December 24, 2010

October 9, 2010

the day a blank piece of paper made me want to cry

I was talking with a friend on Wednesday, she kind of blew my mind. She told me that even intentional sins are forgiven. And she showed me a blank piece of paper and told me that my God has purposeful amnesia. When He looks at me, He doesn't see all of the smudges from where He's erased mistakes. He doesn't even remember them. He just sees me as His beautiful daughter. And I wanted to cry.

October 2, 2010

the retreat

June 23, 2010
So first I had to leave school and I thought my world was ending. I mourned for a few days and then started looking for a job and a way to volunteer. A few weeks in, I e-mailed Karin and God answered prayers in ways I never could have imagined. I got to spend every day doing what I love. I had experiences that I never would have had at school. I gained the support and friendship of an entire staff of teachers and associates. I worked on projects, got an awesome summer job, and was connected with an incredible group of women. And what would I be doing now if I hadn't left? And so my testimony has changed. Because He is so good. And He is always in control...especially when I feel so completely out of control. And He never forgets and He never abandons and His timing is not always mine. But He is mighty and good and I am His.

I wrote that a few days after I started nannying this summer. Two weeks after the best semester of my life ended and two months before I had to return to this place. We had a retreat today. Delta Gamma Rho, Pi Theta Phi, Ju Go Ju and Zeta Rho. Two clubs that I am completely comfortable with and two clubs that I am completely intimidated by. It was so beautiful. We spent the first hour in worship. I almost cried. I closed my eyes and imagined that what I was hearing was what I will hear in Heaven. Beautiful voices. Lots of them. Daughters of the King coming together to praise Him. Crossing boundaries of clubs and cliques and dorms and ages to kneel before our Heavenly Father together. I felt Him in that place. We had lots of time to pray and reflect. Here is what he told me.

"I made you"
"You are Mine"
"You are beautiful"
"I love you"
"I am not disappointed"
"I am captivated by YOU"

Oh, how beautiful, to be whispered truths by my Heavenly Daddy. He calmed fears and insecurities and He spoke. It was the most overwhelming thing I've felt in a long time. He revealed things to me...convicted me. I make excuses. I live in fear. Every second of every day, I'm afraid of something. And I'm more concerned about judgement by those in this earth than the judgement I'll face at the end of this life.

One night last year, I went to a worship service and a friend came and whispered to me that she had something to share. She held my hands and told me of something that she had seen. I had been in a field, spinning with my arms open wide. Eyes closed, face to the sky, I spun and spun like a little girl. And I laughed. And there was sunshine. I cried when she shared that with me. It's what I long for. Freedom. Today while I was praying, God showed me what was missing from that image...Him. He was holding my hands and spinning with me, and when I got too dizzy to stand, He held me close until it passed. And He looked at me like I was the only girl in this world...the only thing that mattered. He watched me with a smile on His face and that twinge in His heart, like you get when you're watching someone that you love do something so precious. And it just kind of hit me...He loves me like that. He is jealous for me. He's been waiting for me for a long time. He's desired this relationship with me since before I was born. How incredible is that? Today was such a beautiful day.

One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Psalm 62: 11-12

September 5, 2010

I'm not sure if it was part of God's plan to come back. Let me rephrase. I'm not sure if God's only plan was for me to come back. I am sure that He is working, though. And I'm sure that he would have worked whether I had stayed in Chicago or gone to Dallas, too. Everything is different and beautiful and perfect. Not perfect. Sometimes pretty close, though. And sometimes I still get lonely. And sometimes the evil in my mind takes me to places I don't want to be. But God is always there, waiting to bring me back...waiting to forgive.

The first time I prayed and asked for forgiveness was a few months ago. In Ilona's living room, kneeling on a pillow next to my precious friend, eyes closed, hands folded, head bowed on couch. She went first. I was so intimidated. I didn't know where to start. But once I did, I couldn't stop. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced, to be free. I will never forget that moment.

I'm back, now. I'm still not sure it was the right choice, but it's the one I made and I thank God every day for showing Himself through this time. Like when I was able to stand up in front of my class on only the second day and give a presentation about myself. And when I don't have to get up in front of my Bible class to present current events. And when my teachers were so understanding when I told them about the anxiety and none of them have called on me in class without my hand raised. It's so beautiful to see God here. It's so beautiful to know that He would have been working if I had gone to Dallas, too.

