Friday, June 26, 2009

What a Week!

Wow. What a week and what a whirlwind of devastating news. Thank the Lord it’s Friday, because quite frankly and selfishly, I cannot take any more sad news this week.

For those of you who know me or for those who just simply made the mistake in bringing up Jon and Kate this week with me in the room, you already know my heart was hurting and I was in protective mode for the Gosselins. Sure, I don’t know them, but I have fallen in love with their kids over the years alongside of half of America. To see anyone’s marriage crumble, is devastating, but to see it plastered all over the tabloids, just too much to take. And then Mark Sanford’s announcement and to know his marriage is in shambles too. Not too mention the recent announcements of college friends and sorority sisters going through painful divorces, IS THERE HOPE anymore in marriages?

And just when I felt as though I could take a deep breath, I got the text. The text that I’ll always remember where I was when I received it and how I felt. “Michael Jackson is dead. What is going on??” All I could think was “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! YOU MEAN FARRAH FAWCETT, RIGHT!!”

I’ll save my fond thoughts on this American icon in another blog, as I thoroughly believe the man stands alone and deserves his own shout-out. But seriously, I cannot remember a week, maybe aside from 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, when everything seemed to stand still. When everyone seemed to want to gather and talk about the news. When I’ve been glued to the TV and radio in the hopes of being able to wrap my head around something. Can’t listen to his music over the last 18 hours without tearing up, but can’t not listen to it either.

This week: too much, too quickly. Emotional overload. Please make it stop.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Governor Rant

Apparently the SC Governor is “missing”. People are freaking out around me. Judgments are flowing like wine. Comments have been made that he’s hiding something, maybe’s he’s had a nervous breakdown, finally maybe we’ll get a new Governor, etc…

WHO CARES?! Seriously people, he didn’t vanish into thin air. He wasn’t abducted at gun point. He did not flee with the state’s budget money. He simply took a break from you crazies. If his wife isn’t worried, why should you be worried? Can our leaders not take a break from their jobs?

Last time I checked, my boss did not have to clear it with me if he needed to shut his office door to work on something, if he needed to work from home to focus, or if he felt the need to take a hike, literally. And if Mark Sanford did have a break down, can you blame him in this economy?! Can you blame him when half the state feels the need to critique how he spends his time?

Maybe he isn’t the only one who should take a hike. Just sayin.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Drive-by

With Father’s Day being a meaningful day to both Rob and I, and spending it with our dad’s was not a possibility, we decided to do something meaningful sans fathers anyway. I will spare you the details on how we got to point of our mission, but the mission itself started with two bags full of Taco Bell tacos (both hard and soft), one Civic, and two determined people in search of the homeless.

Did you know that when you actually have warm, tasty tacos in your car awaiting hungry bellies, it’s really hard to find people that look like they might want them? After we drove around for about 20 minutes, we finally stumbled across a man waving at us from the corner. I quickly jumped at our opportunity, rolled down the car window and bashfully asked “Do you like Tacos?” His toothless grin will be forever embedded in my brain as he professed “I LOVE EM!” Finally, our first delivery! After we chatted for a moment with him about his aspiration of owning a taco cart in downtown Charleston, we watched him walk away with a sense of purpose in our hearts.

As we continued on our mission, we made another pass along the place that we had found him, only to find him sharing his new taco treasures with his 2 friends. I was in disbelief! I consider myself a kind hearted person, but I’m not sure that if I was homeless and hungry that I could easily share a free meal with anyone else. You’d probably find me solo, hiding out in an alley somewhere with mild sauce all over my face! Not our new friend, he was sharing his gift. At that I pulled over and Rob jumped out and gave each of them 2 more tacos. We noted that one man carefully placed one of his in his back pocket for safe keeping, which made me laugh (see quote below).

Long story short, after almost 2 hours we successfully found 10 homeless people and were able to give them 2 tacos each. We didn’t get into the whole “hard or soft” choices because then you feel obligated to then ask “mild, hot or fire sauce” and that’s just too many decisions for drive by taco distributing. Simple and genuine is enough I think.

