Friday, July 30, 2010

One year later

It's hard to believe, but I've been blogging for a year already! I signed up for blogger on July 31, 2009, and I made my first official post on August 3. I actually kept my blog to myself for the first month because I couldn't believe I was actually doing it! I slowly started letting people know about it, and things just went from there.

It's now one year later, and I've made about 160 posts. I've written about a wide variety of things, some more serious than others, so that I can let people know who I am and how I've gotten to be where I am in my life. Sometimes I worry that people might think I sound really dumb, but I do my best to write well. I've enjoyed blogging much more than I ever thought I would, and that just makes me wonder what sorts of other things I'll do in the future that I never anticipated either liking or doing.

I've been copying and pasting each post to a Word document all year, and now I'm going to upload the document to the FedEx store so that they can print it out (pictures and all), bind it and send it to me. It's going to be pretty expensive, but any expense will be worth it to me so that I can have a hardcover copy of all my posts through the past year. This is just another way to help me document my life, which is something that I'm very passionate about.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The evidence

Over the past year I've written a lot of blog posts about the car accident that changed my life. I thought people might be interested in seeing a few pictures of my car after the accident. I can't exactly remember why, but my mom asked one of our family friends to go to the impound lot to take a few pictures of my car. I'm so glad that she did because these pictures are priceless to me. I still have so many unanswered questions about everything that happened in my accident since I don't remember anything about it. I love that these pictures give me a glimpse into what happened and the extent of the damage.

Here are a few pictures:
In the picture above you can see just how smashed the car was on the driver's side. I try to imagine my body sitting in the driver's seat and what must've happened to it when I was hit. The thing I like most about these pictures is that I can show them to people and say, "I survived this!"

My car might not have been mauled as severely as some, but I still find the pictures sobering to look at. It's truly miraculous that I survived.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Visit from the Burton family

This past weekend we had a visit from the Burton family, one of our dear family friends. Our family got acquainted with the Burton family through church in the early 90's and have remained good friends with them even though they moved back to Utah in 1998. My mom and Janet still talk on the phone each month to keep in touch.

They came to church with us on Sunday to see how it has changed in the years since they've lived here. Then they came over for dinner after church and we spent several hours talking, playing games and reminiscing about old times.

We took some pictures:
Mom and Janet, and Dirk and Janet: 
The Burton Family (fortunately I was able to get one serious picture!):
It's nice to know that although the years go by, some people never change!

Monday, July 26, 2010

My first pool party

This past weekend I did something that I've never done before... I went to a pool party. It's about time since I'm 26 years old! However, I've never known how to swim, and the idea of being in deep water is terrifying to me! Even though pools and swimming seem like a fun way to spend a hot afternoon, it's something I've never done.

Anyway, I went to my friend Javier's pool party on Saturday. He lives in a huge house that has a really nice backyard/pool area. The pool is absolutely gigantic, and there's lots of area around the pool to sit and hang out. The temperature got up to 100° on Saturday, and the heat index was close to 110°! The water looked so tempting and I actually wished I could've taken a dip!

I had a great time and I want to do it again sometime soon. Although, I do have to be perfectly honest about one thing. As fun as the party was, I have to admit that I felt a twinge of jealousy that I had to just sit on the sidelines and not be a part of the action. I feel this way a lot, especially when I hear about and see pictures of all the fun things my friends do. I'm envious that I can't be a normal young adult who participates in all of the fun and spontaneous activities that go on. Sometimes it would just be nice to be a normal girl for a day!

Here are some pictures from the pool party:

Me as the on-duty lifeguard (thankfully no one needed my services!):
The pool: (This picture only shows half of the pool, and it goes on for about this long the other way.)

Hillarie and me: Hillarie, Chandra and me:
Channie and me: (we were getting really hot and were starting to melt by this time!)
Javier and Annie: (Thanks for letting us come to your place, Javier!)

What a fun way to spend such a miserably hot afternoon! (Although I love the heat, just not the humidity!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hard to decide

I got a notification today that the blog background I've been using for months will no longer be available after Friday, so I've spent the past two hours looking for a new background. It's always so hard for me to decide things like this because I have certain expectations about what I want for my blog. I feel like presentation is everything, and I want perfection! I'm not fully satisfied with this background, but it will have to do! (I'm just glad that I'm not picking paint colors for my house or something like that!)

Looking for a good book?

My mom and I recently finished reading a book that we thought was amazing. It's called The Same Kind of Different As Me. Here's a short synopsis of the book: "It is the true story of an unlikely friendship and love between two men and the woman that brought them together. It is a touching story of faith and compassion that transcends race and cultural boundaries."

