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Alabama roadtrip!

On Sunday, Ryan and I left early at 8am to leave for Alabama to go visit our best friend Beth!

She sent us directions, she altered them a little from Map Quest so that it would take us around some of the bad parts of Memphis (I told Ryan that was a good thing because i decided not to be “packin” on this trip haha) so we had those printed off and Lee the Australian Garmin in hand and were on our way!

*These were the itty bitty directions we had to work with, so needless to say we delt more with Lee the Australian voice of my Garmin 🙂

To otherwise equip ourselves for the ride, Ryan created over 9 hours of mix cds for us to work with! These cd’s were the BEST! They had Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Glee, etc. It was Fantastic! 🙂

8 hours later we arrived in Alabama to see our best friend! We were in the house and met her grandparents then were back in the car the take a very quick stroll around the area to show us around. We did very quick drive through tours because Zach was gonna be off work the next day to take us through most of the Downtown area. We got to see where Beth works, quick overview of the high parts of downtown, see the location where Beth and Zach’s wedding will be held, along with the reception area, etc.  Then we came back to the house to chill and just talk which was the best part 🙂

The next morning Zach arrived early, Beth’s grandma made homemade biscuits and gravy, and we headed on our way for sightseeing!  It was too early for lunch, so instead we visited the Vulcan statue first!

Vulcan is pretty cool, he is a Bronze statue that was created over 100 years ago and overlooks the entire city of Birmingham, Alabama!  It was finally taken down and restored a few years ago to it’s original condition. We walked from the car (well I crutched lol) to the first layer that overlooked the city.

* This was the view from the first layer overlooking Homewood (an outer city of Birmingham) and Birmingham.

* This is Vulcan! Zach said that people say Vulcan is mooning Homewood because it looks like he is bare-butt lol.

* This is Zach and Beth reading a sign that shows the industrial buildings of Birmingham in the skyline.

After we did this, then we went up into Vulcan (through the elevator of course since I’m on crutches, and Beth went by stairs once and said she about died lol).

*As we were up at the top, this was the view of the parking lot.


* This is the city as we look from the top.

After we came back down from the statue, we went into the museum that was included within the park.

* This was just the very beginning of the museum tour.  It was a nice little museum that talked about the mining towns that gave each Alabama city their names, the history of Birmingham, the civil rights history, etc.

After our visit to Vulcan, we drove around Birmingham and got a glimpse of the lives that Beth and Zach will lead together as they enter a new phase in their lives…marriage 🙂

That night when we returned we were fed dinner that Beth’s grandma had made… it was…wait for it…. HOMEMADE chicken and dumplins…that’s right people, be jealous, it was amazing!

Then Zach had to go to EMT class and while he was gone, Beth drove us to Sumiton to visit Zach’s mom and that was amazing in itself! Such a wonderful family with great personalities that made us feel right at home.

Then: Me, Ryan, Beth and Zach played monopoly for 3 hours where emotions were high, stakes were raised, people lost their properties, traded, and ended the night exhausted! 🙂

Beth and I again talked ourselves to sleep and it was the perfect end to such a wonderful day.

The next day we got up early once again and left by 8 to begin our journey home.  It wasn’t as hard to leave as I thought it would be because I knew that I would see Beth soon once again in a little over a week, but it still left me with a wondering if we could have just stole her away and brought her with us 🙂

Thanks Beth and your family for such a fantastic tour of what your life is like now. I know you are in wonderful hands, in a wonderful place, surrounded by wonderful people.  God has truly blessed your life and mine for you being in it!

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Something new!

So my friend Jon C. introduced me to a new website!

Stumbleupon.com

COOLEST website EVER!

 

It is for all us random bored people 🙂  You sign up for it (can easily be done connected through facebook) and then you check off all the areas you are interested in (art, types of music, activities, jobs, history, etc.) and it pops up random items, websites, videos, etc that are connected to what you are interested in! It is truly awesome! Each thing you “stumble upon” gives you an option to like it or not and if you don’t like it then it won’t show any more items like it to you.

