Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

I don't even know where to begin, so I'm not going to try.
 
Goodnight.
 
 


Sunburn is Mandatory

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! To all of you men and women who have served and continue serving and protecting our country...thank you. It is because of you that we are able to enjoy these beautiful freedoms. God Bless you all!
 
This has been the most fantastic three-day weekend. I so hate to see it end...it truly saddens me that my alarm will be going off in nine hours. These past three days have been packed full of fun and sun. Great memories have been made, and sun burn has been received.
 
Friday evening John and I went to the movies with some friends. We saw the new Star Trek, and I really enjoyed it. I've never been a Star Trek fan, but I have watched both of the newer movies and liked them a lot. After the movie I just hung out with John at his place for a while, where we watched King of the Hill. Such quality entertainment, ha ha.
 
Saturday morning I got up bright and early and headed down to the Ichetucknee River with a big group of friends. This is really close to my hometown, so we met up with my brother and a couple of his friends and spent the day tubing down the river (twice!), eating lunch from a cooler, swimming in the springs, and walking the nature trails. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we were exhausted by the end of the day. Amber and I even woke up with sore arms yesterday morning from paddling our way down the river. Somehow the only picture I ended up with from the trip is this picture of my brother squeezed into Amber's tank. The kid is crazy.
 
 
We returned home pretty exhausted that night, but we were also starving so we managed to shower and make a trip to Applebee's for some late dinner. I have been trying to eat less than 1,300 calories a day, so I chose to go with one of their under 550 calorie options. I had chicken with Portobello mushrooms, veggies, and a few potatoes. It was delicious, and really filled me up.
 
 
Sunday morning it was time for some churchin'. Amber and I have been trying out a new church together, so before service started we met some of the young adults in the congregation at Donut Kingdom (best donuts in Tallahassee) for breakfast. Service was really great, and afterwards we had lunch with a group of people at a local restaurant called Kool Beans CafĂ©. I had never been there before that, but I will definitely be going back. It's very bright colored and funky. The walls are filled with tons of bright art done by local artists, and the menu varies daily. The food options were a little pricey, but also very unique so it was definitely worth it. I had grit cakes, topped with angouille sausage, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. That definitely wasn't in my diet, but I had already decided to be a little more lenient for the remainder of the weekend.
 
 
Following brunch, Amber and I ran around town gathering stuff up for our Memorial Day cookout. We bought stuff for hamburgers, hotdogs and all the fixin's. We even borrowed a grill in order to prepare the food in true Memorial Day fashion. After we finished our errands I washed and cleaned my car, and then went to the store to pick up a few things so that I could make John dinner. I made him chicken pesto pasta, broccoli, and garlic bread with peanut butter chocolate brownies for dessert. It was a success, but of course it didn't happen without a little silliness.
 
 
Since today was a holiday, there was no work for this girl! We had friends over for lots of yummy food and fun activities. Amber and I mastered the grill and had all of the food ready in less than thirty minutes. We grill better than any man I know, if I do say so myself.
 
 
Since we were all stuffed after lunch, we went out to work off those calories with a few games of cornhole. This has become quite a competition within my group of friends. My cornhole partner Alex and I have been striving to beat Amber and her partner Tom. We came pretty close today. One day, victory will be ours!
 
 
We worked up a good sweat out in the Florida sun, so we spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool. I wish I could spend all day, every day at the pool. At least during the summer anyway. Following all of the Memorial Day fun I had dinner with John and some friends visiting from out of town at Sonny's. It was a nice end to a perfect weekend.
 
And would this holiday really be complete without a good sunburn? This is what happens when you're having too much fun to reapply your sunscreen, folks.
 
 


Cherries, Travel, and Zach Galifianakis

I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have literally just sat down for the first time since around 9:00. I have been the filing master this morning. One of my coworkers is out of the office for the next couple of weeks due to surgery, so my boss asked if I would mind organizing all of her files for her to help her out. I love organizing stuff...anything at all. So of course, I said yes. I will say though, I didn't expect it to take three hours. They were in a bit of a chaos, but I can now eat my lunch knowing that they are in good standing. What can I say? I'm a pro.
 