Sometimes, it gets too dark in my room...too quiet. And I do get lonely and sad. And I do long for the laughter and joy that surrounded the past six months of my life. Those kids who made the situation bearable...and even worth it. Those kids who whined and cried every day and had snotty noses and untied shoes. Those kids who gave me hugs and drew me pictures and told me they loved me. I got up every morning for them. And sometimes it's still hard to get up and know that I don't get to see them. But someday, I'll get to be in the classroom again, this time as the forREALZ teacher. I can't wait for that day. And I'll get to see those kids every stinkin day. And I'll want to wring their necks, somedays. And I'll complain about them to anyone who will listen. And I'll have to deal with the psycho parents. And it'll all be so worth it. Tomorrow is Monday. I'll get up early for class. And when I start to complain about the work that I have to do, I'll open my Bible or either one of my agendas or any one of the pockets in my backpack and pull out a picture of those precious kids and remind myself that I'm here for them.

August 17, 2010

and now

Everything is different. It feels like a lifetime since the last time I set foot on this campus…in that room. That room that was mine. And I unpack in my new room, just across the hall, and I don’t remember the girl that lived there. I sit at my new desk, surrounded by pictures of the kids and projects that they made for me. Everything in this room shows growth. The pictures. The projects. The paintings. Everything is new. Everything is stronger and better. Everything points to the fact that I am finally ready for this. And that everything will be different. Praise God!

July 22, 2010

1000 Gifts

It all started with this. I found it one day. It wasn't a good day. And so on that day, rather than writing all the things that were wrong with me in my notebooks during class, I scribbled, as quickly as I could, the gifts that God had given me. I went home for fall break and bought a journal. A special one. And I started writing. Today, not quite a year later, I'm at 731. Sometimes, I mention specific people. Sometimes it's a feeling, an emotion, a memory. Sometimes it's a smell or an event. I think the word "laughter" must be in there at least 20 times.

1. The woman with toilet paper on her shoe
2. The perfect sunset on a heavy day
3. An empty seat next to me on the flight home
4. Singing in chapel on a day that went from bad to worse
5. Downtown service on Sunday nights
6. Grace like rain and rain to remind me

16. The smell of fall
17. Peach juice on my chin

21. Mail in my mailbox
22. An extra hour of sleep

41. Sunshine after a week of rain
42. Getting out of class early
43. naps
44. raspberry lemonade and goldfish

91. Picture books
92. Suckers in class
93. Days of rest
94. Quiet
95. Softball games
96. A dark sky full of the promise of rain
97. A package with cookies and nutella
98. Phone calls
99. Chapel every morning

143. This morning, we sang out of the song books. Jessie Spears gave an announcement and so did some Chinese girls. My day began with laughter

253. Education classes
254. A shower that drains
255. I prayed for friends. He answered in a big way

301. The only thing "rough" about rough night was not laughing

393. Apples and fall
394. Function dates and tacky sweaters
395. Smiling
396. Praises
397. Naps
398. Squirrels
399. Pies
400. Baking
401. Promises

413. 4 days in bed- being sick was worth it

572. There's one cotton plant left in the garden
573. The memories at that old house
574. Empty journal pages
575. Earth science will teach me patience
576. Learning to be still

583. Night
584. Days full of first grade and laughter
585. One month from the day I left, I'll be with them
586. Healing
587. Drowning in grace
588. Making decisions
589. Early march birds

676. Tutus
677. Dancing

Almost 1,000. It won't stop there. How could it? Every day, I am so blessed by Him and His presence. Luckily, I bought a pretty big journal...

July 20, 2010

i'm a fixer
by nature. i like
to fix things. i like
to be able to fix
things. not really things.

i'm in dallas
right now. and i
want to be able to fix

i also want
to send me some sort of sign
like maybe a letter
or something
letting me know where i
need to be in school in
(which is in less than a
not that i'm keeping track
or anything...).
fort worth?

and so i sit.
in a
that is unfixable by me
and uncertain.
i am
i don't like
living in uncertainty.
it scares me.

so i could stay
in dallas.
i could work
for my
aunt and play with
my baby.

or i could
back to searcy,
which is equally stressful and
scary and

or i could
in chicago with
my beautiful small group
and the support
of the teachers and students at

they're all scary and
and they all sound
great. i want
to make all of
them work because they're
all so perfect in their own way.......
but i don't think any are
on their own.

so do i stay here?
or go back?
or stay there?


July 9, 2010

I wrote this post in May after spending time with my great-grandmother. I never posted. I don't remember why. Here it is:

Today, we spent a few hours with my 90 year old great-grandmother. She is so very precious. We sat with her laughing about the women in the nursing home who try to break out. We laughed about the woman wheeling past with a beeper on her wheelchair. We laughed a lot. And in the midst of the laughter, I saw the pain in her eyes. Here she sat, with the son, wife and daughter of her firstborn, years after she buried him. We talked about her dad's dad. As we talked about his Eagle Scout belongings in the cedar chest, I remembered that I was sitting with a woman who buried her oldest son.

My dad's biological father died when my dad was only four years old. At the time, he had one other younger brother. A few years later, my grandmother remarried. She and Walter went on to have two more boys. My dad calls Walter his dad. It was an uncomfortable moment. I heard the hesitation in my dad's voice as he struggled with how to address his own father. Dad? Jody? How do you approach a situation like that?

