Monday, November 30, 2009

Thoughts from Tgiving Reading.

I did quite a bit of reading over Thanksgiving break.  Here are a few thoughts I had from what I read...

'Selfish goals always result in shallow victories' - Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase

How true this is.  This one resulted in Kindle underlining.  Don't we all occasionally need a reminder of this?

'My conscience is taken captive by God's Word, I cannot and will not recant anything.  For to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.  On this I take my stand.  I can do no other.  God elp me.  Amen' - Martin Luther


'Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell' - C. T. Studd

I leave you to ponder those friends.

Thoughts welcome.


Quote of the Week.

My deepest belief is that living as if you are dying sets us free. - Anne Lamott

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Season.

There is a time for everything, 
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, 
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, 
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, 
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, 
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, 
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, 
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3, the Bible

This passage has always held a special place in my heart.  Perhaps not for the reasons you would most expect.  The part that touches me in a way I feel is unique is the use of the word 'season'.  God's promise that for everything there is a 'season' has to me always felt personal.  

As a child I measured everything in football seasons.  I am after-all, the daughter of a coach.  My fellow coaches kids, players wives, coaches wives, or players kids will related to this.  When I was in the 5th grade we moved to Tampa.  I remember being asked 'how long was your Dad at Clemson?' and saying '2 seasons'.  This response was met with a bit of a puzzled expression.  Where I come from we don't understand years, we only understand football seasons.  Later I would say that I lived in Tampa for 6 football seasons.  And so on.

In some ways my life was defined in football seasons for the first 22 years.  So in my childlike faith of years past I found this passage and I thought, 'hey, God thinks in football seasons too'.  It brings a smile to my face to think now.  Honestly, I bet he does.  When he thinks of me and my family and of the families of football households like ours - I bet he does understand exactly what seasons are like.  Though, for us I guess the verses would be a bit more like...

A time to win and a time to lose
A time for victory and a time of defeat
A time to pack and a time to move
A time to come and a time to go
A time filled with boxes and a time filled with loneliness
A time filled with challenges and a time filled with hope
A time filled with bad articles and much criticism
A time to be on top of the world
A time to have beer spilled on you and a time to deck the patriots fan behind you

You get the idea. : ]

I guess what I want to convey in tonight's blog is that I love the fact that I serve a personal God.  A God that has been there while I cried in the stands after hearing my Dad called bad names.  A God who rejoiced with me as I cried on the field after our first Super Bowl win.  A God who's heart broke for me through countless moves and left behind friends.  A God who cheered me on through victories and held me through defeats.  For everything there is a season, and not one have I faced alone.

I'm 17 hours away from the football chaos now.  But my life continues to be filled with seasons.  From job changes, to housing decisions, to new and old friendships, to relationships with boys (no, I won't blog about these!).  Life is a constant journey. Life is always in transition.  Seasons are still coming and going with regularity.  This year has brought a new season in my baby sister being in college!  This has brought a new dimension to what being a good big sister looks like.  This year has brought a new season in my relationship with my older sister as she's exited school (finally - DR. Breslin!) and entered the full-time work force.  It has brought a new season in my time as a daughter - being 17 hours away and living on my own but loving every bit of love and advice that's coming my way.

Hey, speaking of seasons - I'm loving this season of being undefeated.  I know better than most that you can't win em all but 11-0 sure feels good.

Here's to seasons of all sorts.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Airplanes. I'm thankful that I can get on a plane and be at home in 2 hours. It would take me 17 to drive it...and if we want to get all sentimental about the olds days, weeks in a covered wagon. Yeah, I said it. I played a lot of Organ Trail growing up. I don't know about you but I know the odds of surviving are slim...esp if you have to take the wheels off and float across a river! So thanks to the inventors of planes today. Because of you, I'm headed to see my family tonight and will be back in time to work Monday.



Facebook. Now before you laugh at me...let me explain! I'm thankful for facebook because it's brought people back into my life that circumstance might not have. I love being able to reunite with old friends, keep up with college buddies, and see new pictures of peoples growing families. Before facebook, how did we ever do all of these things?!



