Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Blog moved to wordpress...

Spring Cleaning... Unavoidable this year

I have had A LOT on my mind lately, and now that my escape button on my keyboard to paradise doesn't work anymore, I am having to come back to reality.  I figure the best way to deal with the stress that has been accumulating over the past few weeks is to list out everything that's on my mind. So, that is exactly what I am going to do.

#1. Paradise cannot last forever even if you close your eyes really tight and wish really hard. My trip to Cabo was AMAZING!  Too bad it couldn't have lasted another week. But, the fact is, I AM BACK and ready to get back on that bandwagon of making things happen and getting them done!
#2. Resumes should not be so stressful to edit. Get over yourself and make it happen! (Anyone AMAZING at helping people with resumes??)
#3. You cannot live out of boxes for the next 2 months even weeks, you will go CRAZY! Get off your lazy bum and unpack at least one box a day! That doesn't sound too bad, right?
#4. I know you are torn: should you clean your dirty new apartment since you have lived there long enough for dust to build up or should you unpack first?? The answer is BOTH! Take care of your kitchen, floors, bathroom and sinks and keep them clean.  Flylady.com says it best!  Clean your sink EVERY NIGHT... is it a wonderful way to put a smile on your face in the morning when your sink greets you in the morning.
#5 Studying shouldn't be that hard... I know you haven't really done it in two years, but suck it up! Once you get your apartment together, grab that book, put on a swimsuit and lay out in the evenings by the pool and study. Its a win/win situation!
#6 No, you cannot walk your cat even if it is the perfect evening to do so.
     a) she will not participate, in fact, will have nothing to do with a leash
     b) she is not a dog
     c) she will get mauled by other dogs
     d) she says "meow" not "bark"
     e) My Cat is NOT a Dog. My Cat is NOT a Dog. (Repeat 10 more times...)
     f) be a big girl and go on a walk by yourself... YOU CAN DO IT!
#7 You CAN lose the weight you gained in Cabo.  You will never know how much you gained if you don't get on that scale... -Step on it -Look at the number -Subtract the difference -Get on board and MAKE IT HAPPEN AGAIN!

Really? That's it? ...THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO DO to get what seemed like loads and loads of stress in my head and on my chest, and make it all disappear?? This shouldn't be too hard right? I will get this done in no time!

GOAL TO ACCOMPLISH THESE #7 STRESSORS (might have just made that word up... or just be a terrible speller): 2 Weeks!  MAY 3rd is my D-DAY to have all of this accomplished/in the process (studying for my teaching exam!) Now that I have told you all, I wont let you down!  WISH ME LUCK~

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blessed with a Smile...

You never know if the person you are sitting next to on a plane is going to be the next President of the United States, a famous singer, they might have just lost a precious family member; You never know if the person in front of you in line at Starbucks is going through a hard time, having the best day of their life, or just going about their daily routine and ordering a grande, non-fat, extra hot, Chai Tea Latte, X the water. (Okay, that last person might have been me...).

Every person has a story, MANY stories that you can't always read just by looking at them.  You never know what they are dealing with in their lives at that very moment you get the privilege, that precious short opportunity, to cross paths with them.  Sometimes, a smile can speak a thousand words, or a smile can even save a person's life. No real words, just a simple smile...

Often, I find myself trying to get in and get out of places with as little people contact as possible. I don't want to be bothered, and I want to avoid conversations at all costs. ...I understand, you might not always be in the mood to smile.  In fact, you would be weird if you did smile all the time (unless you are Buddy the Elf: "I love to smile, smiling is my favorite!").  But how many times has a person smiled at you when you are in one of these moods and it turn that frown upside down?  Just about every time for me (unless they are one of those annoying smiles that look like they are rubbing in the fact that they are having a better day than you).  I am talking about a real, genuine smile people!  This is a friendly reminder to smile more.  (Mostly for myself...) It's contagious, its exciting, heck, it just feels good~

I am a quote nut, so here are a few of my faves about smiling:

Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available.  ~Jim Beggs

Always remember to be happy because you never know who's falling in love with your smile.  ~Author Unknown (Oldie but goody!)