Over the past few years, I've come to understand how absolutely precious pregnancy, birth, and motherhood is. Nothing is guarenteed. I've read more blogs than I can count in which women chronicle the lives and deaths of their infants. Sometimes they knew that their child would not live. Other times it was a shock. How do you deal with something like that? And then there are the blogs about the families who give birth to perfectly healthy babies. They treasure them and love them and then find that their precious babies have a tumor determined to take over their tiny body. And then there are the parents who get to raise their children for many many years before cancer or some kind of accident rips them from this world.

It's something parents take for granted- the birth of a healthy baby. I never even realized that the situation could be different until I stumbled upon Angie Smith's blog years ago. I cried with her as she carried her beautiful daughter, knowing full well that she would not stay long in this world. I remember vividly the night that I learned that sweet Tuesday had been healed in Heaven. I have cried so many nights for so many families that I have never met. And suddenly, my perception of parenthood is so very different. How can you take for granted holding and loving and kissing your perfect baby while down the hall, a woman could have just delivered her child and held them as they took their first breath and their last. How can you not think of your healthy infant as a miracle? I hope that I will never take for granted the miracles my children are.

I have two living great-grandmothers. One is 90 and the other is 92. Each has buried a child. And my grandmother held her newborn son until he breathed his last on this Earth. How can you look at a woman the same after you learn that about them? How can you hug them the same way? To have buried a child must be the greatest pain, and how many women are living with it? The woman checking out behind me in line at Target has two precious children in her cart. I smile at her. For a split second, I wonder about her story. Are those the only children she's carried? How many women lie when asked how many children they have? Even my sweet cousin suddenly lost her daughter after 14 months of life to congestive heart failure. I was at that funeral. And how do you move on from something like that? My heart aches just to think about it. Every Christmas, every birthday, another memory with an obvious hole.

I don't know yet why God has put this on my heart. I don't know if I'll lose a baby someday. I don't know if I'll know someone who does. I do know that I serve a God who is good all the time. I believe that God might be preparing me for something. I'm not sure yet what that may be. It is my prayer that I never lose this sense of urgency and compassion to reach out to women in pain. I pray that He would help me to remember that these women will never forget.

July 8, 2010

i really shouldn't get paid for this

Basically, I have the best job in the world. My alarm goes off at 6:45. I get up, shower, throw everything in the car, drive 3 minutes and pull up in front of the beautiful yellow house. As I walk up the stairs, Mr. F greets me at the door. He gives me the low down on the hooligans and leaves.
Z usually starts out the day on the computer while P prefers to begin his day by wrestling with me. Whatever. Then we eat breakfast, play some ridiculous game that P comes up with, and then eat lunch until 11:30 and walk to the pool. We usually stay for at least an hour and a half. The kids typically can find friends to play with, leaving me alone to read or tan or play with them and my other little munchkins there with camp. Sometimes we walk over to the library. They do the summer reading program while I find books that I loved in junior high. We make up our own games on the alphabet rug (on this particular day, we were playing Hullabaloo...seriously entertaining).
Sometimes we run errands. Sometimes we go on field trips. Like today. We went bowling. Last week, we went to the Botanic Gardens. On rainy days, we watch movies. On Tuesdays, we go see the $1 movie in Skokie. And I shouldn't get paid for my job.

July 4, 2010

part 1

My best friend Emily came to visit me back in May. Shortly after she left my house, she left for Africa for six weeks. She's been serving the Lord in Burkina Faso, living with missionaries, meeting Christians and experiencing African culture firsthand. She is a beautiful person inside and out. She's also going to be my roommate next year, which I can't wait for!! She's an RA, which means we'll have our OWN bathroom (which is a good enough reason for me to want to be roommates with her ;)). I haven't heard her voice in six weeks. She'll be home on Tuesday. I can't wait to talk to her!! I know she has such incredible stories to tell. Her birthday was the day she landed in Africa. I should have been a good friend and sent her present before she left, but I'm not that organized, so it didn't quite happen......