 

It is totally cool! While i was stumbling upon items today I found this awesome quote by Bob Marley that totally fits who I am and may explain me better to guys out there 🙂

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect– you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break–her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”

— Bob Marley… wise words

It basically tells one to live in the moment, accept people for who they are, never change somebody or ask them to be something they are not, accept people for who they are at that point in time in their lives.

 

Definitely gives one something to think about… and it also makes me realize I’m lovin this StumbleUpon website because it gives me opportunities to learn more about the things I enjoy, which this just happened to be under my interest in Quotes 🙂

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So I have been out of the blog mood for a month or so! I know, I know! Shame on me! But it creates that mystery of “Oh! when is she going to write another post”, or not… but if not then just let me think the first one 😀

So this has been a crazy month! Classes have once again began and the Spring Semester is on its way… I am greeted by presentations, lectures, reports, and projects. Oh gee the joys of becoming a teacher!  I do enjoy all my professors this semester for once! You can tell they genuinely care about our well being and they want to whip us into the best teachers we can possibly be and I respect that 🙂

In  another area, my best friend Beth is getting married in June and I am the c0-mo (in awesome movie words).  Being the co-mo, it is my duty to put together a shower for my best friend. No not a water shower, a wedding shower! 🙂 This has been interesting since she lives in another state and I have no idea when she will be visiting next (note to Beth: I need to know! lol) so I have no idea when to plan the shower for in the first place :/.  Me and the other bridesmaids have been working together look for suitable places for this wedding shower and think we have come across a couple goodies! More investigation will follow though 🙂

Also, this Thursday marks the day that my cousins depart to Vegas for their anniversary and I am left with their 3 kids (Josh-14, Sydney-12, Jackson-11).  This outta be an interesting weekend! I am their full-time babysitter so it won’t be a big deal, but I’ve never had all 3 of them for this amount of time before! Lots of ping-pong, watching tv, going to baseball practices, horse barn, and who knows what else is in store for me! Also, mom and dad you will appreciate this, they happen to be great birth control LOL!

Well this is enough updating for the time being!

Love and Hugs!

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Hope

I was watching the movie Freedom Writers last night… I hadn’t watched it in awhile and had a completely new perspective on it…

 

It is a source that completely reiterates the reason as to why I want to be a teacher.  The faculty within that movie didn’t believe in their students therefore the students did not believe in their own abilities which led to other people being able to corrupt those kids because they had no self worth or hope for a better future for themselves.

 

Miep Gies, the brave woman who helped shelter Anne Frank and her family during the Holocaust had a quote within the movie that was perfect:

“But even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room”
– Miep Gies…

 

It begins with one individual… that individual can turn on the light of change that may soon be felt by other individuals in the same situation all around the world.

It has happened before, who says that it cannot happen now?

As teachers we have the ability to plant the seed of hope within a child’s heart that builds the realization that they are worthwhile, loved, cared for and about, and that they have the ability to reach for the stars and achieve their innermost dreams.

As a teacher, if the only word of wisdom that a child walking out of my room leaves with is hope, then at least we have given them the one word that can open the door to endless possibilities. 

Being a teacher is about giving all children the abilities to succeed in the outside world to the utmost of their abilities; a hope for a better tomorrow.

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I get a little stronger…

Lately I’ve been really inspired by the song by Sara Evans “I get a little bit stronger.”

It has really struck a chord with me… I guess songs in general lately have really hit a weak chord in me…

To understand where I’m coming from, my Uncle Jackie passed away a year ago last September 13… The day after he passed away the song “Cryin for me” by Toby Keith started playing on the radio (Toby Keith has alot of the same characteristics as my uncle had) and this song spoke to my family and I… more than words could ever express. Then on this past September 13th the song “If I die young” by The Band Perry started playing on the radio.  I know he’s trying to reassure us (our family) that he is still with us and that he is still making sure we are ok like he always did.  These past few weeks these two songs have been playing simultaneously on the radio ALL THE TIME.  It’s often overwhelming and I’ve had moments where I just break down while driving in the car or anywhere I hear these songs.