Everyone smiles in the same language.  ~Author Unknown

If you don't have a smile, I'll give you one of mine.  ~Author Unknown

I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.  ~Author Unknown

Have a blessed day full of smiles!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Love is the Music

Whenever I first started running, music was what helped my feet keep up with my brain.  I was addicted to the same soundtrack on my iPod, and would listen to it EVERY TIME I RAN! (13 going on 30) If I made it to a certain song, then I would always know how far I had run.  Anything past that song was bonus points!!  ( "I wanna dance with somebody" by Whitney Houston. I don't know what it was about that song, but it definitely made me want to dance while I was running...and I DID dance while I was running! I am sure I looked absolutely ridiculous running in my parents' neighborhood, LSU lakes, and Town lake in ATX just flailing my arms around like a dummy while jamming out to the song.) 

My First Capitol  10K (Yes, we are going back there again! I have a good reason... really)
I was so proud that I made it to the start line of my very first 10K and did not even think about what kept these big skis of mine moving: my iPod!  I had completely forgotten my iPod and did not think I could run the race without it!  How was I going to keep my drive and determination without my precious music??   This was the first day that I realized what my body really sounded like while I was running... I'm not going to lie, it was a little scary!  Heart beating at unknown speeds, air pumping through my lungs with my mind thinking I just couldn't get enough of that oh-so-precious Oxygen to keep myself going, body throbbing from my blood flowing through my body, and my mind in a new world of reality that I was not sure I wanted to be in. Things get a lot more realistic when you don't have music! ...I was not ready for that!

From then on, I have tried to make 50% of my runs without music.  I did not want to be in that state of shock again, and I wanted to learn to listen to my body. It is amazing how much more "in-tune" you can be with your body without music and just observing your surroundings.  Another reason I make myself run without music sometimes is due to the fact that some races forbid you to wear headphones for your own safety!

Okay, but lets be even more realistic: There is nothing like that feeling of running to your favorite jams, letting your mind go absolutely mindless and just let your body run with the wind... taking in the air, pushing yourself past your limits, and not freaking out because you can't really hear your body!  Music is the center of my world. Without it, I think I would not have feelings.  Seriously, there is so much passion, love, and meaning to music.  

I recently read a poem by Gregory J. P. Godek who put it best:

Love is the Music

Life is a song
Love is the music

Notes are the days
Phrases are the years

Forte is the summer
Piano is the winter
A crescendo is the spring
A diminuendo is the fall

Melody is your courage
Harmony is your faith

Rhythm is how the days unfold
Beat is the hands of time

The major key is joy
The minor key is sorrow

A solo is just one story
A chord is too many to count

But no matter what,
Life is still a song,
And love will always be the music...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Overcoming Hills and Learning "Drive"

Okay... I didn't mean... literally learning to drive, like in a car, but learning to find my DRIVE... what keeps me going, where my inspiration is, and how I got here...

Let's start today off with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along' . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

--I can relate this quote to MANY aspects of my life. i.e. At work... I have been calling random (at least to me) vendors that I do not know, and getting important information from them... I HATED CALLING PEOPLE I DID NOT KNOW!!! In fact, when I was a child, I would get another person in my family to order pizza, call for a phone number, etc!  This was one of my biggest childhood fears I never really dealt with, but always felt awkward and just avoided at all costs!!!  When the opportunity for this "job"/"challenge" came to my attention, I decided to take it... take it on with the idea, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.  The first phone call I ever made on my job (this is not a part of my job description, but I took it on to help another co-worker), I walked into an empty office... wrote down every word I was going to say, practiced it at LEAST 5 times, and then finally called the company.  I was not doing cold calling, but just getting important information for our company to have on file, and I was TERRIFIED!  THANK GOODNESS that every person I talked to in the first five phone calls was incredibly nice and easy to work with...

I continued this: empty office, practice 5 times, call unconfidently at least 10 times.  By the eleventh time, I decided I could go to my own desk and make these phone calls, still feeling a slight unease. BUT lo and behold... today I can call just about ANYONE and not have to practice 10 times. I feel more confident about it, which I hope shows in my tone of voice!! I guess where I am getting with this "side story" is that the more you practice, the easier it is. Sometimes you have to face your fears and know you can get past this, you can overcome this... you are strong!

