Thursday, October 30, 2014

#24 spin around reunion tower

happy 62nd birthday to me!
#24 took place on my birthday eve. two of my most favorite people kidnapped me and took me to 560, the restaurant at reunion tower. they gave me all of 3 minutes to get ready for a place they wouldn't tell me, blind folded me (as i was walking in 5 inch heels) and whisked me away.

as i walked up a set stairs and into an elevator with my eyes tightly shut, i began to think about how thankful i am for everything. for such an amazing year and such amazing friends to spend it with.


after a few moments in what i knew was an elevator, we  walked into a room and i was allowed to see where my kidnappers had taken me. 560. we sat down at our table and shortly after, pre-ordered desserts and champagne were brought to our table. the waiter cheerily handed me a scrumptious looking chocolate lava cake that read "happy birthday" and another chocolate cake with numbered candles that read "62". that's right, the girl that had a quarter life crisis and started a blog to keep her youth was being reminded that 25 is long gone now and 62 is kicking in immediately. if only he knew.


i chuckled and commented on the 62 and as the waiter's face started beating bright red with embarrassment, i laughed it off and asked him to keep the cake as is. after all, it was a good laugh. and the damage was done...


as we chowed down on some amazing birthday cake and sipped on celebratory champagne, i all of a sudden realized we were moving. if the scenery outside hadn't changed, i would have never known i was going in circles in the dallas ball! how do they make that happen? i guess 560 isn't the place to go if you get motion sickness.


kristen, annmarie and i talked for hours. in fact we talked and caught up with one another for so long that we shut the place down. or.. they were going to shut it down with us inside. we slowly realized that we were the only ones left in the restaurant, the once dimmed lights were now on brightly and the skyline view was covered by shades. that was our cue to go. that and the group of waiters staring at us waiting for us to get up from our table.


so we went. while we searched for the missing valet-- it was so late they had already gone home-- we ran into a group of venezuelan gentleman, we started chatting and after they learned it was my birthday, they broke out in song and serenaded me with the ever-so-popular happy birthday song. it was the cherry on top of my night.


before dropping me off back home to soak up zzz's we drove around and enjoyed each others company for a little while longer. every moment of the night had me feeling so blessed and so grateful. thank you thank you thank you to kristen and annmarie for such a memorable night.



62...

i changed it..

my favorites


such an amazing dallas view


through thick and thin



whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.

philippians 4:8

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#23 give back

#23 i know i have said this about many of my adventures, but this was definitely my favorite. sometimes i get so wrapped up in my personal day-to-day struggles that i just forget how blessed of a life i live. volunteering has always been one of my greatest joys in life. i try to always have some outlet of giving back, but i know i could always give more.

this year i have been given an amazing opportunity to be a regular volunteer at two different clinics. the wycliffe center and an affiliate clinic of watermark church. both have been such incredible and humbling experiences. i have learned so much through helping other people and have gained so many lessons that i know will stay with me for a lifetime.


for my 23rd thing i did something i have always wanted to do but never have. i drove to walmart and payed off someone's layaway. i specifically asked for someone with diapers, bottles, formula, any baby items or children's toys. the kind employee found someone who had just recently put children's toys on layaway and had yet to make any payments. i knew in my heart this was the one. so i paid off her layaway in full. the employee called the customer to let her know her items had been paid off and she could swing by to pick them up at her convenience. 

some of the items included lego sets and transformer dolls- or should i say action figures? either way i walked away with the most amazing feeling knowing that i had helped some little boy or girl enjoy their birthday that much more, or perhaps helped a family with a few extra surprises under the christmas tree. the mystery of it is exciting because whatever the occasion for that lego set may be, there will be a lego set.


this is something i will most definitely do again. especially around the holidays. what's a better way to spread a little christmas cheer? i could have taken myself out on a date, i think going to dinner and a movie alone would be a cool experience, or gotten my nails done and a new outfit for my birthday this weekend, but instead i know i spent my money well. and i felt great about it. i didn't drop hundreds of dollars-- i wish i could have. i know anything and everything helps. if you can't pay off someone's layaway, help them out with just one payment. it's a load off of their shoulders and joy on yours.