Well now there’s another song.  “A little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans and this one has struck every chord in my body.  It’s come at a time where I feel lost… for about a month now my emotions have sky rocketed up and down like a roller coaster and I’m in the process of trying to figure out why, and so far I have just come up with that it is not just one thing… it is many things.  But these “things” are not of the nature that I can just change them, they are just experiences in my life where I have to learn to use these moments and add them to the foundation upon which I stand.  These experiences add depth within life and they make you “stronger” if you let them.  I think lately I’ve just been letting these empty feelings overwhelm me and take control when really I need to take hold of them and learn from them, then move forward.  If I do this then I too, will continue to get stronger ever minute, every hour, every day of my life.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that I guess we all go through these rough patches.  Never doubt your abilities to climb over the obstacles in your way.

When you reach an obstacle just remember:

“I know my heart will never be the same
But I’m telling myself I’ll be okay
Even on my weakest days
I get a little bit stronger”

Thank you Sara Evans 🙂

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Challenge 22

Favorite Vacation

My favorite vacation of all time was Orlando, FL my junior year of High School for DECA Nationals… The trip cost next to nothing, got to compete at the national level in marketing which is something I love, spend time with friends, and finally see the ocean for the first time in my life with my best friend, Beth.

This is Beth and I at the beach in Daytona, FL! One of my favorite pictures EVER! 😀

This was the resort that we got to stay in! While we were there, Earth, Wind and Fire also played a concert at the pool for a huge Enterprise Car Rental executives party.  This resort was awesome! I had to spend alot of time here so I’m glad it was as amazing as it was… On this trip I got really stressed, which when I get stressed I get sick, and therefore I became sick for the entire trip… I visited the Market that was in the bottom floor along with the Baskin Robbins which has these awesome smoothie things that made me feel better.  The only bad part of this resort was that nothing… and I mean NOTHING was within walking distance.  You had to take a shuttle somewhere or walk 5 miles, but due to this Beth and I found the most AMAZING pizza that got delivered to us 😀

These were what our rooms looked like, and if I remember correctly, Beth and I were in the bed nearest to the window.

This was my very first look at the ocean… It was one of the most amazing moments of my life.  I cannot wait to return to this place.  Along Daytona Beach they had a pier and that is where Beth and I got our henna tattoos and we went shopping in the little hole in the wall shops along the beach.

I think the reason I loved this vacation so much was that it was the last time in my life where I remember feeling safe, happy, at ease, and not having to worry about the car wreck that almost killed me a week after we arrived back home.  Granted, we recently settled my car wreck case, but after 3 years of worry its hard to forget, and in reality it is something I will never forget as much as I’d like to some days.

All of these experiences, grouped into one, have easily placed this vacation at the top of my list… Life changing, forever memorable, and all spent with my best friend. 🙂

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Challenge 19

Nicknames!

Ok, so this is a pretty fun post! I have had many nicknames throughout my life, it is, after all, what happens when most people do not know how to pronounce your last name… sad…but true… 🙂

 

Most of the people in my life call me Rache or Rach (however you want to spell it).  It has been my nickname for my of my life 🙂 I like it!

During high school, I gave several nicknames for some of our softball players and they thought they would give me one back… So my nickname for softball was… Hoagie… yes, like the bun… awesome… lol! It could have been worse 🙂

My family, however, have their own little nicknames for me.  Mom calls me her babygirl, uses my full name Rachel Suzanne when she’s angry, and she’ll throw in a few others amid conversations. My daddy, well he’s special, he used to call me Wort when I was little (we watched that movie Sword and the Stone together all the time so he would just proceed to call me Wort lol). My grandma calls me Punkin, my cousin Bruce calls me Munchkin (always has and always will… I don’t mind I like it 🙂 ) and then my late Uncle Jackie called me Suzy Jr (Mom was Suzy Q and so I was the Jr.)

