Much ado about nothing.

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• You know you have a great boss when you see what she’s added to your To-Do list while you were out and it makes you love working for her even more.

• I’m re-watching the TV show “LOST.” I watched it as it aired, but I was only 13 when it started and 19 when it ended. And I tell ya, watching it all over again (especially quickly as opposed to once a week with 6 month breaks) has been mind-blowing as I’m catching all the stuff I missed or had forgotten. Even so, I still find myself feeling the need to take notes… who, what, when, where and why? Still one of the best TV shows ever made.

• I’ve gone through the “LOST” DVDs so fast that the people at Blockbuster are now on first-name basis with me and are keeping up with what season I’m in.

• Who’s not a fan of the new iPhone iOS 7? This girl.

• OU won the football game this weekend!!! (BOOMER SOONER) My coworker/office mate (rabid OSU fan) is putting in for an office transfer.

• I got to see my little brother play ice hockey this weekend in the Junior A division. As the game heated up and the language and fists started flying, it was a little jarring to realize that he’s not in Pee Wee hockey anymore… and that he’s actually at risk of getting his teeth knocked out. (They won, by the way, and it was a BLAST.)

• If you don’t have the pleasure of knowing my mom, you’re missing out because she’s pretty much the best. We went to downtown Denton this weekend and had more fun poking around antique stores, drinking hipster coffee, and laughing at each other. (Special thanks to a dear old friend who was willing to join us and spend a couple hours with two crazy females. You always make us laugh!)

• If I have only one callus on my foot, does that make me a uni-corn?

Jesse-McCartney-Pictures• Jesse McCartney was my teenage celebrity heartthrob. To be honest, I’m still a sucker for “Beautiful Soul.” Go ahead, judge me. But first, you better own up to your own private stash of Aaron Carter, Backstreet Boys, and ‘N SYNC.

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Go out, find a rose, and smell it.

rainbow01Have you ever worked so hard to get somewhere, and then, when you’re nearly there, you realized everything you DIDN’T do along the way?

Kind of like the idiom “stop and smell the roses.” I’m one of those people who walk looking down. I know where I’m going, and I stare at the ground to make sure I avoid anything that might make me trip (which sometimes are my own naked feet), but sometimes I am so focused on getting to my destination that I totally miss that there even WERE roses to stop and smell.

Recently, I’ve realized that I’ve missed a lot of roses.

And it’s no one’s fault. Sometimes, you have to just go out and and live, rather than wait for life to happen to you.

So, I’m creating a bucket list of sorts… Not the huge life goals list with things like “Become a World Traveler” and “Scuba the Great Barrier Reef.” More along the lines of “Stuff A Lot of Other People Have Done.” Stuff I want to experience, even if I’ll hate it and never do again. Stuff I’d like to do before I’m a mom, so I’ll have plenty of fun stories to tell my kids.

And so, I present to you (in no particular order), my frivolous, random, weird, can’t-believe-you-haven’t-done-that-already list of things to do:

  • Go to a roller derby event
  • Learn how to line dance
  • Sing karaoke
  • Go to the state fair
  • Sleep outside in a tent
  • Go skiing
  • Experience lake fun (water skiing, tubing, just being on a boat on a lake)
  • See the grand canyon
  • Hike through a state park
  • Make an effort to become a morning person (this one WASN’T my idea…)
  • Take a BYOB painting class
  • Take a selfie at the top of a mountain (Hey, I’ve never been to Colorado!)
  • Sky dive
  • Visit another country
  • Pull a big, funny prank (gotta surpass some of my mom’s college stories!
  • Dye at least a portion of my hair an unnatural color
  • Go on a road trip without my parents (not that they’re not oh-so-fun in the car… *cough*)
  • Live outside my hometown for at least 3 consecutive months
  • Adopt a pet
  • Plant a literal seed and watch it grow
  • [Edit] Go hunting, and eat my game!!!

Now, here’s the interesting part: I could technically complete most everything on the list by myself, but what fun would that be? Seriously.

If anything (and I mean anything) on the list caught your attention or interest, please let me know! If your family goes camping, I’d love to tag along. If you have friends across state lines you’ve wanted to see for a while, I’ll drive with you! If you want to watch me embarrass myself at karaoke, you are more than welcome to come sing along (as long as all electronic devices and cameras are turned off and stowed away).

Not joking. If you want to do something on the list too, let’s do it together. Let’s go hunt down some roses and sniff ’em up!

(Also, if you have a suggestion for my list, please please please leave me a comment!!!)

I will never forget.

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I remember like it was yesterday, though I was only 9 years old. Our schoolbooks lay forgotten on the coffee table as we sat in the living room, glued to the TV and watched history unfold before our eyes. Shocked, confused, and scared, I wouldn’t fully understand what happened until years later.