So, let's talk about these hills I am referring to.  I am not referring to the metaphoric hills that probably most of you are thinking I am referring to... I am talking about LITERAL HILLS that you have to run up and overcome!  I used to absolutely despise hills and avoid them at all costs. (In Houston, especially the outskirts where I am from,  it is VERY VERY easy to avoid them!)  They are hard, they make you exhausted, they are DEFINITELY not fun, and you actually have to work harder to run up them... NO THANKS!

When I was at LSU, a friend of mine that I met at freshman orientation was a big runner ever since she was young.  She gave me a bit of advice that her father once gave her: With hills, let your legs do the work and keep your upper body relaxed! Ya right, I thought... I tried over and over and over and over with the little, tiny, miniature hills that Baton Rouge had when I used to run around the lakes there, and they just about hilled me! (I mean, killed me...)

Ugh, hills, sucked! There was no ifs, ands or buts about it!  Then I ran across another girl that I had the luxury of getting to know very well from UT and she told me she loved hills!!! I told her I thought she was crazy, but she didn't care. She told me she loved the drive, strength and feeling of overcoming each hill! That is what kept her going.  If you asked me at that time in my life (and I had already run a few ... maybe 3 half marathons) what I thought about hills, I would tell you that they absolutely sucked and they will never get easier.

...well, I lied.  So what changed?  I have no idea.  Maybe my determination, maybe that I have become more competitive with every race, the idea of letting myself down (slowing down and letting all of these people pass me) ... no, the fact is, I wont let myself down... so I push myself harder! Hills push me harder!

Let's rewind: Ft. Worth Cowtown Half Marathon

A harder half than any other half I have ever run. But, I always seem to get my best time with that race.  Why you ask? One word, hills.  ...Not just one, many, many, MANY long, hard, challenging HILLS! Whenever I reach hills, I tend to speed up. I don't know why, but I take each and every one on as a challenge.  Instead of stopping at the top of them, I just tell myself "I can recover once I am at the top, but I cannot stop until I am there".  Once I am there I say,"No you cannot stop or you will let yourself down with a slower time! You did not just do all of that work for nothing! Just slow down and catch your breath!"

So REALLY, WHAT CHANGED??? I'll tell you what changed:

#1 Improvement: Once I started seeing better results, I wanted to keep striving to be better than the last results.

#2 Competitiveness:  No, I am not competitive at all... haha Yeah right! No, but I will have to rewind you even FURTHER to the day before I was supposed to run my first marathon:

Location: Collina's
Meal: Lunner before my first half
Company: Dad, Brother, Husband, Father-in-law, Mother-in-law...aka JB, and Grandmother-in-law, DL)

JB: MG (my dad will be known as), I have to tell you this funny story that I heard at work.

Note: I am not putting this in quotes, because I am sure I am not saying it EXACTLY how JB said it, and it might be a tad subjective. BUT, this really did happen!!!

JB: I work with a few ladies in my running group, and they were talking about you the other day... (Referring to my dad)

Here's what they said!!!!

Ladies in JB's Running Group Talking:  Oh yes, that MG is a beast!  Did you know he can out-run his 24 year old daughter!?!?


No, absolutely not, I will not put up with this. (Although, at the time is was absolutely true)  I was not going to let older women talk about me not being able to out-run my father!! He was in way better shape than me, and I was challenged. Not that I was in bad shape, but my +50 year old father could out-run me!! Props to my father!!  He is such an amazing person, inside and out, and I hope to be in that great of shape when I am that age!  But me... HALF HIS AGE was out-runned by my father!

(Okay, okay, yes... I am competitive) JB was completely taken by surprise that I was not proud of my father but incredibly offended!!! haha...

I took this on as a challenge, I could not let this be the story that was gossiped around by people in my father's age group!!!  I had to match him or pass him!! NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS!

From then on, I have not let my father beat me... (Although, I think he secretly lets me beat him...)

...So yes, my competitiveness drives me.