So I sent my bff her birthday present yesterday. There were 3 envelopes. The third had a photo collage. Here's picture number 1:

Stay tuned for the rest of the cards! ;)

June 17, 2010

still good

it still amazes me how great God is.
isn't that sad?
after everything that's happened, He
still manages to surprise me.
and then other times...
other times i can't imagine
that the things that happened really did.
watch it.
i made it through the whole thing
with tears in my eyes and none on my cheeks...
until the very end.
"if God chooses to heal
me, then God is God, and God
is good.
if God chooses not
to heal me,
then God is
still God, and God is
still good."
and then i lost it.
so beautiful, those words.
but do i believe them? if God
chooses to point me in the right direction, chooses
to send me a letter spelling out
exactly what my life should look like for the next
few years, the God is God, and God
is good.
but what if He doesn't? is
God still God? is God still
i'm in a place of uncertainty right now.
it scares me more than
i would care to admit.
because i do believe that God is God
and that God is good regardless of whether or not He
paints me His answer in the sky. so
where is this fear
coming from?
i am so scared. i am so
i don't like to make decisions like this because i
don't trust myself to make them.
what if i make the wrong decision?
it's easily fixable...after
a whole semester.
i just don't know
what to expect. i don't know
what it's going to be like. i don't know
how i am going to be able to merge my old life with
my new past with my semester the way that it was "supposed
to be" and my semester the way that
i wouldn't trade for anything.
i've learned
so much
and changed
so much.
how am i going to fit back in
to my old life as
the new me?
friendships are going to change. i
know that. and it scares me.
i am so thankful for the ways that God
provides, though.
He's provided a new group of women at home
that support me and hug me
and pray with and
for me.
He's provided a vacation at the
most perfect time (which felt like the worst
possible time about a month ago).
and here i am.
i'm still unsure.
so very unsure.
i'm angry and frustrated after the
conversation i tried
to have the other
sometimes i'm struck by this incredible
feeling of disbelief over everything that's happened over
the past
and last night.
i fell asleep
on the couch
with tears in my eyes
as the sounds of my friends' voices echoed
in the thankful
that i thought to record some
of our laughter and
precious moments
i'm still hurt by so much.
and i'm still in this place
of uncertainty
where i feel so overwhelmed and
incapable of making
any semblance of a decision.
but the beauty of it all is that
God is still God
God is still good.

May 15, 2010


ETA: PICTURES!!!!!!!!! Only a few months late :)

Carla (my mom) and I went to Geneva for the day today and OH. MY. WORD. I'm in love with it. It's the cutest little town with these precious little shops. I found all kinds of ADORABLE things and in every single store that we went into, I found at least something that I'm going to want in my house someday. Seriously. Obsessed. Anyway, I got some really great pictures. I'm too lazy to go get my camera cord right now (...because I'm house sitting and my camera cord is at home...not that I would get it even if I were at home right now...) but get ready. You'll be obsessed with it too!

May 10, 2010

the auction

Morning comes too soon. I’m yanked from my slumber by a knock on the glass door 15 feet from the couch where I sleep. The army of men are there, ready to work. As we struggle to get ready for the day, they carry out The Memory Pieces and lay them in the yard. The cabinet from the doll room, hearts cut from door, where fabric used to lie in wait. Many times, we opened those doors, searching for the perfect piece of fabric for whatever project we were working on with our sweet Memaw. They speak to us in broken English and each other in Spanish, using words so casual for the things they’re carrying out. “La mesa, tambien”, they call. The table around which we ate so many dinners, celebrated so many holidays. The table that held the centerpieces of dead leaves and acorns that we worked so hard to create. Yeah, la mesa tambien. The man of this house sits frozen in his chair, watching as his life is being carried out. I squat next to the chair that reminds me of him. “Are you ready for this?” I ask. The movement is barely detectable. A shake. I pretend not to see the tear in his eye that never moves from the doorway through which his life is being removed, one piece at a time. “Neither am I,” I promise. None of us are. “It means my time is almost up, you know?” He whispers. And I shake my head. It can’t mean that. “It just means it’s time to go to Michigan” I manage, with a smile on my face. He looks at me for the first time this morning and smiles. I plant a kiss on his bald head. “You’re a sweet girl, you know that?” He asks. I nod, and leave through the same door that his eyes have been on all morning. He watches me go and knows I’ll return.

We’re quiet as we watch. We have no words. How could there be words? He holds up his cup when he’s ready for more coffee. I pour and return. I lean down for my “tip”, a precious kiss on my cheek. I return the favor. There will never be enough of these sweet moments with my grandfather. The kisses I give him in passing. The hugs. The “I love you”’s. Never enough. As hard as I try to convince myself that what he said to me this morning isn’t true, I know that it is. And all day I will try to keep the tears away. I have to stay strong. If I break down, we all will. And so I watch The Memory Pieces be carted off by someone else, loaded into cars. I can’t picture these things in anyone else’s home. I shouldn’t have to. I want them to stay. She tried not to cry last night when she told us that his time is short. We know it. So does she. The reality of it is too much to bear. I was kicked out of the room. I sat on the couch, eyes on the tv, mind on something totally different. My precious Poppy. What comes next?

