Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm Asking a Favor.

One of my two Sunday School students from Norman passed away last week. Lyra was a determined, beautiful, inquisitive spirit. In lieu of flowers, her family is asking for donations to find a cure for childhood cancer. I thought I'd share the link, and photos of my last visit with Lyra, after the decision was made to place her in hospice care. Thank you.

Lyra with her Dad and beanie baby, Baldie
Lyra with her new beanie baby and Yvonne, our Unity Minister
Lynn (Lyra's stepmom, who also hired me at Unity, and nurtured Lyra in the most loving of ways), Lyra, and Yvonne (Minister)
Lyra with her new beanie baby. She loved those little guys.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Favorite Things in May

Just a few of my favorite things this month. It's the little things that really make me happy!!!

Purchased From: http://www.samplehouseonline.com/
(total sucker for home decor)

I've Loved This Calendar ALL Year, But Especially NOW In My Birth Month!!! The BEAUTIFUL Monarch in the Month of MAY!
Purchased From: http://www.anthropologie.com

This watch has been on my wrist for a year now, but I love it JUST as much as I ever have! Easy to read, matches silver, gold, black, and brown. Timeless! Thank you, M&D and Mimi and GrandDad!

Favorite Magazine. And This Month, I FINALLY Subscribed! FIRST MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION EVER! YAY!

Our Momma Duck Had Her Babies!!! Love Visiting These Ducklings With Ted!

Flowers From a Patient...MADE OUR DAY!

And Last But Not Least, Shoutout to My CAMERA (Falling More In Love With You By The Second!)...Have Been Busy Making Videos and Taking Photos, And Now This Camera Is With Me More Than My PURSE!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Turning Off.

George and I are going on a roadtrip mid-June. We are (quite possibly) going to Ruidoso, Carlsbad Caverns, Beaver's Bend, and Marfa, TX. Maybe all of the above, maybe just Marfa. Who knows.

Why Marfa?

I'll explain when we get back. Or if you really want to know, you can call me. Or text me, but I won't respond while I am on the trip!

Which leads me to my next point.

When I drive, I text or Facebook. Yes. On my phone, while I drive. I know. I know. Don't preach, trust me, I know. It's awful. I acknowledge the awful-ness of this statement.

When we embark on our adventure, I am turning off the phone. Chucking it in the backseat. We are going to use a MAP. Not the GPS. 

We are going to TALK, not text. We are not going to get online because the only thing we'll be focusing on will be the new sights we take in, and eachother. 
Ruidoso a few years ago. This was at a Tinker family reunion, but this time we'll be making the trip just the two of us.
They say 21 days of anything creates a habit. I'm going to see if 21 hours of driving can create a habit. If I can go 21 hours of driving without even having my phone within reach...it will jumpstart my goal for when I come home. Of NOT using my phone while I drive.

It all started because of the iPod on my iPhone. I listen to the iPod while I drive, and change songs (on the phone/iPod), and WHILE I have it in my hand, I'll check my Facebook, or text somebody back. Totally unacceptable.

So since we will need some sweet jams on the 20+ hour trek, we are going to make surprise playlists, make it a game, and listen to CDs. Like we used to. And guess what?! The SONG won't be interrupted by a CALL or a chime of a text. LIBERATING, right?!

I'm so excited for this trip. Not to mention the photos...I will be in a state of absolute bliss.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jessica's Birthday

I had a blast at Lake Lewisville with Jessica, friends, and family, celebrating her birthday tomorrow. Here are a few of my favorite pics. Video to come...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Heroin on the Mind.

On Tuesday, 17 young adults between the ages of 17-24 were indicted by a federal grand jury for heroin-related crimes in my hometown of Flower Mound, TX.

And now, two days later, a football player from my University has been pronounced dead. The cause of death is still unknown, but drug overdose is suspected. Austin Box, OU's senior linebacker was only 22 years old.

149 comments were made on this news article about the Flower Mound heroin crime. Probably more by the time you get around to reading it. People have very strong opinions, and are quick to post them when they are behind the computer screen, using an anonymous name.

After reading through most of these comments, I decided it would be most appropriate to gather my thoughts and post them here. My goal isn't to engage in an argument; my intention, rather, is to pass love and prayer along to those impacted by the recent news.

