Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hog Wild, Law School, and Amanda Knox

Life has been so much fun! This past weekend I got to meet up with my favorite Texan and his family in Arlington. It just happened to be the same weekend that my beloved Hogs were playing at Cowboys Stadium. And Cash's sister-in-law just happens to be one huge Aggie fan.

Now, I love Jeanne. Thanks to her I met Cash and have 2 more beautiful little nieces. But I do wonder about her adoration of A&M. ;)

Only kidding, of course. We were quite respectful during the game, and I honestly tried to be humble aftewards. After all, it wasn't pretty for either of us. At dinner that night, though, I did have to call the Hogs with some fellow Razorbacks who were sitting right behind us. It was my Uncle-Cousin as the Pullins would call him and his friends.

Jeanne and I right after the game
I do so much love Cash's family...have I ever mentioned that?! For those of you who have known me for a long time, you know why they are so precious to me. It's been the biggest blessing in my life to date someone with such a wonderful, wonderful family. But I'll tell you what, that Cash can just stop my heart. He's just it... the whole shebang. I pray everyone gets to feel as giddy and in love as I do with him. (But not you with him...I'M the only one who can be in love with him. Got it??)

The most handsome man in the world with baby Toby
He's the best uncle in the world. And the most handsome uncle too! Lena and Toby love their Uncle Cashy!! He's so great with them...and he's so great to Braeson and Addison too. Braeson tells me how he's going to move to Texas with his Aunt A and be a geologist with Cash. He's OBSESSED with rocks, and he's always saying, "Ask Cash about this rock. Tell Cash I got a new rock." And on and on and on. It's so sweet!

Anywhoodle, the weekend was amazing. But it had to come to an end. Like always I started crying before I left even though I will be there Thursday evening. (Yay for short weeks and getting to see Cash!!) I was so exhausted from the 5 hour drive home and still had to go to Ozark and pick up Bequette. It was a late night for both of us, and he was tuckered out when I got him home.

tired little Bequette

 My roommate, being the sweetest girl in the world, had put a message on the 'fridge that I saw when I got home. It's so fun living with one of my best friends! The past 3 years I've lived by myself, and I was so proud of that. Since my need for a roommate was urgent, I didn't have much time to think about getting one. But it took letting go of a lot of pride to come to the realization that not only did I need to live with someone, but it was okay to live with someone too. She's been the greatest roommate...and friend!

My sweet roommate had this waiting for me!
Speaking of letting go of pride, I finally decided an official "no" on applying to law school. This is something I dreamed about growing up. I never really let that dream die, and I took the LSAT almost 2 years ago. Since we started talking about more serious issues in life, Cash has been so encouraging of me to find the path I wanted to go. He's told me numerous times he would support me no matter what, and it's been such a relief to kind of just figure this out in my own heart.

I wrestled with the decision of applying all summer long, and Cash can vouch that I would change my mind literally every single day. Finally, I told him that I would not. And I settled on that decision for several weeks until Wesleyan in Ft. Worth sent me an application fee waiver yesterday. We both thought, "What the heck? Why not just try?"

Deep down it wasn't about wanting to go to law school or even be a lawyer. I knew that. My love is politics, and I'm getting a master's in Public Administration already. To be honest, for me it was about the pride of getting accepted. I wanted to prove to myself, and everyone else really, that I was smart enough to get accepted. That I was a teacher AND I am intelligent.

Last night I sat down, wrote out my personal statement, had the application filled out for 2 law schools in Texas, and I changed my mind. I had absolutely no peace about it. And, truth be known, I knew it wasn't something I really wanted to do. I really want to be in Midland with Cash. I really want to transfer to UTPB, finish my master's, and concentrate in politics. I really want to be a city organizer, governor, or some other public official. Sometimes I even toss in the idea of being a corporate trainer, which wouldn't be a far cry from what I do now. None of my goals really align with law school...at least not to an extent which vouches for hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to do what I can do already.

So, bottom line, I let go of the pride of everyone seeing "how smart I am." And I decided to concentrate on living out my dreams of being in the political field...and concentrate on loving Cash. Because those 2 things I'm good at.

ANYWAY...I'm sure you really needed to know my reasoning behind law school...or lack thereof.

This whole ordeal with Amanda Knox has put me in a tension basket. I mean, I seriously have had anxiety attacks over it. I got tears in my eyes watching her come home. It's so real to me. It hits so close to home.

Remember me mentioning a few things about my summer trip to teach English? Well, it didn't go as planned. It ended up as the most traumatic event of my life.

all this garb in 130 degrees
I got to wear this attire in a humid 130 degree heat, and many times I had to walk with my head down so that I wouldn't make inadvertent eye contact with a man. I was in the Middle East...my first trip ever outside the USA.

I'm still not sure if now is the right time to tell you the details of my trip. But I will tell you that it was oppressive being there as a woman. I had no rights. No freedoms. It was the saddest lifestyle I can imagine having.

To top it off I became overly frightened of men, especially locals. One day, at the right time, I will tell you all about it. But right now I can say that after a terrifying experience, I stayed in the capital city for 2 1/2 days waiting for a flight back to the US.

You don't think about if you can get a flight when you're in America. You know you'll get one. But halfway around the world I was completely alone except for a few Americans I had met within the week. No family. No friends. No one to look after me.

My family finally helped get me on a plane, and I travelled for 30 hours back to Dallas. I remember that flight so vividly: I could barely breathe. I had an anxiety attack for 7 solid hours on the first leg of the trip. In Amsterdam the flight attendant took me to the doctor who ended up giving me a handfull of pills to relieve the anxiety on the way to the States.

God put his giant wall of protection around me the entire time. But on the way home I felt it the most. I knew I would have Amerian soil under my feet again...that those people who tried to hurt me overseas would never find me...that I never had to go back.

Bring that to today as I watched Amanda Knox put her own feet on American soil for the first time in 4 years. I sob with her knowing the feeling of "finally" when you breathe your first breath of American air in what seems like an eternity. Truly there is no place like home...our home. What we have in the United States is so uncomparable to other parts of the world. We have freedom, equality, justice, and liberty. I took that for granted my whole life. However, this summer made me so grateful that often times I will kneel to kiss the ground I'm walking on. I wonder if Amanda Knox did that too.

I can't speak for her. But I can say that her heart must be exhausted from enjoying the rest and peace she has found back home in Seattle. My heart goes out to her for dealing with this unthinkable circumstance. My heart goes out for the family of her friend she sadly lost. And my heart goes out for those outside of our borders who may not even be able to dream of the privileges we have here.

Every single day in 2nd period I make sure my students are being respectful while saying the Pledge of Allegiance. I am so proud of our military and our country. We will never understand why we were blessed to be here. But God did bless us. And He blessed the United States of America.

Peace, Love, and Sweet Dreams---

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