Today, I understand. And today, I feel the heartbreak.

I remember the footage. I remember the newspapers. I remember trying to grasp the concept of our country going to war. My head, flooded with my grandpa’s battle stories and my grandma talking about collecting scraps of metal for the war effort, was ringing with questions. Would there be a draft? My own brothers were too young to fight, but what about my oldest cousin? My uncles? Why do Muslims hate us so much? Would they bomb more of our cities? Would they bomb our houses? Would we be able to fight back? Would we win?

I never dreamed that over a decade later I would see two of my best friends go halfway around the world to fight for my freedom.

I never dreamed that I would grow up to live in a country where that same freedom would be replaced with “security.”

I never dreamed that the foundations our country was built on could crumble like the twin towers did twelve years ago.

I never dreamed that one day America would no longer be a Christian nation.

Yes, today I feel the heartbreak. As a member of the next generation, I remember September 11, 2001 and my heart hurts when I see the status of my beloved nation, and it hurts even more when I look at my peers – our country’s future leaders – and wonder, will the Land of the Secure and Home of the Entitled ever be truly free again?

So many lives were lost, and for what? Are we actually winning this war, this fight for our freedom when we are more limited, monitored, and ignorant than ever?

I will never forget September 11, 2001.

I will never forget what it was like to be free.

Now I feel old.

• I should have been carded today. It didn’t happen. Now I feel old.

• To the random, sweet cowboy who took my empty shopping cart back to the store, thanks for making my day.

• It’s not stalking if you bring a friend, right?

• It’s so much easier to become bitter, but so much more worthwhile to be forgiving, resulting in so much more fun being happy!

• God is pretty cool when he lets you know through a random person (who has no idea about your past) that your prayers are being answered – six months later.

• Spending $24 on 38 days worth of V8 energy drinks will actually save me around $150. Breaking bad habits is hard but soooo worth it. It’s embarrassing when you figure up how much money goes down the drain in wasteful spending (not to mention bad stewardship).

• Talk to the cashier and look her in the eye. Let her know she is appreciated. A genuine thank you goes a long way.

• Know the dangers of leaving your iPhone in a locked, hot car. It’s not pretty.

• You know your best friend is amazing when you call her to catch up and you end up talking about Jesus for an hour instead. As she put it, our relationship sharpens each other.

• My mother’s kitten is possessed. Especially when she hangs over the back of a chair, trying to catch her own back legs, and then hops around the living room. You never know when you will be attacked…

• I rediscovered The Incredibles yesterday. Edna Mode is one of my favorite animated characters, ever.

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Don’t talk to me until you’ve made up your mind.

I love getting feedback from my readers – until they start pointing out the truth.

One friend said “I’m following your blog, but it’s been depressing lately!” Yeah, well, it wouldn’t be “Emma Dilemma” without a dilemma, would it?

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I work as a graphic designer at the regional hospital. This is a FANTASTIC job to have. My boss is amazing, my coworkers are amazing, and the coffee is free. But being a graphic designer is not all sunshine and daisies, and believe it or not, I do more than color. The last two weeks I have been building a new brand for an incoming physician. The process went something like this:

  1. Think up 5-6 interesting names for his new clinic.
  2. Design 2-3 logos per name.
  3. Repeat each logo in several color schemes.
  4. Physician looks at all 72 logos in a total of 2 seconds, and says he will sketch his own design and get back to us.
  5. Wait 4 days.
  6. Physician returns with a chosen name and logo idea.
  7. Design 8 logos around the chosen name/idea, and submit them in several color schemes.
  8. Physician narrows it down to 2 logos, with revisions.
  9. Physician narrows it down to one logo. Changes colors.
  10. Changes colors back.
  11. Designer proceeds to develop business cards, letterhead, envelopes, brochures, and ads.
  12. Receive email from hospital administration: “Remember that Dr. Physician’s clinic will be called “Something Entirely Different.”
  13. Bang head on desk and moan. The neighboring accountants begin to worry.
  14. Amazing Boss smooths everything over, and Graphic Designer returns to her happy place.

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It’s Friday! Anyone remember Rebecca Black’s music video? Grab your bowl and cereal, your friend by your right, and learn the days of the week! It will be fun fun fun fun! We-we-we-we so excited!

Confessions of an Extroverted Ambivert

meeting-mindsLast night I faced a tragedy. I was home, alone, by myself, with no one around me. Solitary. Single. Unaccompanied. Companionless. And I was facing 3 more nights of the exact same thing.

I thought I was going to die.