As parting words, I’d like to share a few things that I learned (and one funny quote that arose) on our first “mission” yesterday:
It’s REALLY hard to find homeless people when you’re looking for them.
Hearing Rob tell our friend on the phone “We’re out driving around looking for homeless people to give tacos too” sounds even crazier than you already feel.
You can make 10 people’s bellies fuller with only $16
I’m definitely doing this again. Maybe once a month.
Drive by taco’ing is a great way to spend an afternoon
The homeless are not greedy (which humbled me completely). If you offer them food and they’ve already eaten, they’ll tell you that so that someone else can have their portion.
When you have nothing to your name, you form bonds strong enough to cause you to share when you do stumble across something to fill your bully.
Fun quotes arise such as “Is that a taco in your back pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

And last but not least, when you can’t be with your dad on Father’s Day, doing something in his honor is a close second. Knowing that one of the reasons you’d even think of doing a task like that is because of seeds that he and your mom have planted in you is an even better feeling.

Love you Dad!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TCF Staff Retreat='s Ropes Course. Bring it!

While some members of our staff complain, threaten to not participate, and moan over the challenge, I’m getting my game face on. Seriously, I’ve got my camouflage shorts ready, got the eye black ready, now all I need is a skull and cross bone bandanna and I’m set for some serious staff-wide fun!

Who doesn’t want to try and hoist their entire office team over a 15 foot wall while only using ourselves sans ropes and ladders? I do, I do. Running and climbing until I puke in the 90 degree weather? Um yes, please. Speculating every day from now until July 8th on who I think will refuse to partake in such activities? Duh, sign me up!

It’s time for us paper pushers to get a little dirt on our hands and faces. We can save the moaning and complaining for July 10th when none of us can move!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Has Anyone Seen My Filter?

Apparently today I left my “filter” at home this morning while I made a mad dash to the office. Coffee, check. Breakfast for the car, check. Eye make-up because I’m too behind to do it at the house, check. Verbal filter, uh-oh. Pretty sure that’s still sitting on the counter next to my English muffin crumbs.

I was not aware of this faux pas until I was in a brainstorming meeting this morning with our team. Apparently I did not like someone’s idea and made it known with an over emphasized “UUUGGGHHH” sound out loud after someone whipped out their idea. It was so quick to slip out, but so severely uncalled for. Who does that?! Who shoots down a co-workers brainchild, and who does it without constructively saying why they’re shooting it down? “How about this idea?”….NOPE, please try again later.

I seriously feel like my mouth is on auto-pilot today. Comment after comment has flown out with my mouth, some appropriate, some not so appropriate, all the while my mind and body sit back as innocent bystanders.

If I were to be 100% transparent with you, I’d probably say it felt slightly good and refreshing to say the first thing that came to my mouth. However the nice person part of me will only leave it at “I hope I remember to grab my filter tomorrow before I make someone cry or get fired”. UUUGGGGHHH.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The "Why" Column

o Why does it rain every single weekday afternoon in the summer when I’m stuck in a cubicle, but never when I want to curl up on the couch or fall asleep to a thunderstorm?
o Why did I just eat lunch but I’m still hungry?
o Why is it subfreezing in my office?
o Why do I have to wear a sweater to work in June?
o Why do people look at me funny when I’m wearing said sweaters?
o Why is every show worth watching anymore a reality show?
o Why don’t guys like reality shows as much as I do?
o Why do Heidi and Spencer appear on two reality shows during one season? And why do they make me want to vomit?
o Why does Heidi in one breath say she wants to be the next Mother Teresa and the best Christian alive and in the next breath pose nude for Playboy?
o Why don’t her parents yank a knot in her chain?!
o Why is Lauren leaving The Hills? (insert sad face)
o Why was there not more of a send off for her, seeing as how she was the sole reason a lot of us watched Laguna Beach and The Hills?
o Why do I feel like I lost a friend when I watched her drive away on the season finale?
o Why don’t I feel like a nerd for typing the last question?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Coming Out of the Closet

This weekend rocked. I spent Friday night playing with the beautiful baby boy that I was babysitting. Saturday I lounged by the pool, helped my friend look hot for a wedding, and went to Wild Wing to fill my chili-cheese fry craving. Sunday I got to hear an amazing Pastor, spend all day on a boat, and somehow wound up in a strange man’s closet with 7 other people. Interesting highlight to a fabulous summer weekend!