I'm thankful for parents who taught me to work hard for what I want. The older I get the more I appreciate that my parents helped me but they didn't do things FOR me. What a great life lesson that has carried me through well. For this, I am thankful.


Thanksgiving Reading List.

What will you be reading by the fire (or on the beach if you live in Tampa) this Thanksgiving? You will find me in the Indiana, curled up by the electric fire reading these lovelies...

I've been on a roll lately, so if you've got any additional titles you'd like to throw my way, hit up my comments section or shoot my an e-mail. I like to keep my Kindle fully stocked with new titles to keep my motivation to fly through books high. I'm use to being busy so when I get away for a few days of food and family, I usually find myself quite productive in all things literary.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What are you doing for NYE?

I love New Years Eve. To me, the start of a fresh year and the possibilities it holds are cause for a celebration. Well, that and I love to get dolled up.

Here are some great dresses for under $45.00 if you're thinking about getting dolled up to ring in your new year.

Here's a few that I found myself.

INC - in Gold. - This dress paired with my Guess 'flesh colors' heels would be perf.
Adorible Satin w/Ruffles
Love me some BCBG
And again.
Phoebe in one of my favorite shades of the season.

So there you go - 10 party dress ideas to get you thinking about and excited for NYE like me.

Watch for shoe ideas coming soon.



Great books. I can't imagine living in the days before people knew how to read or could get their hands on books. I love a great book. So I'm thankful to all the wonderful authors out there who provide me with an ever-growing list of books I wish to read.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Review - Redefining Beautiful by Jenna Lucado.

Jenna Lucado, daughter to the famous Max Lucado author of over 75 titles sought to teach young ladies how to define beauty not on a worldly, surface level but as God defines it.  I chose the book knowing I would be seeing Max Lucado speak this month and curious to see if his talents were also present in his daughters writing.  The book was styled in a format that I found less than ideal.  The style, to me, didn't match the format.  There are workbook areas, meant to be filled in my the reader.  I found this distracting in many ways and I found that I wanted to skim ahead.  The audience Jenna was reaching out to seemed to me to be much younger than my own 24 years of age.  If I were to recommend this book I would choose an audience of 12-14 year old girls.  Older than that I feel the reading level keeps it from hitting home.

Personally, I was a bit disappointed with this read.  I felt there was a lack of depth. The juvenile approach left much to be desired for a young adult reader.  Great topic and concept for the book.  I would have liked to see her gear it for young adult women, like herself.  Also, leaving out the 'write your thoughts here' would have made for a more cohesive read.

Do you want to review for Thomas Nelson Publishing?  Click here.



Number 3 on my postings of things I'm thankful for is moment that make you laugh til you cry. There is something so refreshing, so wonderfully stress relieving about laughing until tears run down your face and your stomach hurts. I am thankful for moments like these. Laughter is such a beautiful remedy for life, mondays, and just plain bad days!



This week I'm going to share some entries on things I'm thankful for. Though I hope that you can always tell how grateful I am and it is in no way limited to 'Thanksgiving week' - I would like to take this chance to share a few.

#1. I am thankful for an incredible, healthy, wonderful, close-knit, Christian family. I do not for a second take for granted that there are few people in this world who's family have been blessed as mine have. I am so incredibly blessed. I think to myself often that I wouldn't want to do life if it couldn't be with the 4 of them.


Quote of the Week.

Sorry for the break in these posts. Here's one that reminds me why I am thankful to be going home to my beautiful, wonderful family this week...

'The family is a haven in a heartless world' - Christopher Lasch


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Challenges and Champions.

It's almost midnight and I have to be up at 4:45 in the morning to get ready and go to Charlotte, North Carolina for an event with the Panthers.  But a brief blog entry about tonight's banquet just couldn't wait until I return.  The Family First banquet is one of the bitter sweet things about Tampa for yours truly.  While I love this banquet and have attended since long before I became staff (this was my rookie staff year) - I attended with my own family.  

One of the draws of Tampa for me I believe, was that this is the last place my family lived together all 5 of us.  When we moved to Indiana, we left Rachel.  Soon after I was gone.  Now Ruthie.  I love that I now live where we were last all under one roof, enjoying a chaotic life together.