it was on my mind for majority of the day. the more i thought about it, the more ideas i came up with. such as- the next time i do this, pay for someone's layaway, i'm going equipped with an uplifting card. a card wishing some family, some man or some woman a very merry christmas along with words of hope and love. two things that you can never have enough of. i even have a few of my favorite bible verses picked out to share. if you can't tell- i really look forward to doing this again.


riding my train of giving and joy, i also decided to start the starbucks pay it forward. if you've ever been apart of this, you know how easily it brings a smile to your face. i challenge you to do this too. after all, what's a couple of extra bucks to turn someone's entire day around. 


this is my favorite starbucks drink: green tea latte
don't be afraid because it's green!!!


doll/action figure... whatever you want it to be

if you haven't checked out watermark's clinic, here is the link. pretty amazing people doing pretty amazing things:

quest care clinic

wycliffe is a group of incredible people sharing the word of God. another great link to check out:


wycliffe bible translators  


only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.

albert einstein

Monday, October 20, 2014

#22 join the circus

#22 no i didn't actually join the circus but i now know it is a very feasible life back-up plan. after doing a little research in the dallas area i came across something called dallas skyline trapeze. that's right, trapeze. i was intrigued to say the least, so i signed up for a class.

the facility was out in addison, so it was only a quick drive away. once christina, my fellow trapezer and i arrived, we took a look around, soaked in our surroundings and allowed fear to take over. from the looks of it, we were the only ones who had no clue what we were doing. everyone was greeting one another and chatting up a storm-- obvious regulars. then 2 others with expressions similar to ours walked up. expressions of sheer confusion and not knowing what to expect.

we were split into groups, beginners and regulars then started off with a short little prep talk. our instructor kindly asked for a volunteer to go first and everyone's immediate reaction was to stare and the ground. it was silent. 

our silence was broken by a brave and vibrant newbie stepping up to the plate-- you go girl. she climbed up the ladder and swung flawlessly leaving big shoes to fill. 

i was up next and i wasn't as fearless. infact i distinctly remember my fearful conversation:

instructor: "okay go ahead and put your toes on the edge and grab the bar with one hand while holding onto the pole with your left"
me: "uhm i'm going to fall."
instructor: "no you aren't, i'm holding onto you"

--- so i trusted her and i leaned out to grab the bar

instructor: "great, now let go of the pole and grab the bar with both hands"
me: "ya.. no i'm definitely going to fall now."
instructor: "no you aren't"
me: "ya... ya i am. i can feel it. i'm already falling."

as i begged and pleading and fearfully held conversation atop a platform while i mentally debated whether or not i was just going to climb back down, i jumped. i was full of doubt and focusing on the net below me. i was certain that once i left the platform the net and i would meet. instead, i swung. just like a pendulum. back and forth, back and forth. i just kept swinging. 

swinging back and forth was only step 1. on the next turn i swung from my knees as my hands freely soared through the air. i then did this knee swing again as i leaned back and grabbed onto another person. for the grand finale, i did a back flip off of the bars. 

the toughest part was getting over the fear of jumping off the platform. everything else was rather simple. on my second turn i decided i have to think less and do more. and that right there was what kept me going. as time went on 2 out of 4 of our group stopped swinging. it takes a toll on your hands and arms and is quite the mental game. but my mentality gave me a whole new outlook. the less i thought about it, the less fear i had. afterall with God on my side, whom shall i fear? that verse was replaying in my head the entire time, and it worked. my fears were overcome and now i can join the circus.









to sign up for a trapeze class or book a birthday party (which would be awesome) click here:
skyline trapeze

for God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.