I really want to do this book for my book club, but my library doesn't have the book and I never choose books where people have to buy them. Hopefully we can do it in the future because it was so good and it would lend itself well for a great discussion. I highly recommend this book for book clubs or for anyone who likes good literature.

For more information on the book, or to watch a short video about it, click on the link below:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

10 years ago

I can't help but do a little more talking about movie theaters because I love them so much!

When I was at the movies with my friend Lacee yesterday, feelings of déjà vu struck me as soon as I rolled through the doors and smelled the popcorn. It was 10 years ago that I started working at that very theater. Although different movies are showing and a new crop of employees are working, the feelings I get from being there are exactly the same. I could just picture myself being the one selling popcorn behind the concession stand, or cleaning up after the movie or selling tickets in the box office.

I truly loved that job and the experiences I had there. I have such fond memories of my 3 1/2 years at the movie theater and it's always good to be back. Although, I haven't always felt this way. After my accident it took me several years before I had the desire to go out in public, and even longer to have the desire to go back to my old theater. I'm glad I've gotten over those feelings because it's fun to go back, and I enjoy taking my friends who didn't know me before my accident there so that they can have a glimpse of what my working life was like.

Here are a few pictures from my theater days. The second picture isn't very good, but I wanted to include it anyway. (My friend Lacee that I wrote about in this post worked with me at the movie theater and we are shown in the third picture.) e

Movie #16

Yesterday afternoon my friend Lacee and I went to the movies and we saw The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Like any movie, I thought it had the potential to be really good or really bad. However, I'm happy I can report that I really liked it! I'd say that this movie is a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure. My friend Lacee didn't like it as well as I did and I'm sure there's going to be a lot of people that don't like it, but I'm not really that hard to please when it comes to movies.

There are so many movies that appeal to me, and I'm trying to keep ahead of them, but there are still several movies that have come out this summer that I still have yet to see. The Karate Kid, Prince of Persia, Toy Story 3 and The Last Airbender are the ones that I can think of, but I'm sure that there are probably more that I'm forgetting.

16 down and only nine to go!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Movie #15

Last Christmas when I went to see Sherlock Holmes with my sisters Sharon and Chandra I saw a preview for a movie called Inception that was scheduled to come out in the summer of 2010. As soon as I saw the movie trailer I was intrigued and each time I went to the movies and saw the trailer again I became more and more excited for this movie.

Inception finally came out yesterday, and I couldn't wait to see it. Unfortunately, my sister Chandra (who I always go to the movies with) was scheduled to work today. I didn't think I could wait an entire week to see the movie, so I asked my friend Nate if he would take me to the movie. I didn't have to twist his arm because he also thought this movie looked like a potential winner, so he came down this afternoon and picked me up and took me to the movies. He was a little nervous to take me out by himself since he isn't one of my formally trained caregivers. He said something like, "I am a doctor, but I'm not the kind of doctor that would know how to help you!" (He's an orthodontist.) However, he knows enough about me and my care, so I told him that I felt comfortable with him and that everything would be fine. (And it was.)

I thought this movie looked like it had major potential to be good, and I wasn't disappointed! (I was fearing that I'd leave the movie disappointed and/or horribly confused.) The movie was so interesting and even though it was confusing, I'm pretty sure that I understood the concept when it was over. (Although, as soon as we left the movie I told Nate, "I think I need to see it again!" There was a lot to understand, so I'm looking forward to seeing it again on DVD.

Anyway, I'm so glad that I didn't have to wait long to see this movie. 15 down and 10 to go!

Friday, July 16, 2010

New favorites

Just like in my last post, I've found something new that I want to tell others about. I love desserts, candy and any thing sweet, that's no secret. A few months ago I saw a new kind of M&Ms at the store -- pretzel M&Ms. I decided to give them a try and I loved them! They're a perfect mixture of salty and sweet and I just love them. They join my favorite kinds of M&Ms which are peanut and peanut butter. So good! My other new find is Sweet and Sour Filled Twizzlers. Two different flavors come in each package (cherry and lemon) and I have a hard time deciding which one I like better. I definitely recommend both of these new treats!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grow Luscious Mascara by Revlon

Whenever I find something that I really like, I like to pass the word on to anyone and everyone so that they can enjoy it too. I've rarely worn mascara in the six years since my accident, not because I don't need the enhancement on my lashes, but because it's really hard to get off and I started thinking, "Why bother?" Well, about a month ago my younger sister Chandra told me about a new mascara that she'd recently bought that she'd just loved. I decided to give it a go, and I loved it as well!