Tonight's banquet did make me miss my family and wish that they could be here to celebrate with me the incredible year Family First has had.  The Challenges and Champions evening feels like a family dinner to me for many reasons.  I laugh and cry in one sitting (and sometimes laugh until I cry).  It is full of family, friends, and family friends.  Most of all, God is at the center.

This years 'make me cry' award (and Family First's - Wilbur L. Dungy award) goes to Matt Mooney, father to sweet Eliot.  This is his video and the story of how he came to inspire so many fathers, mothers, and people through his journey and through YouTube.  Warning, you will most likely cry too.

My Dad & Coach Tony Dungy were co-winners of the Family First Ambassador award in 1998. Dad has since been joined by great company such as Michael W. Smith, Jeremy Camp, and this year's winner - the gentlemen from Sherwood Pictures.  They've produced Fireproof and Facing the Giants.  Like my Dad and Coach Dungy, they are pioneering an industry that rarely boasts of Christian morals or values - with a solid stance and bold words of their faith!  How inspiring to find great Christian leaders who are uncompromising in their 'workplace'.

As always, it was extra special to hear both Coach Tony and Mrs. Lauren Dungy speak this evening.  They are generous with their times and talents to further our ministry.  I love to hear them talk about their sweet family and it's a joy to watch God use them here in Tampa.  I'm glad we all ended up back here after so many years.

It was an incredible blessing to be challenged by Max Lucado on the subject of fear.  'Fearless' is the title of his most recent of 75 books he's authored.  I received an autographed copy of said book and look forward to reading more of his challenge that we are not to let our fears get the best of us.  He did an incredible job and brought both humor and inspiration to the evening.  It was a delight to hear him speak.

In the brief conversations I was able to have while trying my best to serve our guests, several people mentioned that they read my blog.  So, thank you to anyone reading who attended tonight's banquet.  Your support is in fact, providing us the opportunity to help further families.

In short, tonight was a beautiful, blessed evening.  

Signing off to rest up to serve Dad's and their kids in NC at our Father/Kid's Experience Saturday.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Life & Death.

'We have to stop living as if the purpose of our lives is to arrive safely at death' - Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase

I love this quote.  How true is this?  


Colts update.

If you're a colts fan you should read this blog from former Head Coach, Tony Dungy about Sunday nights incredible game.

You should also check out this great picture of yours truly's padre from the sidelines after Sunday's win. Love this picture of Dad. You may have to hit pause on the slideshow because for some reason when I link it, it tries to keep going and showering you other pictures. So if you want to pause on the big grin, you will have to stop the slideshow.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

November Update.

November's off to a great start.  One trip down (to Indianapolis) and two to go this month.  Next week will be an exciting week for me at work.  Thursday night we have our banquet for work at the Grand Hyatt, with guest speaker Max Lucado.  I will be sporting a (new) black and gold dress I found online and love.  Amazingly, it's comfortable too.  Still working on a shoe plan.  I have a great pair of Coach gold peep toes but...I'm afraid I'll be running around too much for 6 inch heels.  So I'll be trying to come up with a better plan this week.

After a late night at our banquet, I will depart at 8am the next morning for Charlotte, NC.  Back to my families roots - the Carolinas.  We have an event Saturday with the Carolina Panthers.  Friday will be spent prepping for the big event.  Saturday we will have our last FKE for 2009 and then hop a flight back to Tampa that evening.

Wednesday I'll jet set again, back to Indiana to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family.  I can't wait to see both of my sisters, my bro(in law), my parents, and my mom's entire side of the family!  Well, actually I think were going to be short my cousin Wes, which I'm really sad about.  But he is in Spain and the trip home for a day, probably not happening.  I'll eat your share too Wes, don't worry.

Since moving to Tampa, FL I haven't missed Indiana once.  That's not to say, however, that I don't miss my family every day.  There's something comforting about heading home.  Back to my roots.  Back in time to when life was simpler, easier, less complex.  When I go home now I'm ready to just unwind.  Relax.  Just enjoy being with my family (and select few close friends).  I'm looking forward to a long weekend of this.