Other than that, I believe those are all my nicknames, other than the few that just get thrown in there on an occasional basis 🙂

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Challenge 18

“Something you Regret”

I can honestly say I wake up every morning without a regret… Every experience that I have had in my life has made me who I am today.  I am very proud of who I am today, and for the most part I know that I am some one that my parents can be proud of as well… You must make mistakes in life to realize how to be the best person you can be.  If we do not make those mistakes then we will never realize that we are able to better ourselves, and the thought of always being complacent is a hard thing to grasp for me, because I want my life to be lived to its utmost potential.

Plus, having those… uhum… “experiences” that you may not want to discuss ever again, lead to good stories, many laughs, and the realization to your future children that you are not perfect and that everybody makes mistakes, but it is how you move on from those mistakes that make you the person you are.

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Challenge 17

Challenge 17- Something I’m looking forward to

There are several things that I am looking forward to in my life, some just around the corner, and some farther away, but all-in-all equally excited for them!

1. Thanksgiving- for many reasons this is something I’m looking forward to!  Great food that I get to help cook with my grandma, wonderful time spent with my family which doesn’t happen enough, and getting to wake up and watch the Thanksgiving Day parade with my momma 🙂

2. Next semester- I know school is not something people normally look forward to, but next semester i’ll be starting my methods classes, which are the next step right before I student teach… These classes are one-on-one support for you to become the best teacher you could possibly be. They try to prepare you for every situation (although impossible) and give you all the tools you need to get through your first day as a new teacher.  I am finally, slowly but surely, getting closer to teaching, which is my ultimate desire.

3. Monday!- OK, this Monday my best friend from High School is coming into town so see family and friends for Thanksgiving! I haven’t gotten to see her since she moved to Alabama, but we do try to keep in touch through our blogs! Tuesday we will be trying on dresses for her wedding; I know I will be crying because it’s just a cementing to the fact she won’t always be around, but someday I’ll get to have that wedding too 🙂 I’m just lucky I get to be apart of hers 🙂 Love you, Beth…

4. Someday having that special someone in my life- I look forward to someday be blessed with the man for me and I know that God will put him in my life when the time is right. Until then, I am happy with who I am, where my life is, and where my life is headed. I am content. I am independent, and I can live without a man, but will be excited to have that special person in my life that makes the wild and crazy roller coaster of life worth riding.

5.  Having a family and a place to call home of my own ’nuff said… I’m gonna be a teacher, so I love kids and someday will be so happy to have kids in my life to watch grow, prosper and become the best they can be, and having a home of my own is something I’ve always wanted (I mean I live in my grandparents house that I’ve gotten to decorate, but it’s just not quite the same).

6. The day I get to see my Uncle Jackie again… not that I want it to be soon (sorry Uncle Jackie lol), because I feel I have a lot to accomplish with my time left on Earth, but that day that get to walk through heaven’s gates and see God and my Uncle standing there, waiting for me, and walking me in… that day will be amazing… someday of course 🙂

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Challenge 13

Challenge 13: Goals, stepping stones to life’s journey

Goals are important.  They must be attainable, realistic, and timely. They help you accomplish tasks in everyday life and help to prepare you for the future.

I, for one, have many goals for my life:

– sometimes I just want to get through the day, the week, and get to the weekend (everyone has those days, weeks, months, heck some of us just have a bad year).

– Graduate College.  This is an aspect of my family’s life that is very important… almost something that you are expected to do. It also is the gate opener to the career that I am so excited and privileged to be working towards (being an elementary school teacher!) 🙂

– Find a man that will love me, care for me, worry about me, listen to me, and not let me get away with my orneriness 🙂 I dream of being respected and loved for the person that I am and not for the person somebody hopes they can change me into.

– Raise a wonderful family with good values, respect, and love for those in their lives.

– To let young children that I teach know that they are loved, they are wanted, and that they can make a difference no matter what their background or socioeconomic status, they just need to have hope and work hard.

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