It was one of those nights when I was so lonely that I must have refreshed my Facebook feed every thirty seconds, CRAVING a new, enlightening post that I could like, or maybe even comment on! Now, ordinarily, I warmly accept a night such as this because they are few and far between. A few hours to veg out by myself are the perfect fix for my achiever soul. But when I have 4 nights in a row of unexpected alone time, it feels as if by the time I emerge again back into society I’ll have culture shock.

I stumbled across a page on BuzzFeed last night called “25 Frustrating Things About Being an Extrovert.” I forwarded the page to my mother (one of the two introverts in my extrovert family), who has no sympathy for my agony, in hopes that she might get a glimpse of why I need social interaction!

But sometimes I wonder if I’m not a true extrovert as the standard definition and stereotype goes. I think introverts stereotype extroverts as much as vice versa, and we are often seen as people who need to hog the microphone and the spotlight. In my case, that’s far from true. I love being around people but sometimes have nothing to say.

So, I did what I always do and took a personality quiz. Turns out, I’m an extroverted ambivert. Here are my confessions.

1. I charge up by being surrounded by people. This does not mean I always need to be the center of attention. (But honestly, when it happens I don’t mind it. :D)

2. The more to take in, the better I feel. Lights, sound, activity? Sign me up!

3. I am not a talker. More often than not, I prefer listening to talking and I get energy from hearing other people’s thoughts, opinions and ideas.

4. A full schedule makes me feel loved, needed, and appreciated, but when I don’t have enough time to shut down and sleep I feel stretched and overwhelmed.

5. I only need one evening to myself every 2-3 weeks (usually no more than 4-5 hours total) to wind down and rest.

6. I love telling stories and public speaking not because I enjoy talking, but because I enjoy feedback and responses from my “audience.” The words of affirmation as a response to something I said/did is much more fueling than my words/actions themselves.

7. When I am upset, talking to one person isn’t enough. I need to share with at least 3 people at separate times.

8. Sometimes I feel bad that I’m not as well-read as some of my introverted friends, but I can’t spare the time needed to read because…. well… it would take time out of being WITH that friend!

9. Yes, I talk with my hands. It’s more for my benefit than my listener’s. Drawing pictures with my hands helps me express what I’m thinking more clearly.

10. I prefer a focused, balanced conversation with one person at a time than a group discussion. My get-to-know-you skills are diminished when I have to compete for your attention with several other people (especially if you are an introvert).

So don’t be surprised if you find me at a party but I’m quiet and reserved. I’m having a great time, but sometimes it’s nice to be surrounded by people and activity and say nothing at all. 🙂

 

Well, that’s embarrassing.

I am in a season of life when I look back on what I put on my social media and I wonder what on earth I was thinking.

With the support of family and friends, I’m undergoing a makeover of sorts. Not the hair and nails makeover, but more of a wholesome “change my way of life” upgrade. It’s a time to dust off old hobbies, practice some new ones, and triumph over bad habits. (Some of my newest hobbies include photography, ukulele, and basket weaving. Just kidding about the last one… maybe.)

Luckily for me, my number one fan (other than my mom) is my SUPER-FANTASTIC boss! I shall call her Shannon, for that is her name. She’s the director of marketing, and she knows a few things about personal marketing too, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when she marched into my office, sat down, and said, “It’s time to go through your Facebook.”

Cringe.

It’s amazing how many photos I had to go through and how many got hidden or locked. There were PLENTY of bad hair, no makeup, funny face, “I-don’t-give-a-cheezit-what-I-look-like” photos that were honestly a little less than presentable. Some were so bad that the entire ALBUM got trashed. *sigh*

Seriously, if someone I didn’t know was browsing through my photos, they could totally peg me for a renaissance ballerina/punk/vampire/musician-wannabe with no taste in style or haircuts.

Exhibit A:

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Note the dark lipstick, the leotard, and black choker. This was clearly my Black Swan phase.

Exhibit B:

Is that a pretzel? Unfortunately for me, the punk rocker/young professional/hippy peace sign look doesn’t work.

Exhibit C:

I can only assume that I was having a seizure and thought it would be super cool to take a selfie at the same time. (And I will admit… this was in my bedroom. On my bed. Alone. And THIS is what I did with my time.)

So there you have it. Chances are, there will still be PLENTY of opportunities for terrible pictures to be taken, but hopefully next time I will think twice before publishing them for the world to see.

(Stay tuned for more “Project Emma” updates!)

Breakups stink.

Let’s just expose the elephant in the room for what it is: I broke up with my boyfriend a week ago.

No, I’m not okay. Yes, that is why I haven’t blogged in two weeks.

I know that I’m not obligated to share with the world-wide web why we broke up, but I’m willing to give you the cliff-notes. He was a great guy with morals and character who was a passionate Christian and who loved to love me, but in the end we simply weren’t right for each other. And if I can’t see myself marrying someone, I will not put them through a relationship that exists merely for my own entertainment.