First of all, it's not waterproof, so it comes off much easier. I've always been afraid to try mascara that's not waterproof, because I don't want it to wear off throughout the day giving me the dreaded "raccoon eyes" look, especially since I don't see many mirrors throughout the day, and I don't always know if/when my eyes might need attention.

The other reason I love this mascara is because it goes on so smoothly, and it doesn't clump up as much as some other brands of mascara that I've tried in the past. (And I've tried a lot because I always wore mascara when I was a teenager.)

Anyway, if you're looking for a new kind of mascara that works well, I definitely give Grow Luscious by Revlon my stamp of approval! (I bought mine at Target and it was around $7 or $8.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dinner with Javier

My friend Javier came over on Sunday evening to fix dinner for my mom, Chandra and me. It was so sweet of him to bring everything and to take care of making dinner all by himself. Javier is from Nicaragua and he made Mexican tacos. We had so much fun visiting and eating -- it was a great evening. Here are some pictures from last night:

Movie #14

On Saturday afternoon my younger sister Chandra and I went out to lunch and to the movies with our friends Javier and Nate. We ate lunch at Pizza Hut (it's been a long time since I've actually dined in at Pizza Hut instead of having it delivered.) The restaurant was mostly empty and we had a nice time eating and talking. After lunch we went to the movies and saw Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. This was an action/comedy flick, and it was really funny. We all enjoyed it even though it wasn't the best movie ever. I think there's something about watching a movie with friends and hearing each other laugh that makes any move better. It was a fun afternoon and I'm glad that I could knock another movie off my list. 14 down and 11 to go!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Celebrating the Fourth

This past Sunday was the Fourth of July, and it was such a nice, relaxing day! I started the day by going to church like I do every Sunday. Church was especially uplifting and I really enjoyed it. I asked my mom if she would make homemade waffles for dinner. We had fresh strawberries and blueberries as well as and some homemade whipped cream so that we could have "red, white and blue" waffles. My favorite way to have waffles is with peanut butter and syrup, but that has a lot of calories, so I settled on having one with peanut butter and syrup, and one with berries and cream. (Both were good, but the peanut butter waffle tasted far better than the one with fruit.... imagine that!)

My friend Nate joined us for dinner, which was fun since he is such a dear friend of our family. He actually came over for dinner on Saturday and Sunday, and on Saturday I was telling him that I really wanted to see some fireworks, but I didn't want to go to the hassle of going downtown to the St. Louis Arch because I didn't know where to go and how accessible it would be. It would've been really disappointing to go to the trouble of going downtown, but then not being able to actually get where I would need to go to actually enjoy the fireworks. And I wouldn't want to ruin anyone else's time, either. However, on Sunday Nate persuaded me to go see the fireworks in Arnold. (Arnold is a small town about 10 minutes away, so I decided to try it.) I actually would've been content to just sit outside, but I decided to be adventurous and do something a bit spontaneous.

My mom, Chandra, Nate and I went to Arnold and we saw the fireworks that the city of Arnold set off. The fireworks must've started earlier than they were supposed to, but we were still able to watch for about 10 minutes, and we actually saw some impressive ones (considering Arnold is a small town). On our way home we decided to pull over into a subdivision where we had a pretty good view of some other fireworks. It was fun, and I'm glad that I could celebrate by watching some fireworks.

Here are some pictures from the Fourth of July:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Movies #12 and #13

This past weekend I was able to add two more movies to the growing list of movies that I've seen this year. I'm doing pretty well in my pursuit to see 25 movies in the theater this year, although it seems like so many times when I plan a trip to the movies, something that inevitably happens that prevents me from going. This time I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the movies without incident!

The first movie I saw was The A-Team. This movie is based on the TV show from the 1980's. The TV show was a little before my time (or at least, I never watched it), but I was excited to see it anyway. The movie was actually pretty good (I thought it could go either way), although I wish it didn't have so much language in it. The dialogue wasn't too cheesy, and there were some pretty funny parts.

The second movie I saw was Eclipse. I wanted to see this movie since I've read all of the Twilight books, although I have to confess that I'm not "crazy" about them like so many people are. I frequently get annoyed in the books when I come across cheesy and unnatural dialogue -- that sort of thing always makes me cringe and can ruin a book for me. Anyway, this movie was pretty good and definitely better than the very first Twilight movie. I thought Eclipse was on the same par as New Moon (which was pretty good, all things considering).

I always enjoy my trips to the movies, especially when the movies are enjoyable. I'm over the halfway mark... 13 down and 12 to go!

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