Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just Listen

One of my favorite teachers was my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Mijares. She taught me the difference between hearing someone and listening to someone. My dear friends, I wish she could have impacted every other person on this planet the way she impacted me.

It's so easy for us to hear someone, to hear his/her rants, excuses, problems, etc. But do we listen? Listening doesn't just involve your ears; it means using your heart. Listening means to pay attention to what that person's heart is trying to tell your heart. Listening means to empathize with that person, to put your own issues apart and to put yourself in that person's shoes (if even for a moment).

Listening? It means caring, like truly caring for that person who's sharing a piece of his heart with you. It means to stop whatever you're doing at that moment, look him in the eyes, and try to understand. Just try to understand what he's expressing.

Sure, it more often than not sounds like ranting, but maybe, just maybe, all he wants is for someone to care enough to listen. You don't have to say anything or do anything, just listen.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Young Girl

Dear young girl,
If only you knew how much you are worth.
You are worth so much more than the "moon and the skies,"
so much more than "Let me buy you a drink."

Oh, young girl, 
give yourself the time of day;
tell yourself you're worth it.
You're worth more than you can ever imagine.

If only you'd understand
there's someONE greater out there,
someONE who loves you,
someONE who will give His life for you.

Oh, wait.
He already did.
He died on the cross for you,
fell to his knees for you.

Oh, young girl,
there's so much more to you than
"You're beautiful."
So much more to you than being "sexy."

Young girl,
can't you see?
You're worth more than anything,
more than anything to Him!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nom Nom! Cookies! Nom Nom!

Ladies and gents, it's that time of year again. It's baking season!

One of my favorite things to do in December is baking. The other is getting to play Christmas music on my guitar. :) And of course, reading Dr. Seuss books in bed right before I fall asleep.

Anywho, it's baking season. My Vera Bradley apron is ready to get sticky, floury (is that even a word?), and downright smelly (in a good way, like cinnamon and sugar kind of smelly). I already sent two of my elves out with banana muffins and snickerdoodles which were apparently devoured by the villages of their offices. I'll have to make more for them.

On Wednesday, my baking will be out of control. I will have the house to myself for almost the whole day, I hope, and I will be baking:

  • gingerbread men and women
  • sugar cookies, old-fashioned
  • more snickerdoodles, and
  • CAKE BALLS!!!!
I found a bunch of different recipes that I really want to try, and I'm sure that on Thursday, I'll be trying some other baked goods. Hopefully, I can get my camera to function properly so I can post pictures of all the deliciousness that will be coming out of the kitchen.

Dolce far niente except baking! :D


PS#1: I really want to try making these someday soon, maybe for my birthday...

PS#2: I'm starting to sell my baked goods at a very reasonable price, so if you're interested, leave me a comment with your email address, and I will get back to ya asap. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Bestie Day!

Ladies and gentleman, it's that time of year again. It's Bestie Day!

Do you have a bestie? You know, that person you can call at whatever time of day (or night) and know that no matter what's going on, they'll make you feel better? Well, thankfully, I have two besties.

My bestie, Suri, is the sweetest, most fun-loving, inspiring, humble, and dedicated person I've ever met. I am honored to have her in my life. Despite the fact that we hardly see each other, we're still good friends. We understand the other's heart, and we support each other, always.

Suri, you've been in my life since 2005, and we've been besties since those first exciting days of high school. Thank you for all the fun memories. Thank you for being the sister I've grown to love, respect, and truly cherish.

I <3 you, bestie!

My second bestie, Thomas, is also the love of my life. It's been almost two years since he asked me to be his girlfriend, and every single day has been an honor and a blessing. I have grown to love him more and more each day, and I honestly hope to spend the rest of my life with him. He is the only person who can make my tears of fear, hopelessness, and frustration turn into tears of uncontrollable, tummy-aching laughter in the matter of a few minutes (quite the miracle worker, I'd say). 
Thomas, these past two years have gone by so quickly, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you for becoming more than a boyfriend. Thank you for becoming my family and my best friend. Thank you for all the little things you do to make every day a little better. Thank you for wiping my tears, for giving me the strongest hugs, and for holding my hand through everything (good and bad). 
Thanks for saving the turtle from getting run over. :)

I love the times you dance with me in the most random places, no music, just you and I. :)

Your silly faces make life so much more fun. <3

I love you more than you'll ever know.

If you have a bestie (aka: a friend who's impacted your life in a huge way), give them a little lovin' today. Be it by sending them a thank-you note/text/e-mail/whatever or by honoring them in the best way you know how (ex:making silly faces all day long).


Monday, December 5, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It seems to me that Christmas has become all about gifts for most people, so it's always humbling when I remember the real meaning of Christmas: the birth of our Lord Jesus. 

I have never been to particularly fond of Christmas. I just never felt quite there. I guess Christmas, in my family, was nothing more than another gift exchange. Later on in my life, as I celebrated with other families, I simply felt like the poor stranger invited for dinner, so I hope you can sort of imagine how Christmas became my least favorite holiday of the year.

Thankfully, life changes, and so do our points of view. This year, I'm giving Christmas a second chance (again), and I'm celebrating with the people I've grown to love most. 

Our tree is up and decorated (and I even snuck in my own ornament), and Pandora is set to play Bing Crosby's holiday songs. The stockings are waiting to be filled, my santa hat is waiting for Christmas Eve, and there is plenty of hot cocoa in the pantry (right next to the marshmallows).

For the first time in my life, I am actually excited to celebrate Christmas. After all, it's not how you celebrate but with whom you celebrate that really matters most.

This year, I will be celebrating Jesus' birthday with Thomas and his family. I will be a part of a tradition that is all-new to me, and I can't wait to start taking it all in. 

And....since it's not officially Christmas season, for now I will leave you with a "Happy Advent!"