November November...what else should I share with you?  I'm 2 presents away from being finished with my Christmas shopping.  I hit the amazing 'give and get' sale from the Gap.  Now when I head to the midwest, I'll be fully stocked with sweaters. I don't miss the cold but I do miss fall clothes.  Who doesn't love a good sweater?

I'm cleansing myself of all the excess this month in prep for a yard sale the first weekend of December.  I have 3 garbage bags full already and more cleaning out to go. Bleh - how do I get so much stuff? I've got to cut that out.

Still searching for the perfect condo.  I've got one in mind.  Now I'm just praying about whether or not it's the right condo at the right time.

My Colts are 8-0.  What a great first season for Coach Caldwell.  I'm so pleased.  Sadly, last week was my only game this season.  But I will be at two in December.  It's hard being so far away during football season.  I miss being at every game.  It's hard to feel as supportive while screaming at the TV in a sports bar in Florida.  Somehow, I think my Dad knows though.

It's hard to believe 2009 is almost over.  This has been a great year.  I plan on the next 6 weeks of it being the best 6 yet.  I'm getting ready for 2010 with football, friends, and family.  November and December are looking promising.  Stay tuned.  


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ahead of schedule.

I have over half of my Christmas shopping done! If you knew me a few years ago, you will know that the amount of organization I've learned in recent years is certainly astonishing. Nothing short of miraculous, in fact. This is including but not limited too, Christmas shopping. I started last year in August, this year in September. I am now over halfway done with my newly shortened present list. Now that I'm on a budget I can't buy something for everyone (sorry readers)...

Left to tackle this weekend in Orlando: Rae, Bres (bro-in-law), and Dad. Why is Dad always the hardest? I swear it always comes down to golf balls or ties. Poor Dad. Last year was a cashmere sweater. As far as I know he liked it...he wore it at least.

Anybody else almost done with their Christmas shopping?

I also decided in the spirit of being frugal that I will be taking my Christmas presents home in my suitcase over Thanksgiving instead of paying to ship them. I'm flying Southwest (my favorite) both Tgiving and Xmas. So my bags fly free (love those commercials). One of Ruthie's presents makes me a tad nervous because it's breakable. But other than that, I think I'm safe.

Just wanted to brag on myself for finally getting it together and being ahead of schedule at Christmas time. Yay me.

If you're struggling for good Christmas ideas, go to Target and scope the magazines. Most of them (In Style, Glamour, People, etc) do a best gifts under $50 section around this time of year. They don't always have practical ideas BUT sometimes you find a winner. Worth looking into for inspiration.

Example...check this list from Oprah.


Week 10 - NFL Picks.

Chi (v. SF) - I continue to be on 'Team Lovie'. : ] I think they'll pull it out.
Min (v. Det)
Den (v. Wash)
Mia (v. TB)
Ten (v. Buff)
NO (v. STL)
Jac (v. NYJ)
ATL (v. Car)
Cinci (v. Pit ) - This one's risky, I know.
Oak (v. KC)
Dal (v. GB)
SD (v. Phi)
Ari (v. Sea)
Indy (v. NE)
Bal (v. Cle)

Any thoughts? Sadly, I'm doing better in the college pick em than I am the NFL. Explain that one to me! Ha...


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yes, please.

Many wonderful things have come of my blogging. Self expression. Honesty. Better writing abilities (I hope). New friends. Other writers to 'do life' with. Insight into a great many things. An excuse to research. And this week, an invitation to a free spa day.

That's right. For being a Tampa blogger, or as the invite read 'an influential twentysomething' ...I have been invited by Dove to a spa day! The invitation is for a delightful night that includes a mani/pedi and a new treatment called a piticure. Compared to a manicure for your armpits. Intriguing, yes? The night will also have drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and chatting with other beauty conscious writers. I of course said, 'count me in!'.

This may just be the best benefit to come my way yet from my time as a blogger. So thank you readers for making me considered influential...and I promise to report in great detail of what I'm confident will be a great experience with the Dove crew @ Sharmaines Salon & Day Spa in Clearwater Beach. And of course, I will tell all of the 'piticure' experience. This may be video blog worthy.

Stay tuned.


Chicago Salon Participants.