The man that spends more of his day asleep in his chair than awake manages to stay outside all day. We know the strength he had today was a gift from God. While Danny sits up in his trailer, auctioning off the house that holds so many memories, I sit between them, holding each of their hands. As they reach a new price, I shout it out so that my grandfather can hear. I kiss their hands over and over. They’re okay. I’m not. As soon as the house is sold, I leave. I return to the house that is no longer ours and break down in the empty dining room. Moments later, mom comes in. We hold each other and cry. How can this be happening? It becomes my job to watch the house. I lock the door and turn on the television. I turn it up loud to drown out the hundreds of strangers that have come to pay too little for the things that mean so much to us. They’re loud on the yard. I want them to leave. But I can’t make them go.

Both Memaw and Poppy spend the whole day in the yard, sitting in lawn chairs, making comments about how much these people were paying for their belongings. I check on them often. I’m in charge of bringing water and coffee. I make sure they eat and are warm enough. First thing this morning it was cold. He said he didn’t need a blanket. I brought his out anyway, told him not to argue, and covered him up. I find her sun hat when she asks mid-afternoon. I follow her around and make sure she doesn’t pick up too many things to return to the house.

At 7:15, it is winding down. The dolls are the hardest to let go. We knew they would be. By the time we get to the doll table, everyone is tired. Few people are left on the lawn. We return most of them to the garage. She says she can't watch them be sold for only a few dollars. I know it is an act of defiance. She has watched too many of her precious belongings go for so little. We help her carry them back in. Everyone has a tear in their eye and no one argues when she refuses to let them go.

We order pizzas for dinner. Sarah and I go to pick them up. We eat in the nearly-empty house. Homemade chocolate pie for dessert. Sarah rose early to bake it. It was a small piece of sunshine on an otherwise dark day.

I thought about taking pictures, but when it came down to it, I didn't want to document the day. Instead, I'll share the last picture I took of my Poppy on his tractor. He will never ride that tractor again. It's been a rough day, but it's over. We made it. And by this time next week, they'll be in Michigan, which is where they need to be.

April 28, 2010


I wrote this post over Christmas Break. Clearly, the situation was different. It's now more like 3 months until I'll be able to return, but the sentiment is the same. I don't think I've ever posted this, so I will today. It's not necessarily relevant tonight, but it has been over the past few weeks. The hurting heart. The remembering.

My heart hurts tonight with memory. It happens sometimes. I'm struck with the memories of loneliness and hurt from high school. Then those winter nights last year alone in my dorm room with thoughts running through my mind that scared me and no one to go to about them. Then the thoughts that led to actions and the consistent repercussions this year. And my heart is heavy with the remembering.

Every thought that runs through my mind tonight is cut short by a promise from Him. "Lay your burdens down, every care you carry and come to the table of grace for there is mercy", "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest", "Child, you're forgiven and loved". This is new. He's granting me reprieve from destructive thoughts and habits. This has never happened before.

As I struggle to process the enormity of what I'm putting myself through, I continue to sabotage relationships. I make decisions about who can know some and who can know nothing and people get angry. I don't know what I hope to gain from it, but I know that it cannot continue. Sleep will be a long time coming as my mind races and heart aches for some semblance of normality. I miss the routine of school. I miss the expectations and the laughter. I miss the friendship and the hugs. I even miss the disappointment, a sure sign that my friends love and care about me. I'd take disappointment over this pure aloneness any day.

On nights like tonight, I slide a DVD into the side of my laptop and keep my eyes open as long as possible, for I know that when I shut them, my mind will take me to places I'd rather not go. I can take a heart heavy with memory more readily than a mind that traps me there. I think the next three weeks will creep by before I return to the life I'm comfortable with. The mistakes and the love and the disappointment and the forgiveness. The normalcy of my college life. I'm reminded so often when I'm home how vastly different it is from other schools. My friends pray for each other and sing songs about Jesus. We read our Bibles together in the library and Christmas gifts are painted canvas with favorite verses. I have never been so thankful that God led me to Harding than when I'm away.

"...let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience... let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who is promised is faithful." -Hebrews 10:22-23

April 27, 2010

why i hate weekends

I hate weekends. Friday rolls around and I have a hard time tearing my eyes away from the clock. At 3:30, the kids bolt out the door, ecstatic to be free for 48 WHOLE HOURS! The teachers are happy to be away from the munchkins for 48 WHOLE HOURS! Me? Not so much.

My best friends are 600 miles away. (I know, I know. I complain about that a lot, but bear with me. This is a legit argument.) *Ahem* My best friends are 600 miles away. So what exactly am I supposed to do for 48 WHOLE HOURS! without the distraction of the precious little ones who give me hugs and draw me pictures and miss me when I leave the room? I don't get to be Miss Vick for 48 WHOLE HOURS! and I miss it. I miss the laughter at the inappropriate things that the kids write and draw in their infinite innocence. I miss their inventive spelling and their tiny hands gripping pencils and crayons. I miss their grins and silly faces when we make eye contact during the day. I miss their speech impediments that make every word that comes out of their mouth strangely hilarious.