So here is my "HOW TO" overcome hills while running and finding your drive so to speak:

#1. Relax the Upper Body
     -this is key when pushing yourself past your limits.  If you learn to breath normally, as if you were holding a conversation or just going about your normal day, you will avoid the hyperventilation/hard breathing/shortness of breathe/horrible feeling when you are conquering your hill

#2 Let the Legs do all the Work
     -Literally, relax the upper body and use your legs. Your breathing will be normal and your legs will be burning... but hey, there is nothing like that lactic acid burn! ;) No but really, although you have less energy to do this, push through it and you will get stronger and just know your body will recover quickly afterwards

#3 Get some jammin' music on your MP3 player
     -Thank you JHVD for providing me with some amazing music on my iPod!!!  She is an amazing personal trainer/group ex teacher. She teaches AMAZING cycling classes and has a ton of music with great beats! I just pretend I am in her cycling classes and run to the beat as if I was pedaling with each beat!  Good music really helps for a good run (I will save my music and running for a later post).

With those three ingredients, you will be able to overcome any hill/mountain (well I don't know about the latter, but I would hope so) that comes your way!  Just find what drives you, stick with it, and you will be able to overcome anything!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies...


ME: "Andrew, do you want to run this half marathon in Dallas?"
ANDREW: "Why don't we just run a half at home?"
ME: : "Do you promise??"

HAHAHAHA... yeah right!

He held to his word that he would run with me... but this run was no home run!

Here was the plan:
-WAKE UP: 4:30 AM
-RUN TIME: 5:00 AM

(I am sure right about now, you all think I am nutso! BUT there really is logic to this 5 am run time... NO SUN and cooler weather...)

My dad wanted to run with us too... so we decided to be more realistic with our weekend and push our run start time to 7:00am

New Plan:
-WAKE UP: 6:30 AM
-RUN TIME: 7:00 AM


ME: "Ohhh crap... my alarm didn't go off!"


ME: "Heeellooo...?"

DAD: "Hey Lindsay I am running late... I'll be there in 20 minutes..." WHEW! got by with that one...

WAKE UP: 7:00 AM

Okay, so in reality... we all were EXHAUSTED, and decided to run around Memorial and Allen Parkway and that "FUN" hilly windy part under downtown that goes by the Aquarium.  I have been training on treadmills a lot lately and the hills and hard cement = NO BUENO!!!  Throw in a little humidity, heat, and sun and you have yourself a miserable run!!

We were all three struggling the entire run... stopping at the top of every hill to catch our breath and cool off a little. It felt like the run that would never end.  Lo and behold... we finished the loop and found our new route distance to reach ~ 7 miles! (SO MUCH EASIER ON A TREADMILL...)

Although we got a late start to our run... it was a GREAT START TO OUR DAY!

The runs are not always going to be perfect, easy, a piece of cake...  you have to put up with the Rain and Thunder to get those Rainbows and Butterflies....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Let the Races Begin!!!

So what got me into starting to register and run these races you ask?? OH BOY (literally)!!!

::Enter my husband, but new boyfriend in my life at the time, Andrew::

Andrew and I had been dating "officially" for a couple of weeks and he knew that I was a runner (not competitively at the time...) and that I would go to Town Lake all the time and run 3 miles. (At the time... that was my MAX! The seven miles I ran in high school with my dad was an amazing fluke, and I had never run that far since.)  Andrew wanted to get started running again, and told me about the Austin Capitol 10K.  He mentioned that his mother comes in town every year to run this race with him and that I should get my dad to do it too, and we can meet each other's parents (at least one on each side).  I was so excited about this, and immediately called my dad. Of course, he was completely up for the challenge!

This weekend was also Mothers' Weekend for Delts and JB (as she will be called), Andrew's mom, had come in town early to participate in the Delt weekend festivities.  Unfortunately, the night before the race she ate a bad orange (literally) in her Blue Moon and had the worst food poisoning experience she had ever dealt with.  Andrew was so determined that I meet her, and invited me over to his house to introduce me to his terribly sick mother.  I felt so bad for her, and told him I did not want to meet her this way.  He insisted and so I came over.  This was the first time JB and I met, and although she was feeling horrible, she was so sweet and lovely!  But, this meant, she would be out for the race.

(NOTE: These pictures are of runs I did in 2011... so this was not me 4 years ago.. they just went with the theme.)

So came the race day of the Capitol 10K in 2007.  This was the first time that Andrew and my dad met, too.  They of course clicked right away!  We all ran it together, and finished the race together.  I cannot remember my exact time (nor can I find it on the internet)... but if I remember correctly, I believe we finished around 1:06:00.  Compare that to my 10K this year (2011) and I have beat my time by 18 minutes!