It was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. It is difficult to look at myself with any kind of respect when I knowingly gave back a heart of gold and said “I want more in life.” But my mom is pretty wise, and as I blubbered in her arms she reminded me that God has given us desires for a reason, and we are to pray for the desires of our hearts.

I want SO MUCH for my life. I want to go, do, see, and be! And here’s a secret:

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That’s right, I am a young, lively 21 year old with my whole life ahead of me and I want so desperately to share it with someone else. I don’t want to live my life alone and then get married, settle down and raise a family! If my husband is going to be my best friend, my leader, my protecter, provider, and pursuer, my soundboard, my comforter, my mentor, my guide, and my love, then I sure hope he finds me soon cause he is going to be AH-MAY-ZING.

However, there is one point on which I will stand resolute: I will not go looking for him.

I am horrible at being content in singleness, but as a dear friend pointed out, I can be content in Christ in my singleness. I have no need to try to hook an amazing guy and convince him I’m an amazing girl. I know who I am in Christ, and it’s his job to find out.

So… where to go from here? I’m single, and I’m not okay right now. I will be, in time. I’m not desperate, I’m not alone, and I’m not hopeless. There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.

And it will be a beautiful morning.

I’m a size 16 and I’m not happy about it.

A rising trending topic is the subject of Beauty.

As any woman on Instagram or Pintrest will admit, we see images of women we deem more “beautiful” than us, perhaps due to a thinner waistline, a prettier pout, or more luxurious locks. And on the other side of the spectrum, there are warriors out there (Beauty Redefined) trying to help womankind by flooding media with messages that translate “You are beautiful the way you are. Don’t compare yourself. Magazine models are not real women.”

I’m in the middle of an inner conflict.

It’s not that I don’t understand or even disagree with the message of self-acceptance, or that I can’t believe that I’m beautiful, no matter what the size tag says. I know that I am beautifully and wonderfully made by a Creator who knit the world together – and He doesn’t make junk.

So why is it so hard to not cringe when someone tags me in a picture on Facebook when I wasn’t aware that my lower abdomen was pouching out? Why do I have to take 327 selfies to get just the right angle where my double-chin is minimized, my legs look longer, my belly seems flatter, and my hands don’t look like sausages? Basically, in my head, I see myself as this:

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I’ll admit it: I am a size 16, and I hate it. I hate clothes shopping and passing the sizes that fit me 4 years ago. Mirrors and cameras (in someone else’s hands) scare me.

And I’ll be double-honest, I think I’m prettier on the other side of my face. I generally like who I am and I believe that I’m good at things and that I’m intelligent. I just don’t like to look at myself.

So I took a reality check last night as I stared in the mirror. I was tempted to criticize my sagging curls, the circles under my eyes, and the little red spots that clutter my complexion, but I tried to look past all of that and see myself with love.

Here’s what I saw:

1. I have sincere and honest eyes (that change color! hey hey!).

2. My teeth are naturally white and straight, and my smile helps others be themselves.

3. My dimples (yes… the unfortunate adorable dimples) prove genuine joy.

4. My arms are a great length for hugs.

5. You will never catch my hair looking the same way twice – and I don’t have to do a thing to it.

6. I inherited my mother’s fabulous fingernails. (Seriously, they’re like my favorite. Not too short, not too skinny!)

7. The stretch marks… well. Let’s just say every stripe represents a delicious meal. And I rarely regret good food.

I’m still a size 16. I’m still not happy about it. But I do know that I am talented, intelligent, and resourceful with more to offer this world than an attractive profile picture. And as I hit the gym and the salad bar I will remember that my goal is not to achieve a standard set by the media and my peers but to be the best, healthiest version of myself I can be.

It’s the camera’s fault.

I was sweating bullets.

Yes, it was nearing “Melting” on the heat index, but that’s not why I had a sudden perspiration problem. It was finally time to take Brooklinn’s senior photos.

Convinced of my impending failure, I talked my boyfriend into doing some test shots with me so I could cram some last second practicing in. Looking back, this was a mistake. I love him, but he just can’t get the hair-flip, hand-on-hip, glamorous-grin pose down. 

Thankfully, Brooklinn can’t get the hair-flip, hand-on-hip, glamorous-grin pose down either as she hiked through a field in a sundress and cowboy boots with a pocket knife hooked on the left boot. And double thankfully, she is extremely photogenic (when she’s not distracted by squirrels or the wind blowing or rambunctious brothers). 

As it turns out, we had a great time. Here are the best of the best. 

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And just because he was such a doll for helping me out, here’s one of my boyfriend. 🙂

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