I'll tell you what I do for the 48 WHOLE HOURS! that I'm away from my little friends. I take lots of naps. I watch lots of tv. I grade papers when I'm lucky. Sometimes I bake. Basically, I do anything I can think of to distract myself from the clock (which moves too quickly on Fridays and not at all during the 48 WHOLE HOURS! that I'm away from school).

And then it's Monday again. My alarm goes off at 7:12, and I roll out of bed. By 8:00, I'm at school and, when the bell rings at 8:50, the halls are once again flooded with laughter and chatter and the tiny little people that bring the school to life. Kids pour into room 5, rested and ready to work. I get hugs, hear stories, and am usually sick of hearing "Miss Vick" by the end of the day, but I wouldn't trade Monday for a Friday any day. For the first time in my LIFE, I hate weekends and love Mondays. When did that happen? :)

April 7, 2010


Let me just tell you a little bit about my weekend.

Best. Weekend. Of. My. Life. Since. January.

It was amazing. First, we flew down to my gparents house. We had decided on like, Thursday that I was going to get to go see the girls in Spring Sing. Emily knew. No one else did. SO FUN!

So we got to my grandparents house on Thursday night. Friday, we worked on cleaning the refrigerator (I know, riveting...). Then, at about 4, we left for Searcy. I thought I was going to throw up, I was so excited.

On the way there, I texted two of my friends to let them know I was coming. One (Julya) was my RA last year. She recently got engaged, and I love her, so I needed to see her. Duh. The other (Ashley) was a girl that I love so so much. She has been such a blessing to me since I got home. She wasn't in Spring Sing so if I hadn't told her I was coming, I wouldn't have gotten to see her. Not okay. My mom went and picked up Mi Pueblito (AKA my favorite Mexican restaurant in Searcy) for dinner and we ate it in the car. I had chicken nachos. OH MY WORD. So good.

After we ate, we headed over to the Benson for the show. On the way, I ran into one of my very favorite friends Carmen. She is seriously FANTASTIC. It was completely random. She was walking out of the dorm as I was walking by and I could have cried. It was so exciting. I also got to hug my dorm mom. The little ones had been throwing up, which made me sad because I didn't want to get too close, but it was great to see them, nonetheless.

We got to the Benson, got our tickets and sat down. I told Ashley that I thought the girls would be finished about 7:30. The show started and I almost cried. Legitimately. I was shaking. My mom was basically holding me down. It was the first time I had been on campus period since February, so all of those emotions, plus the fact that I was about to see and hug ALL of my best friends, were almost too much. One of my wonderful friends Nate was a host this year, so I got to hear him sing. Goodness, this boy is fantastic. Forrealz. I love him. Anyway, the first show was the bees. They did a good job and I could pick out the few people that I knew in it. That was really fun. We were the second show. The guy next to me was scooting away from me as far as he could get because I was singing and dancing along and could NOT sit still. I was so proud of the girls.

As soon as the lights went down, I jumped across the four people next to me, stepping on toes and sitting on laps. I made it out of the aisle and RAN out of the auditorium. I stopped long enough to hug Ashley, who was waiting in the lobby, and flew down the steps to the fountain. Emily knew that's where I was going to be, so she pushed her way out of the Benson and ran to me. Once the other girls realized I was there, they ran, too. It was so much fun. It was so exciting to get to see and hug everyone and the fact that they were surprised made it FIVE HUNDRED times better. Oh, it was great. I was literally on campus for three hours. I only saw the people I ran into. It was such a blast.
We're skipping Saturday because I don't remember what happened.

Then Sunday. It was Easter, duh, so we went to church. After church, Emily was coming over to meet us and spend the day. My dad and I left church and drove to the gas station to meet her. I wasn't feeling very well. I was kind of dizzy and light-headed. I thought I maybe needed some sugar, so I asked my dad for a few dollars to get a soda. I got out of the car and my eyes started getting fuzzy and black. I made it all the way to the side of the gas station, which I ran in to because I couldn't see anything. A man asked if I was okay. I wasn't. I told him I couldn't see and asked him to help me get to a bench. He tried to help me. At some point, I heard my dad yell my name, but I'm not sure whether that was before or after I passed out. The man caught me before I hit the ground.

I woke up and couldn't open my eyes. My dad was next to me. He got me into a sitting position and was trying to get me to stand, but I still couldn't see. I told him I needed to lay down but he said the ground was dirty, so I just sat with my head on my knees. I could hear people talking around me. I knew they were calling for help, but I couldn't respond. A few minutes later, I could open my eyes and I made it into the gas station. By the time I got inside, the volunteer paramedics were there. They took my vitals and everything seemed okay. Apparently someone called 911, too because a few minutes later, an ambulance showed up. They checked all the same things and came to the same conclusion: my blood pressure was a little low, but it's normal for girls my age. Emily showed up while the paramedics were checking me out. Bless her heart. They wanted me to go to the hospital but my best friend had just gotten there and it was Easter. Heck. No.