2 timothy 1:7

Friday, October 17, 2014

#21 attend aclfest

#21 where do i even begin? i have been wanting to attend a music festival for who knows how long. 

i strongly believe everyone should attend at least one music festival or event at some point in their lifetime. i was a flight away from coachella, south by southwest slipped right through my fingers and ultra passed by in the blink of an eye. i knew aclfest was right around the corner and i was determined to go and once determination sets in, good luck to anyone standing in the way. 

it happened. i attended aclfest and what an experience. it had everything. the good, the bad, the ugly. with great pride i can say i attended all 3 days of aclfest. that's right, not 1, not 2 but all 3 days of blasting music, short shorts, crowds, porta potty's, flash tattoos and flower headbands. and guess what? i loved every second of it.

i fully unleashed my inner flower child and danced around each and every day without any cares or hesitations. that's what aclfest was all about. one big carefree music party. one of my biggest pulls to attend this particular 3-day music-a-thon was the fact that none other than the one and only, sam smith was going to be there. i had to see sam smith. yes, i know he isn't up there singing his heart out to me, but he has some major talent. i respect that. it just so happened that he was the first performance i saw, i had a great view and he was impeccable. what an amazing singer. my first artist to attend easily become my favorite artist.

this prize was not an easy win. there were many performers who put on such an amazing show. skrillex, eminem, iggy, outkast, lorde, foster the people, calvin harris, lana del ray, zedd and major lazer, just to name a few. it was one incredible performance after the other. with so many things going on at the same time, it was quite amazing to see how one artist could wrap you up in that single moment. many times i found myself forgetting that there were other concerts going on within walking distance. that's one of the many beauties and powers of music.

i came across all kinds of people at this never ending party called acl. old friends, new friends, familiar faces, and this guy. this guy was loving life to the absolute fullest. 

daytime concerts were much calmer than the nighttime ones. the evening brought out nothing short of fireworks and light shows. as all of this was going on, this guy was putting on his own show while jumping up and down and all around and literally waving his hands in the air like he just doesn't care. but hey, he was having a good time. kudos my horse-loving friend, kudos.

my only inevitable complaint, without bleachers or elevated seating, this was my view (below) for many performances. being 5'3 (and 1/2) has many advantages. but unfortunately it also has its disadvantages...







aside from being blocked by the backs of many tall friends' heads, my time spent at aclfest was unforgettable. everything was perfect. the many food choices, the refillable water stations, the layout, the vendors, the mud and most importantly, the music.

a few must brings:
  • sealed water bottles (you are allowed 2 per person)
  • a towel/blanket/poncho (something to sit on)
  • comfortable walking shoes (you will do a lot of walking)
  • cool and breathable clothing (texas heat isn't bashful)
  • deodorant (c'mon, do everyone a favor)
  • flash tattoos (not only for the compliments, but because they are awesome)

day 1:

                             
i'm tellin' ya.. flash tatts, gotta do it!


flower child, activate!

frogs are everywhere!
 day 2:




day 3:



my favorite accessory: a glow wand
you can buy your tickets for next year as early as October 21st. aclfest 2015! let's do it.

aclfestival


music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. 

plato

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#20 hamilton pool


#20 was a quick trip to the beautiful hamilton pool. amid the strobe lights and party rockin' of aclfest (post to come), david and i slipped away to enjoy a very tranquil and peaceful morning at hamilton pool.  i have read time and time again about how wonderful hamilton pool is and how it is a must see. i had to see what all the hoopla was about for myself. so i did, and it did not disappoint.

on the drive there we picked up lunch and brought it along to enjoy outdoors. we ate on a little picnic bench, had some laughs, cleaned up our mess, then began our short hike to hamilton pool. as i ran through the trail playing my own personal game of hopscotch, david stopped me to admire the area. it was lovely. the sites were amazing. every which way you turned, there was some little piece of nature just glimmering in the daylight with nothing but utter beauty. 

once we finished our hike and arrived at the historic swimming hole, an overwhelming sense of peace took over. there are no words to describe it. we lucked out with just a handful of people already occupying the area. other than that, we had the place to our ourselves. it was filled with such beauty and such serenity. people talked in quiet whispers as if they were in a library and all you could hear was the soothing sound of droplet after droplet falling from above. it was not a large waterfall, but it was perfect. i had to mentally talk myself out of not curling up among the rocks and taking a nice little nap. 

we walked behind the fall and through the cave-like structures just awing at everything and anything. i could have explored for hours but even though time felt as if it was standing still, it wasn't. we had an aclfest to get to and left in the knick of time. as we were walking back up the trail to leave, many people were walking down the trail to enjoy hamilton pool. i've read in many places that hamilton pool fills up rather quickly so the earlier you can go, the better. i believe it!

