Try, Try, Try Again

12.29.2011



As I continue to assess this past year, I oftentimes find myself dwelling on those things that I wasted my time with, the things that made me distracted and less efficient, and ultimately the things that led me to be half the person I could be.

All New Years resolution lists end up looking like carbon copies of one another year after year. Hit the gym more. Make time to read. Spend more time with family. Get organized. And though these ideas may seem uninspired, they are still all admirable efforts, and if you can pull at least one off, you will inevitably be and feel like a better person twelve months down the road.

In hopes to change these ways, I thought this two and a half minute video eloquently summed up how to do so. The same wordage is used on this popular graphic that I blogged about over a year and a half ago. Sometimes we are all little kids and need to be reminded of the same things over and over again before the inspiration finally translates into actions. I hope something resonates with you as the Holstee Manifesto proudly presents a video that is a "celebration of gatherings, of diversity, of life, and of the beauty of shared experience." Enjoy!

*The video for the post below has been made public for all to see. Sorry 'bout that!

We're on the Right Track

12.26.2011

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The days after Christmas always bring about the same things: the garbage disposals are overflowing with empty cardboard boxes; Sunny 99.1 reverts back to its usual music fare, storing away the Christmas carols until next November; the lights and trees slowly make their way back into the attics of each home; and extended family travels back to their main stomping grounds.

I remember December 26th, in particular, was once my most dreaded day of the year. 364 days until Christmas? The thought was utterly horrifying. But, it's not all gloom and doom these days. Now that I have more than half of my break remaining and much to look forward to, December 26th has become just another day, with just a bit more cleaning and detoxing from food overload. Though we might not all be spoiled with the luxury of a five week holiday, there is one thing we can all find some joy in--the dawn of a new year.

As we turn the page from 2011 to 2012, most of us feel some sort of rejuvenation as we reflect on all the has happened in the past twelve months and look forward to what's ahead for the next twelve. Though 2011 seemed to go by in the blink of an eye, I can't fathom how much has occurred in between second semester senior, this past summer, and my first semester of college. As I stood in Times Square ringing in 2011, I knew this would be a year for the books, and it most certainly lived up to my expectations in every way.

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I spent the first days of 2011 in my favorite city--New York before heading back to school for the so anticipated second semester senior year.

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We started out strong with Senior Girls

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and one of the more interesting experiences I've ever had at the Slim Thug concert.

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Slacking off became second nature as the semester progressed and I found plenty of things to distract myself with like the annual powder puff football game and

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my many 18th birthday celebrations.

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The 49th edition of the Reata slowly but surely (and stressfully) came to life.

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The cheer squad became seasoned pros at pep rallies by the time basketball season arrived.

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Many months of preparation and anticipation finally brought us to Ixtapa, Mexico where we spent our senior spring break trip.

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Round Up got my nerves and excitement churning for the next chapter of my life. Little did I know the degree to which I would fall in love with UT. As my cousin fairly accurately stated at our Christmas gathering, I'm "pretty much livin' the American dream."

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Our final two high school formals took place on back to back weekends.

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And the remainder of the weekends were packed with graduation parties galore, all of course leading up to

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the big day.

And summer provided a nice buffer between what may be my favorite two semesters of my academic career to date.

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I tried my hand at the workforce with my PR internship, which allowed me to spend time with my newest bestie, Mollie...

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in the best city in the world.

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And all this before I moved away from home,

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found my new home at Kappa Kappa Gamma,

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threw my horns up at every home football game,

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became best friends with my roommates,

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and began to build friendships that I know will make these next three and a half years some of the best of my life, with many of them undoubtedly being friendships that will last a lifetime.

Meanwhile, my family has expanded and my sister will be stateside in the coming year. I guess it's hard to expect a lot from 2012 when I had such a jam-packed exciting 2011; but, I will not hesitate to believe that 2012 will be great in its own rite. I also can't help but count all my blessings as I reflect back on this year. When your biggest concern becomes which friends to celebrate New Years with, you know you have a lot to be thankful for, and that I do. Tomorrow, I make my way to Dallas to visit family and college friends, so here's your fair warning for a brief blogging break and wishes for a very happy, sparkly, not-too-built up New Years in advance. I have enjoyed sharing the little tidbits of my life with all 170 posts with you this year. It's been quite the ride. Onto the next one!