We had so much fun during this race that we decided as a group this would be the first of many.  This is where my obsession for running began.  That summer, Andrew talked me into training for my first half marathon with him.  We used Hal Higdon's training schedule for novices
(http://www.halhigdon.com/halfmarathon/), and ran our first half marathon in Houston at the Luke's Locker/Koala Houston Half in October 2007.  Since then, I have run 9 or 10 half marathons (I have lost count), and I ran my first marathon in January 2011 at the Chevron Houston Marathon.

I'll save my first marathon experience for another post... but next big registered race is The Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9th!  I could not be more excited and nervous at the same time...

Capitol 10K March 27, 2011

My Dad and Me @ 2011 Capitol 10K (My best time:  48:46 min / 7:51/M)

If you know how slow I ran when I first started running... this race really has shown me that I have improved my pace immensely over the past eight years of running.  My mantra for years used to be "SLOW and STEADY WINS THE RACE"! ...it went along with the idea of, if I can finish it, I have accomplished it no matter what the time is. Which I still believe in. Now that I have realized I can push myself WAY past my comfort zones.  This mantra was great for me when I first started running because I was not a great runner.  My competitiveness would take over, and I would get overwhelmed and frustrated when I could not keep up with other (well practiced) runners. With everything you do in life, you have to start somewhere, and I started veeerrrryyy slow!  I have improved my running pace by >2:00 minutes per mile now and hope to keep on improving!  

How It All Started...

Rewind to sophomore year of high school... Are we there yet?? (Yes, I was THAT child in the back seat growing up... "ARE WE THERE YET?"... 5-10 minutes later, which felt like FOREVER "HOW MUCH FURTHER?"...10 minutes later "I FEEL SICK!" ...my parents are real troopers for putting up with me on car trips growing up!) ... Okay total tangent sorry. I have a feeling I will have a lot of these throughout the entries, so get used to it!

Where were we? Oh yes, rewind to sophomore year when I had to make one of the hardest decisions that a high school student would ever have to make! (At least it was for me at that time in my life...you'll probably laugh when you read it. It was a big deal okay?)

I was pulled out of P.E. the first day of school, my freshman year because of my height.  No coach was going to let this 5'11" female just slide by and be in P.E. when she could be an EXCELLENT prospect for the KLEIN HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM!  They put me into Athletics by day two, and I made the Freshman basketball team by the end of Week 1! Yes, I had played basketball before in elementary and middle school, but after 8th grade, I thought my basketball days were over and I was going to pursue what I loved... SINGING!  Throughout my two years of basketball in high school, I never considered myself a great player.  I was your average player that had a height advantage to MOST of the players. There were those seldom few GIANTS that knocked me on the floor and pushed me around like bullies on the court... but other than those selected few, I was queen of the court! They definitely used me as an intimidation factor, and that was pretty much all I was good for.  Every so often I would make a basket, but aim wasn't my best quality when it came to basketball (remember, INTIMIDATION!). I don't know why they always had me out on the court to start the game and jump for the ball. (Some one that is 5'0 could probably out-jump me... SERIOUSLY HOW DO THEY DO IT!?!? ... I even bought these shoes that make you run on your toes and build up your calves... no difference!)

So, basketball was a lot of fun, but more stressful than fun due to the many conflicts between practices and games, and choir events.  I was singing the national anthem at basketball, volleyball, softball games and swim meets. Oy vey!! I loved it~...minus that one time that I forgot the words (I WAS HAVING A REALLY REALLY BAD DAY) ... started over three times!! The entire crowd joined in and sang it with me by the third time!! Talk about embarrassing! I was very involved with choir, too.  I was a part of this prestigious (I liked to think so) group that met outside of school called Chamber Choir.  It was such an amazing experience and I even got to sing a solo in the Lincoln Center in New York City with the Chorale Choir. (I will save more stories about my choir days for another blog).