After an hour or two on my friend’s family’s boat, the sky began to turn from sunny and blue to overcast and grey. With the impending summer storm miles away from our boat, we kept anchor, ate chicken and watched the pretty lightening from afar. It wasn’t until the small storm started to envelop the sky that we decided it might be best to make a move in the opposite direction. With the mothers on the boat starting to become nervous, and I use that term lightly as terrified might be more justified, our Captain decided that we might want to find shelter and abandon the lightening rod that we were all sitting in.

Thanks in part to the generosity of two complete strangers who were storm watching from their pier, we were able to dock the boat and find shelter on a wooden (praise the Lord) pier, with a roof to keep us dry. With the mothers fearfully seeking shelter in the storage closet (mind you it’s probably only 4 by 5 feet big) the rest of us watched the clouds and played with the crab traps we found on the dock. That was until a crack of lightening and thunder directly overhead literally made me jump and run to the closet in one motion. In the closet is where I stayed, where we all stayed, as the rain, wind, and lightening stood its ground for awhile.

Never in a million years did I think that I would somehow find myself in a small closet, huddled against 7 of Tracy’s family members, on a stranger’s pier, and praying that the thing would hold against any weight limits it might have, all while two terrified mothers kept breaking out into show tunes to keep their mind off of the storm. With the sun finally trying to peek through the clouds, coming out of the closet never felt so glorious!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Walking, Talking Miracles

A few months ago I received a call from my mom that I had been waiting to receive over the last few years. Although the call went slightly different than I always thought it would, it started the same way that my mind had played over so many times.

“Britt, there’s been an accident in China.” With my little brother, Tanner, living in China over the last few years, and with his sense of adventure coupled with his lack of fear, I knew this call was inevitable. My mom then proceeded to tell me that Tanner was okay but sadly his good friend was not. Matt, Tanner’s friend from home who was living with his wife over in China, had just been in an accident at Tiger Leaping Gorge and things looked grim. Apparently Matt slipped while trying to descend a steep ravine and had fallen over the edge roughly 25-30 feet and landed on his head amongst the rocks. The friend with Matt called Nora and Tanner who were at the lodge and the search for Matt began.

Sadly Matt suffered a split from his eyebrow to the back of his head, fractured his skull in 3 places, broken his neck, and had brain damage. The rest of Matt’s journey was a whirlwind consisting of being carried out of the Gorge by donkey (they did not know his neck was broken at this point and had seated him upright to get him out), and riding in an ambulance for 2.5 hours to the closest hospital where they wouldn’t have adequate care to treat his injuries. The US Consulate called Matt’s parents to notify them that it would take $75,000 just to fly him from the small hospital to care in Hong Kong. This amount would not include any of the other care he’d need. Where does a Pastor’s family come up with that kind of money?
Insert Miracle #1- family, friends, and perfect strangers via Facebook rally and pitch in to fly Matt to Honk Kong.

Once in Hong Kong, Matt’s care was elevated to treat his injuries, but the treatments and healing that lay ahead of him would be lengthy. Weeks later, after the doctors in Hong Kong approved travel back to the states for the best care he’d receive, Matt made the trek safely. The doctors in the states were apparently shocked that Matt had been released so soon, but were thankful that it had happened as they were able to fix a surgery that had been done incorrectly in China.
Insert Miracle #2- a second chance at a correct healing process.

Matt would still need his skull repaired with the insertion of a plate in 4-6 months, had lost sight in both eyes with the exception of peripheral vision, and would most likely need physical therapy for months and months.

Cue final miracle- With all of that being said, I’m happy to report that Matt has made almost a FULL RECOVERY!!! His sight has come back in his left eye (Praise the Lord! Praying for the right eye), his skull has been repaired, and he is miraculously returning to work as a youth Chaplain next week.

Insert Miracle #3- God still heals daily. He can take a dire situation and show up when you think all hope is lost. Prayer works and He listens intently.

Celebrating Matt today!!