Merry Christmas to All

12.24.2011

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& to all a good night!

Season of Sparkle

12.22.2011

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Glitter is constantly swimming through the air in my household during the holiday season. All of our Christmas decorations seem to have some degree of sparkle whether it be lightly (or not so lightly) dusted on an ornaments, on these branches that fill vases in our living room, accented on the gift wrap on the presents under the tree, or in the form of sequins on the seventeen stockings (yes, seventeen!) hanging on our stairwell. I'm not one to complain, though. I'm a sucker for sparkles (as you've heard before) and the holiday glitter never fails to make me grin during this already joyful time of year.

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These golden trees and pinecones that make up the centerpiece for our dining room table certainly keep with the metallic, sparkle theme.

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After forty years, my family has accumulated quite the collection of ornaments.

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One of my personal favorites

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Each school a member of our family has attended is represented on the tree. A&M and UT make two appearances because two kids have attended each of these universities. But, I'm pretty sure those Aggie ornaments are collecting dust in the back of the tree...

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Some--if not most--are just cute and random, like this piƱata.

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We display our Texan pride with this darling cowboy boot ornament, which are hung right in front of the somewhat camouflaged gift tucked beneath the branches.

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We even managed to find a cheerleader to reminisce on my cheer glory days at MHS.

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Just to prove I wasn't kidding about those seventeen stockings. And this doesn't even include my mom and dad. But Ty did make the cut, so I guess that's kind of cheating. Mimi does not mess around and made sure Quinn and Evan had their stockings in time for their first Christmas.

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Here are my very own wrapped gifts for my parents and my sibling secret santa. What lies beneath the black & white wrapping and the glittery red bows will be revealed in the coming days.

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Though I'm clearly partial to my own family's decorations, I think that's the best part of Christmas--the uniqueness within each family. As December 25th quickly approaches, I've concluded that what I look forward to most about the holidays are the traditions. The familiarity that comes with Christmas time, with both the people you're surrounded by and the routine that carries on from year to year. Though it's a holiday celebrated by many, we all have our own unique way of doing things. And as our family expands, the thrill of Santa continues, keeping the Christmas spirit alive and well, and keeping us all young at heart as we join together to celebrate what really is the most wonderful time of the year.

I Heard You Were a Wild One

12.21.2011

When I featured the song "5 O'Clock" by T-Pain featuring Lily Allen I didn't realize it would go viral all over the radio and be topping the iTunes charts the following week. Though the song kind of makes my ears hurt now (it's joined the ranks with the dreaded "Stereo Hearts and "Moves Like Jagger"), it did remind me how much I love the inspiration behind this single sensation, "Who'd Have Known" by Lily Allen.


I expect the same kind of hype for this similar duet song with Flo Rida and Sia, the artist behind two of my favorites, "Breathe Me" and "I'm In Here."


In other music and entertainment news, my latest guilty pleasure has been watching Beyonce's "Love on Top" music video over and over and over again. The girl can dance and she has yet to lose her bootyliciousness even with her first baby on board.


And last but certainly not least, this YouTube video has also admittedly been played more than once: the promo for the next Gossip Girl, airing on the much too far off date of January 16th.


The eerie music gives me goosebumps every time, as I expect the second half of season five to maybe be one of the best yet. Luckily, it premiers just in time when we're back in our humble Hardin abode, where I can ooh and ahh with my fellow fanatics, Kels, Jules, and Mayms. I guess you could say I've been using my time wisely indoors, avoiding the horrendous Houston traffic as the last minute shoppers make their rounds.

Calling All Love Lookers

12.20.2011

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Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world,

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I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport.

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General opinion's starting to make out

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that we live in a world of hatred or greed, but I don't see that.

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Seems to me love is everywhere.

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Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there.

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Fathers and sons,

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mothers and daughters,

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husbands and wives,

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boyfriends, girlfriends,

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old friends.

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When the planes hit the Twin Towers,

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as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or of avenge.

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They were all messages of love.

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If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.