Where am I going with this? Oh yes... the hardest decision of my life:  Come end of sophomore year of high school and I am in my coaches office, balling my eyes out because I am pretty much told that I have to make a choice: Is it choir or is it basketball. (They never really laid it out like that, but implied it in MANY MANY ways.)  Although, the answer would seem obvious with my passion for music and singing, it was very difficult due to the bond I had developed with my basketball team, my competitive nature and love for sportsmanship activities, and my other passion for health and staying active!

Tick...tock...tick...tock! WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO!?!?

Decision made: Choir it is and I'm never looking back! ...Well, sort of. I missed my team so much.  It felt like they moved on without me, and I was quickly pushed out of the "circle" just with the snap of my fingers. Of course, they were always nice to me... but it was a hard adjustment not being with them every day.  I became a lot more involved with choir, and loved it. YES, you can say it, I am not ashamed... I was a Choir Nerd and dang proud!  But something was still lacking...

Starting my Junior year, I had this void that I needed to fill with basketball not being a part of my life anymore.  My dad recommended that I started running.  He always told me stories about him and his best friend growing up, GG (...names will be protected for other people's privacy) would run three times around Memorial Park then go grab a few beers at the Westcott Drive-In (or something like that... which is now Canyon Creek for those of you that know the area).  I had never run Memorial Park, but thought that would be a neat thing to do when I get older.

So began my love for running... My dad picked it up again with me (he had not run for years...) and we ran a mile every day starting my junior year! It was such a HUGE accomplishment! The feeling when I was done, was/is what drives me.  Once, one mile got easy, we increased our distance. I believe the furthest I had EVER run while I was in high school was seven miles.  It was a great bonding experience for my dad and me.  We grew a lot closer and both started/restarted our passion for running.  I remember that night that I finished seven miles (my dad and I would make up our own routes... before navigation watches existed... and would hop in the car after the run and track our distance with the car.  It was so much fun!). ...That feeling of accomplishment, was such an amazing feeling.  It was at THAT very moment I realized that my body could push itself much further/harder than my brain thought it could.  The body is MIGHTY and STRONG and at that very moment, I felt INDESTRUCTIBLE. Nothing could get in my way, and I wanted to see how far I could actually go... What would be my limit?? Do I even have limits...?

Here goes nothing...

I always told myself, and friends, I would start a blog whenever Andrew and I started a family and write about my ups and downs throughout the entire experience. I wanted to use it as a way to keep people I do not keep in touch with as often, updated with this oh-so-busy-crazy-thing-I-like-to-call-life... and also use it for myself, to document my life so that I can look back and do what I do best... get all nostalgic about the good-ol'-days. ::Tear:: (Did I mention I haven't had a GOOD cry in like two years!! ... We'll save that for another entry...)

WRITERS NOTE:  I suck at proper grammar and punctuations, commas, etc. when I write.  I know how it SHOULD look, but when I write, if I am not turning in a paper I do not pay much attention... I write how I speak!  Oh, did I mention I L-O-V-E to use ellipses??  YES... I do! If these are the types of things that you, as a reader, just cannot bring yourself to get past while reading my entries, then please stop reading here...

I got really enthused, excited, and eager about this blog and set up a page (back in August). I decided I would just start writing about my thoughts. Thoughts were expected just to flow out my mind and I would have enough of them to write a blog entry a day! RIGHT? YES, I was on a roll with these expectations...  I thought they would just flow. (Trust me, this brain never stops... even in my sleep, it is going 100 miles per hour!!)  I think I made at least ten attempts that went a little like this: Sitting down in front of computer...Body Position: Indian Style (my favorite)... Hot Tea to the Left of Computer... Blog Opened... Fingers Ready... Ready... Ready.... YEP, got nothing!  Laptop cover ::SHUTS:: ...Maybe tomorrow...

I do not consider myself an excellent writer, or a writer at all for that matter... sometimes most of the time I find it hard to put into words everything that is going on in my mind.  I write the way I think, and speak what's on my mind... which sometimes gets me in trouble. I will try to be objective in my writing (yeah right... but really, I will try to see both sides with controversial issues).  Okay, lets be realistic... this blog will be VERY subjective, but it will be me through and through.  I think this will be a great way to practice expressing what I am thinking and in the mean time, keep friends and family in touch with my thoughts, experiences, and life in general!  ...Well, my not-so-exciting life, but hopefully it will be enough to keep you reading! ;)  Here's to hoping...