able to furnish it almost entirely with refurbished furniture, which helped save money.

Here is the view from the front door. Welcome to the house! The door you see in the middle leads to the kitchen.

One thing about houses built in the 40s: there are very small closets. I'm sure people had far less clothes then. Anyway, my parents picked up this 1930s wardrobe and painted it black, and we use it for coat storage.

The top has a few goodies, like a vintage picnic basket filled with greenery, a wire chicken (which goes with some decorations in the kitchen), and my Fred-and-Ginger quote. 

This is our music area, with a record/CD/cassette/radio/mp3 player. The cabinet is from The Bronze Leaf, a cute little consignment shop in Moore. That store is the best. Go check it out immediately!

Our mantle, and me. Hello! Laura and I really love Paris apparently. But what's not to love?

And here is the view from the kitchen door. The rug is on loan from a friend who moved to Jordan, the couch formerly resided in Karissa's apartment, and the chair/ottoman set is also from The Bronze Leaf. I'm telling you, that place is a gold mine of awesome.

We have our friend Aaron to thank for this table that he didn't want. But it looks awesome in our place!

Check back for the next virtual tour: le kitchen!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wanted: a Norman church!

First, I want to apologize for not using any pictures in my blog so far. In the blogging world, that is an epic fail. But stick with me! I will have tons more pictures in the days to come, especially since the house is finally coming together. I feel so blessed just to have a place this cute! Not to mention affordable, conveniently located, and safe. Right now I am sitting by my kitchen window with flakes of snow dancing to the ground outside. And La has isolated herself outside in the shed... don't ask.

[Actually, she is painting her new chest of drawers, so no drama there :)]

One of the hardest things about moving here is leaving behind my church family. I really enjoy Memorial Road COC and the new Launch class has been a blessing in my life. Plus, most of my friends still go to church there. Last night when I was in Edmond, a lot of people asked me if I was coming back to Edmond for church. It is such a hard decision, because I really want to meet people here, and going to church and getting connected is probably one of the best ways to do that. So today La and I went to Journey Church here in Norman.

Right away the atmosphere was really friendly, and one of the guest greeters helped us figure out what was going on. She even found us after the service just to make sure we didn't have any questions. We went to the new east campus, which was pretty empty, but I bet most of the college students who go there haven't gotten back from Christmas break yet.

The sermon, by senior pastor Clark Mitchell, was really deep and perfectly applicable to some of the messages that God has already placed in my life this week. He talked about fasting, and how it makes room for God to work in your life. He also talked about how disciplined fasting can help rid of the gunk in your life like doubt, gossip, criticism, etc.

Overall, Journey Church was warm, welcoming, and a really powerful worship experience! We have a lot of other churches to check out, but this was definitely a good start! I can't wait to get plugged in somewhere :)

Also if you know of any good Norman churches, you should definitely let me know!

Life after college

You have no idea how wonderful it was to wake up this moment, momentarily freak out about what project or assignment I needed to finish, and then realize that I NEVER HAVE TO DO THAT AGAIN.

Unless I get my Masters.

But don't hold your breath on that one.

I just want to enjoy this sweet moment in life when I don't have to get a lot accomplished on a Saturday. Instead I can just eat out with my mom, go to a basketball game with dear friends, and enjoy a birthday party. Still busy, but busy on my own terms.

Yes, life is good.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Zumba is my life

I just finished up my second Zumba class of the week, and I am on a workout high! I just can't believe that Trinity Baptist offers two free classes a week, and it is less than a mile away from my house. Zumba was one of the best things I have ever started doing, but I let it slide my last semester at college. Now I don't have an excuse!

Even though I can go to the gym and run or bike, I really hate it. I have to distract myself with a book or a TV show. Now I can't afford the cost of a gym membership. But this Zumba class is perfect because it is helping me get back into shape and it doesn't break the bank. I just found out that my office is offering three free classes a week: toning, yoga, and zumba. It's like I am in workout heaven!

This summer I seriously considered getting Zumba certified so I could teach classes. Now it is looking like an even better option, especially since I am working part time. Getting certified would be a great way to get a little extra income while still doing something that I love.

And maybe it would even pay for my next cruise, which I have already started to plan. Should I pay rent or go on a cruise? Tough call :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Let's start the new year right!

This year is new for me in almost every way. I just graduated from college, I am living in a new house, in a new town, and with a [sort of] new job. Basically, God has given me a mostly clean slate in which He can paint a story. I don't know where this season of my life will take me, but I am excited about the changes that I have already faced.

Thankfully I live with one of my best friends, Laura. We share a wonderful two-bedroom house in an older  part of Norman, and our place is close to another best friend Abigail who is a law student at University of Oklahoma. Basically, we are going to take this town by storm.

This time of year always makes me evaluate where I am going with my life and where I want to be. And what better time to change than right now? I don't make resolutions flippantly, but today (three days after the beginning of the year, I can't say I am punctual) feels like the right time to make some goals for the upcoming year. 

My Goals for 2010:
  1. Memorize 52 scriptures this year (one per week).
  2. Be consistant with exercise--at least 3 hours every week (which should be easy with the FREE Zumba classes I found at a nearby church! Yowza!).
  3. Stop drinking soda.... I think I can, I think I can.
  4. Maintain a spiritual discipline all year. (I owe this idea to a bible class I took in college about working on the mission field. Our professor talked about how your spiritual disciplines are like a compass, and no matter how good or how bad your life is you can count on it to point you in the right direction. It's definitely a lifelong pursuit, but no time like the present to start.)
Alright.... Ready, set, go! Life starts here :)