My very first fainting experience was quite exciting, let me tell you. My entire weekend was SERIOUSLY exciting. Bah. I love these girls.

March 18, 2010

today :)

Somehow, spending time with my friends gave me permission to be at home. Not permission to physically be at home. I don't really have a choice in that one. More like permission to be present at home. And I don't really understand it. But I came home much more at peace with the current situation (not happy with it, or even really okay with it, but at peace with it). It's been nice.

Today, I went to lunch with a friend. I ordered and consumed food in a crowded restaurant with a boy. That was a HUGE deal. It was overwhelming and I over-thought every step of the process, but I did it. Then, I had an appointment about another volunteer opportunity. I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to pursue it. I've got quite a bit on my plate already and I don't know that I need to add another two-three hours a week right now.

On Amazon, Photoshop 8 is on sale for SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS!! I know that's not the best editing software, but it's within my budget right now, so it'll work for a while. I'm sure I'll upgrade at some point, but I'm excited to have SOME sort of editing software on it's way!!

Tomorrow, we're going to one of the middle schools to see a production of Mulan. As one of the eight graders involved stated, "Come see Mulan if only for the hilarity of seeing 70 white kids try to act like asians!"

I'm on day 3 of the 30 day shred. I had to start over, since I definitely did NOT work out while I was on vacation. I went shopping today at Old Navy (does everyone find it as hit or miss as I do?) and bought SHORTS!!! It's been YEARS since I've been comfortable with myself to buy shorts. And we're not talking bermuda shorts either. It was so exciting.

In other news, it was 65 degrees yesterday and today, but by Saturday, it will be snowing. Welcome to the Chicagoland area, folks! We get teased with BEAUTIFUL weather and then it snows. A lot. Perfect. In fact, it was SO beautiful out today that we took the kids out for an extra recess. If the kids had on short sleeve shirts, they had to wear their jackets outside. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt but hadn't taken a jacket since it was so nice out. One of the boys said, "Well, Miss Vick, you're supposed to wear a jacket if you're wearing short sleeves and since you don't have one, you're not supposed to go outside. But you're just learning how to be a teacher, so you didn't know what was expected of you so I guess you can still come." Yeah, thanks... I was also engaged in a wonderful conversation with one of the boys about why everyone is "like, obsessed with me". He just didn't understand. HE certainly is NOT obsessed with me. But he wanted me to know that we ARE friends. This same boy later told me that if someone "triple dog dared" him, he would eat a piece of grass. He was asking for it, so I triple dog dared him. He made a big show of plucking a piece of grass and shoving it in his mouth. The other boys thought it was HILARIOUS and all grabbed a piece. It was entertaining. They all had disgusted looks on their faces when it was in their mouths, but I think they all swallowed it! We got back to the classroom and they were feeling pretty cool. They kept telling all the girls that "it didn't taste like anything!" Such show offs. Always a good story (or twelve) from first grade!!

March 15, 2010


Yesterday, I should have driven the last five hours back to Searcy with my best friends. Instead, my plane took off at 5:30 and now I'm home. I made it through the whole week with a PAACH (Positive Attitude And Cheerful Heart) but when my plane landed, the reality of the situation hit me again and I lost it. Here I am, 600 miles away from the people that I love. I shouldn't be here.

Today I started my online biology class while I should have been struggling to sit through Earth Science. I miss the dorm and the laughter and Spring Sing and club meetings. I'm missing a ring ceremony tonight for a girl that I love and I should be able to be there. I should be complaining about caf food and checking my mail rather than waiting for my brother to finish up my dinner. I should be struggling to get out of bed for chapel rather than sleeping until I wake up. I should be sitting next to Emily in the library laughing about her unfortunate computer situation rather than texting her about it. I should be staying up too late with my friends rather than staying up late texting them. I shouldn't have to skype them when I want to see them.

I do absolutely believe that God has a plan for the next few months. He's making me stronger and less reliant on people outside of myself. I'm learning to deal with emotions in appropriate ways. I'm growing in ways that I couldn't have grown in Searcy, but I wish I didn't have to.

BUT ANYWAY!! Enough of that :)

This past week was Harding's spring break. Had I been at school, I would have just come home. Since I was already home, I went to meet my friends. We spent a few days at twins' house in Nashville.

Then, we hopped in the car...
And headed to....
HENDERSONVILLE!!!! where we spent our days hiking...
and taking a billion pictures!
This is from the March of the Leprechauns. It was such a joke.
Overall, we had an absolutely wonderful week. I'm in love with North Carolina and Emily's family and I loved getting to spend time with my three best friends. They're fantastic. Jicyww :)

March 4, 2010


Meet my new best friend

Jillian Michaels, I am counting on you. I'm going to Maui in June and need to have a body like yours for the beach. I'll give you thirty days if you can give me that. Except that I'm two days in and not really entirely sure that it's going to happen today. My mouth hurts really badly. And I'm exhausted. So maybe I'll start over tomorrow...