unfortunately due to recent flooding, there was no swimming or touching of the water allowed. this  took away nothing from the calming beauty of our surroundings and our overall hamilton pool experience.  i could only imagine what fun it would be to splash around and jump in and out of the beautiful watering hole--and i will be back to do so, but the peaceful and calming experience i had was unreal. i wouldn't trade it. and i was with david, we always know how to have a good time ;)



fail #1
fail #2

still not there..
nailed it


  


again, game day.. go frogs!!!
*pda alert* 




to find out more about hamilton pool click here:
hamilton pool preserve

nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own. 

charles dickens

Friday, October 10, 2014

#19 tough mudder

#19 was tough. tough mudder, tough. 12 miles of mud, running, obstacles and then some more mud. as many of my life decisions go, on friday, we decided to sign up to run on sunday. definitely last minute, but no regrets. 

the race started with a mud crawl under a barbed wire obstacle. within the first 30 seconds, my shirt was clipped to a spike on the barbed wire. great start, right? i quickly unhooked it, making a sincere attempt to not get pricked by the barbed wire, then proceeded to crawl on my hands and knees to avoid any other frightening mishaps.



then it was hill, after hill, after hill. i nearly slid down one of them. leave it to tough mudder to find hills in dallas. however, the hills were do-able. they were minor obstacles leading up to the obstacle challenges. challenges like the arctic enema. what a terrible name. a terrible and fitting name. it was a giant tub of ice and water. the middle of the tub had a wooden wall topped with, more barbed wire. therefore you were forced to fully submerge yourself in this ice bath which is said to maintain a 20-30 degree temperature, and swim underwater to reach the other side. i was in and out as fast as humanly possible.



struggle faces

once my body regained feeling, we were hit with another obstacle. followed by a number of others. there were about 3 which required you to fly over a wooden wall. a few more that were nothing but bodies of muddy water to cross. another that required you to rope climb up and over the great wall of china, called balls to the wall (who comes up with these names?!), and the funky monkey which was a row of never ending monkey bars. if you fell from these monkey bars you dropped into a giant pool of green who knows what. falling was not an option. so i pulled out my elementary school monkey-bar-swinging talents and sailed across those bars.

other obstacles entailed running up a skatepark ramp without skates. i'm 5'3 and 1/2. (gotta count that 1/2). i was certain i was not going to make this one. but with a little help, i did and i'm still not sure how. 



then there was the mud mile. i enjoyed the mud mile. it was a stretch of mounds of mud in-between pools of muddy water. you had to trek through the muddy water then climb a slippery and muddy mound up and over to another pool of muddy water and repeat the process.  i attempted to help as this was an obstacle requiring help, but pulling up boys that are twice my size in slippery mud is quite the difficult task. i let the boys handle this one and patiently waited for david on top of each mound. while waiting, i found myself just playing in puddles of mud. i didn't have a care in the world. i was just enjoying that muddy and very messy moment. it was wonderful.


and last, but certainly not least was the electric shock therapy. 10,000 volts just hanging there waiting for you to run through. as soon as i saw david go down, i went down. electric shock therapy really shocks. the shocks weren't painful, but they were not pleasant. the shock-factor (hah, see what i did there ;) ) didn't help either. it's not exactly a feeling you can prepare for. it just happens. we crawled our way out of the last obstacle and successfully finished the race.



whether you attempt this with a team or not, you will not be alone. the camaraderie was pretty incredible. everyone helps one another out and it is much needed. even so, i couldn't have asked for a better teammate. 

i psyched myself out for this. i didn't train. i would like to consider myself an in-shape person, but i couldn't tell ya the last time i ran over 4 miles. all in all, it wasn't as bad as i thought. i expected much worse. the obstacles are difficult but make the running and distance easier. it wasn't a walk in the park and i came out a muddy mess, but it was all worth it and i'm looking forward to the next one. 

hope you enjoy our muddiful pictures below :)
















commemorative t-shirts
before the mudd-fest ensued


to sign up for your toughmudder click below:

life is made up of marble and mud.

nathanial hawthorne