There were 3 deaths in the town of Flower Mound from heroin overdose in the past year, and I imagine at this time, the parents of those teens are wishing they could trade places with the families of the teens going to prison. The statistics of heroin users are daunting-only 1 in 5 ever break free of the addiction. I imagine parents of teens who have died from overdose wish their loved one was alive to have the staggering 20% chance of bouncing back, even if prison time was required.

If you are interested in a sociological perspective on WHY people even begin down this path, you might find THIS LINK on the Anomie Theory interesting.

With the back-to-back news in both my hometown and college town, a few questions have come to the forefront of my mind. 

1) Heroin is not a recreational drug that people dabble in for experimentation or curiosity. Specifically, the 17 indicted in Flower Mound, were not "curious" teenagers or "sporadic users"-- they were addicts. The medical point of view makes me question the ethics involved with releasing photos, names, and information about these individuals. In my opinion, they should be treated as PATIENTS, with HIPPA protecting their medical privacy. It is not my concern what these people look like, or who they are. My concern is that they are no longer able to supply heroin to others, and that they get the help they need from a trained MEDICAL staff that has their BEST interests at heart. This is not a legal issue-it is a medical issue-and I think it should be treated as such. Prison is not the place for them-rehab is. Prison has video games, and a lot of ample time where people sit around. Boredom leads most people to drug use anyway. These patients need schedules set each day filled with activities, therapy, and care. There should not be ample time for them to sit and crave their drug; the physical dependence heroin causes will cause cravings without any help from boredom. 

2) Why are people so righteous about their children NOT using drugs? When I read through those posts, I thought to myself, "Those parents might be surprised what their kids actually do...and will never tell you, based on your harsh judgments." If my parents ever told me that drug addicts were "better off in hell," and I became a drug addict, they would be the LAST person I would turn to for help. And the reality of the situation, which is very evident with the location of this organized activity, is DRUG ABUSE DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE. There was only one African American (not like it should matter, but it should bring awareness) involved. These were young, white, upper-middle class, young adults, LIVING in Flower Mound, Grapevine, Highland Village, and Lewisville. These kids, I'm sure, were raised similarly to the way I was raised. It's evident that drug abuse can set in where the means are made available. One would think that a successful University of Oklahoma linebacker wouldn't be drawn to any other high--but there is something there that entices certain individuals, and medical treatment is necessary, not judgment.

3) At the end of the day, personal convictions and outward judgments do not bring the dead back to life, nor do they end addiction and the physical withdrawals one goes through. They benefit NOBODY other than the person feeling superior, passing the judgments. Unfortunately, many people passing judgments use religion as a means to do so. I stand firm in my belief that any religion is based in love and peace, and the principles of religion should not be used for ego-advancement. I believe Jesus would want to help every drug-addicted individual find joy and peace in life, not make the addict feel worse with judgments. In fact, Jesus passed the message of non-judgment and love. Nothing else matters. Quite literally, and not-so-bible-thumpingly- I declare, THANK YOU, JESUS!

4) During my clinical rotation at Griffin Memorial (a state-funded psychiatric ward in Oklahoma), I spent ample time with drug addicts. This is where many drug addicts end up when they cannot afford expensive rehabilitation. Needless to say, one can go mad being surrounded by patients with severe schizophrenia, bipolar, and borderline personality disorder, when the drug addict is a healthy individual otherwise. I'd like to mention, for the judgmental alcohol-drinking individuals out there, ALCOHOL is a drug, too. In fact, alcohol withdrawals can be lethal. When one has to drink to curb deadly withdrawal symptoms, or inject heroin...it takes any "fun seeking" behavior completely out of the equation. They are self-medicating. Why is it that our country is so quick to judge those that self-medicate, but not those that are taking prescription pills? Heroin is a derivative of morphine. It used to be given in prescription form, here in the states. The issue, whether it is alcohol, heroin, prescription pills or any other substance you want, is when it becomes an addiction. When one has to take the substance to feel normal...they are depriving themselves of the joy life has to offer, and slowly become numb to the beautiful world around them. 

To the Flower Mound residents that have been indicted--I don't know you. But I'm praying for you. 

I am praying that people lay off, because I can imagine your stress and pressure is high enough without anybody else putting more on your shoulders. 

I am praying for comfort while you withdrawal.

I am praying for peace for your families.

I am praying for inner motivation to not become a statistic. That you can quit using, and be successful in your future endeavors.