March 3, 2010


Here's how my ideal day would go:

6:30- wake up
6:40- 30 Day Shred in the basement
7:00- Shower, makeup, hair
7:45- breakfast
8:00- leave for school
3:30- leave school
4:00- read, journal or some other equally productive activity
6:00- eat dinner
7:00- watch tv
9:00- go to bed

Here's how my day ACTUALLY goes:

8:58- wake up, realize alarm did not go off, freak out
9:02- shower, makeup, hair
10:17- leave for school
10:18- eat granola bar in the car
3:30- leave school
3:54- crash on the couch
6:03- wake up, freak out that entire day has been wasted and I STILL haven't worked out
7:00- eat dinner
7:40- (maybe) 30 Day Shred in the basement
8:00- watch tv, talk to friends, beach myself on the couch, do nothing productive
11:56- go to bed

Yeah, I'm really good at planning and scheduling. I'm struggling a little bit with follow through at the moment. Maybe once I get this alarm thing figured out (*ahem* remember to turn up the volume before I go to sleep...), my days will look a little more like the above example. But getting up at 6:30 to work out? I don't think that can possibly be good for me...

March 1, 2010


At school, I hardly ever got mail, but any time I was in the student center, I had to check. By the end of the semester, my best friends started sending me mail every couple of days so that I would have some every time I checked. Then, they started stocking my mailbox, leaving 20 notes in there at once so that I could take some out every time I checked.

Now that I'm home, getting mail means more than it ever has. Today I got a postcard from some friends overseas. I love it.

A few weeks ago, I got a package in the mail. I had received strict instructions to make a phone call before I opened it.

So I did. I tore open the package and saw the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life...

Yep, that's right! A letter for every single day. Some days, I even get to open two or three. And there are a few extras for days that I am especially missing them so that I can open an extra one.

This is why I have the best friends in the world. They know that I love opening mail, and so they made sure that I would have some for every single day. It's beautiful :)

February 23, 2010


I'm in love with first grade. These children have me laughing (either with them or at them) all day long. I'm going to keep a running list of the things that are said in the classroom because they seriously crack me up.

Karin: "How are you doing, Miss Vick? Are you driving you away yet?"
Me: "Not quite!"
G: panicked look- "Miss Vick, I don't want you to drive away!"

Cl: "I'm going to use these colors to try to make clear!" (holds up black, gray and yellow crayons)

T: "Well, there are four of those math things in every fact family"
Karin: "Math facts?"
T: "Oh, yeah. Math facts"

Random first grader from another class: "Who's your daughter?"
Me: "My daughter?"
First grader: "umm yeah?"
Me: "I don't have a daughter..."
E: "Yeah, Miss Vick! You're a mom!!"
Me: "No, E. I am definitely NOT a mom."
E: "Yeah! Somebody told me you're a mom!!"
...conversation continues...until FINALLY...
R: "E, Miss Vick CAN'T be a mom because she's a MISS!! Mrs. are married but Miss means they're not married, so if Miss Vick isn't married, she CAN'T be a mom!!"
Me: "Yep, R. You are exactly right. I'm not married so I definitely cannot be a mom"

Okay, you know that Cadillac commercial with the song? It's this one. Anyway, we were in art the other day and that song came on and D goes, "Ugh. This commercial is SOO annoying. It's not like I'm going to buy a car..." Yeah, D. It's not like you're seven or anything...

January 15, 2010


Let me define "Awkward Lobby Couple" (ALC) for you...just in case there's any confusion...which there seems to be.

1. PDA of any kind (including but not limited to: kissing, rubbing, holding hands, awkwardly long eye contact and sitting on each other) is awkward.
2. Fighting in the lobby is awkward.
3. Overly ridiculous proclamations of love are awkward.
4. Sitting and not speaking is awkward.
5. Sitting in the lobby for longer than an hour (especially as long as 8 hours) is so awkward.
6. Singing together, watching movies together, or listening to music on a computer while sharing headphones is awkward.
7. Laying on each other is awkward.
8. If the boy is waiting in the lobby for longer than 15 minutes, it becomes awkward.

Basically, if you're dating and not just doing homework together, you are an awkward lobby couple. And at the first sign of PDA, you are automatically labeled as such. Please keep this mind when choosing to congregate in the Kendall lobby. Just remember that we judge you. And talk about you long after you've gone. And chances are, if you're an awkward lobby couple who spends a lot of time there, we probably have a nickname for you that we use in public. Possibly even in front of you. Thank you, and have a great night.