Since some of my readers are from the Chicago area (love ya) here's a list of the salons participating in giving you a free Dove stick of deodorant in your area. Don't forget to take an old stick in for trade and stay to enjoy 10% of up to $120 dollars of services while you're there.

Eshe Day Spa & Salon
K. Paige Salon
Plateau Blu Salon

Enjoy! You know I love a spa day as much as the next girl. : ] Maybe more.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If you live in Tampa...

Noteworthy goings on in Tampa:

Dove is replacing your used deodorant of another brand with a brand new Dove stick! Just take your old stick to any of the participating salons and trade it in. Also, while you're there - you can get 10% off your services. Not a bad deal at all.

Tampa -

Barbara Forgoine Salon

Hello Beautiful! - Day Spa/Salon

Kennedy Salon & Day Spa

Mane Stop - Hair Salon

More info here.


Am I insane?

Albert Einstein once said that insanity is defined by doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. When you process that, aren't we all just a little bit insane? We hope for change but we do not change the behaviors necessary to acquire such results.

That was the whole mentality behind my signing myself up for a finance class. I've always wanted to be financially responsible, on top of my money, and in control of my spending habits. I would catch myself saying that I wish 'I spent less money on unimportant things' or ' saved more' but without a plan, I never actually did. I was continuing to do the same thing, waiting on different results.

Isn't this true in many aspects of our lives? You've seen me rant before on this blog about people who forget to take responsibility for the use of their time. Each of us have 24 hours in a day, what we do with them is our choice. We fail to do that which we 'want' to do because we continue our behavior expecting different results.

Relationships are another prime example of this. In recent years I had to come to grips with the idea that if I wanted to be closer to my family members or a better friend to those in my life - something had to change. I started setting aside times in the day based on my family members schedules, that would be good to call them. Last year I started what I hope will be a long-standing 'tradition' of flying to see my sister Rae. Just setting aside some PTO and money to go and be a part of her life.

Sometimes I wish it WERE possible that we could continue in our ways (such as ignoring my giant pile of laundry that needs attention) and then one day it would just do itself. Wouldn't that be lovely? But no, bare down friends. Remember the timeless words of one, Winston Churchhill who said, ' There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction'.


Monday, November 9, 2009


This weekend was incredible. Exhausting (I'm feeling it now), but incredible. After being absent from my blog for a week or so, I wanted to take the time to share a few highlights from this wonderful weekend with you.

I flew to Indiapolis, Indiana Friday morning. My first of 5 trips between now at the end of 2009. As some of you know this is home to my wonderful parents and my team, the Indianapolis Colts. I flew in with our All Pro Dad team, arriving just after lunch time Friday. We drove straight to the Colts practice facility to begin preparations for the following day's festivities.

I haven't been in my current position long but it probably goes without saying the Colts event has a special place in my heart. This years spokesmen including Coach Jim Caldwell, Coach Clyde Christensen (Daddy dearest), Pierre Garcon, and Eric Foster. Our event registration was 1800 Dad's and Kids to join us for this years 'Colts Father & Kid's Experience'.

Anyway, lets get to the point. 2009 Colts FKE Weekend Highlights:

- My family getting to spend time over dinner with my Family First coworkers. Aaamazing. We did dinner at Bravo Friday night and my parents had a blast getting to know the team. Now they are in total agreement that I have wonderful coworkers here.

- 3 of my best friends (Candy, Meredith, & Kate) drove hours each to be a part of my event Saturday, as volunteers. I truly have the best friends a girl could ask for.

- My buddies from my days working at Ford (in college) came out to the event with their families. It was great to see Tabler, Bill, and of course sweet Kristen!

- Another amazing dinner out @ my favorite Indy restraunt (Stone Creek Grill) with my best friends and my parents. What a fun night!

- Candy, Mer, Mom, and I had a blast at the Colts v. Houston game Sunday - cheering Dad and the boys to a victory. This win makes our team 8-0. What a great season this has been!

And I will close this with a funny. My Dad and I managed to introduce ourselves to 2 complete strangers who were innocently walking into Bravo Friday night, thinking they were with our group. Oops! I got totally snubbed. Sorry Bravo, I think we overwelmed your guests.