I am praying that you find joy and serenity in the simple things of life. 

I am very grateful that I have not witnessed the effects of drug abuse first-hand, or with any immediate family or friends. However, I do not think that any of us are exempt, or special. I think we are lucky. And for that, I am grateful. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Summer is a Frame of Mind.

While hearing friends complain about finals and 14-hour studying streaks, I was very grateful to have college behind me. However, when these same friends indulge in a 3 month "break" from responsibility, my envy kicks in. I decided that I, too, am going in "summer mode" and will try to stay up later, and do more spontaneous, fun things. Because that's what summer used to mean! Sure, there might be a morning here or there where I had to wake up early for a dentist appointment or something...but it didn't keep me from doing what I wanted the night before-only HOMEWORK or a TEST did. So...I have a job. And I love my job! But when I'm not on the clock, I will be in summer. This weekend was my first weekend of summer, and I must say...I think it will be my best summer yet.

I went to a fun graduation party during the day on Saturday, and another graduation/going away party that night. Sunday, George and I got some Thai take-out (I can never get enough!) and ate at Old Alton (also known as "The Old Goatman's Bridge"). We went for a sweet walk, then went back to his folks' place to make some homemade blackberry cobbler. We even got the berries from the yard. It was absolutely delicious. Before seeing "Bridesmaids" (Kristen Wiig CRACKS ME UP!), we had a beer and cheese fries at Snuffer's. It was SUCH an amazing weekend!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Love, From a Daughter's Perspective

Nobody loves me as thoughtfully as my mom. I've discussed this time and time again with my friends.

Fathers love in a very special way, and I wouldn't trade my relationship with my dad for anything!!! I'll write a separate post one of these days about how much that relationship means to me.

Significant Others are romantic and wonderful, and the love they provide is completely different, and COMPLETELY appreciated.

Even the femininity my girlfriends provide is absolutely delightful, but can't compare to the selflessness that my mom provides when really listening to a particular situation I'm struggling with.

MOMS remember things. They have this uncanny way of knowing exactly what to do and when to do it. They know which items will substitute in recipes. They know when you're up to something you shouldn't be, and they know when they need to lay off the advice and just be there (and it seems my mom is getting better at this every year).

I was reading a friend's blogpost about mothers this morning, and she was writing about how having children changed the way she viewed her mom. I don't have kids yet (other than you, sweet little Tedward), but the way I perceive my mom has already changed drastically just from growing up. I realize more and more that my mom is a PERSON. For over twenty years I thought of her as only capable of playing one role in this 'movie' we call life, and that role was SUPERMOM. I think part of this is because she lost her mom at such an early age (my mom was 9 months pregnant, and only 27...thinking about the pain she endured when she got a sudden phone call that her mother was dead absolutely terrifies me...sometimes I even feel a panic attack coming on and I have to turn on the television or read a book to distract my mind from getting carried away). I think since I didn't really witness my mom in the "daughter" role, and she always put "mother" ahead of "wife" (at least in front of me and my sister), I had a limited view of WHO SHE WAS. Realizing that she has FRIENDS, and a HUSBAND, and a CAREER...these all make her more REAL to me, more of a real person, and not just a "mother" role.

I love the person that my mom is, and I love the role she played and continues to play in my life. Losing her terrifies me beyond belief and I extend my deepest condolences to anybody, INCLUDING MY MOM, who has lost a mother. I imagine Mother's Day (especially the first Mother's Day after the passing of a mom) is a holiday that pours salt in a wound for people who no longer have their mom in the physical form. I hope that this day, no matter where anybody is, we can all take time to pause and feel gratitude for the women that brought us into this life. Mothers are vessels that bring us into this plane. The love they feel outweighs that of any other human being on the planet, because they BROUGHT us here. Teenage daughters and moms sometimes want to claw eachother's eyes out, this is normal and natural (ha!), but hopefully one learns over time that all the mother ever wants is to do a good job raising a contributing human being in this very strange world.

Thank you so much, Mommy, for everything. I'm crazy in love with you, and would be absolutely lost if you hadn't been such an important force in my life. I'm turning into you more and more each day, whether I like it or not. But I'm starting to like it more and more!

And Mommy,
I know I bought you a sweater for Mother's Day that was an apparent bust, but here's another gift straight from the heart (and iMac addiction):