So what's on my lunchtime blogging menu? If you read yesterday's post you know that I have been eating really low calorie this past week, and just because today is Friday doesn't mean I can cheat. Therefore, my feast consists of:
 
*a small spinach salad with lite Italian dressing, a few croutons, and a bit of shredded cheese
*a Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut bar
*a handful of cherries (my fave!)
 
I also just dropped salad dressing all over my khakis. There's nothing I hate worse than a stain on clothing that I have to wear in public for a few more hours. Why do bad things happen to good people?
 
Moving on...am I the only person who feels like everyone in the world is taking these amazing trips? Everyday on my Facebook feed I am looking at pictures of friends travelling across the country, or laying on the beach. One of my Facebook friends was on a month or so long trip, in which her status updates and picures came from everywhere from London to Santorini, Greece. I was basically green with envy looking at all of her stuff. I want to go to so many places in Europe...really badly! My wanderlust (need to travel) has been a million times worse than usual lately.
 
 I was trying to be positive when I was thinking about this earlier and I though, "Hey Miranda, you get to travel more than you think you do. You get to travel the entire length of Tennessee every day!"
 
I'm sure that just confused some of you. You're thinking..."Wait, I thought she lives in Florida?"
 
I do live in Florida. I just wanted to see if any of my fellow Tallahassee readers would get the Tennessee joke? Tennessee is a street, for those of you that don't live here. I literally travel from my house at one end to my office at the other, every day. Therefore, I travel the length of Tennessee. Sorry...that was my lame attempt to be funny.
 
Anyway, I know that I will eventually get my chance to travel overseas. It will happen! I also get to go to Pennsylvania for a week in July to visit some family, so I'm pretty excited about that!
 
I also wanted to talk about something that I heard on the radio earlier in the week. I listen to Kidd Kraddick every day on my way to work. They are my favorite, and my day just isn't the same without listening to them. One of the DJ's on the show (Kellie Rasberry, for those of you who listen) shared a really sweet story about Zach Galifianakis. In case you're not sure who he is, he plays Allen on The Hangover and he's also in Due Date with Robert Downey Jr. He's hilarious...but he is also apparently a very kind-hearted man.
 
In a laundry mat he used to frequent when growing up, there was always an older woman there (I believe she is now 80 or so) who volunteered to help people with their laundry in exchange for tips. Her name is Mimi and Zach became good friends with her. Later down the road, Zach learned that Mimi is actually homeless, so he put her up in a nice apartment, and he pays all of her bills every month. How sweet is that?
 
Wait, it gets better. Zach also occasionally takes Mimi as his date to red carpet events. You can actually find pictures if you Google them! So he has not only given this woman a place to live, but he also gave her the opportunity to do something that most people only dream of. I thought that was just the nicest thing. Stories like that give me faith in humanity. Kudos to you, Zach Galifianakis.
 
Happy Friday!
 


Bring on the Three-Day Weekend

5 PM  on Friday....WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU?
 
I'm not even sure why I'm posting right now, because I'm overall just not in the state of mind to form coherent sentences. I'm tired. This week has been exhausting, and the upcoming three day weekend couldn't be happening at a more perfect time. I'm also quite grumpy, due to the fact that I'm at the end of day four of zero caffeine in my system. Zero. Zilch. None, whatsoever. I found myself becoming too dependent on it again, so it's time to reverse that for the millionth time. Why do I have to love Coke? And Mountain Dew?
 
I have also had no more that 1,300 calories to eat per day for the past four days. I realized earlier that I haven't even had any meat! Not because I'm trying not to eat it...I'm not feeling the vegetarian thing. I guess the types of food I have been choosing (fruit, granola, cheeses, salads) just haven't involved meat. The funny thing is I haven't missed it very much. But I guess I'm not a super big meat eater to begin with. Carbs are my weakness. I will take a biscuit over a steak any day of the week.
 
Anyway, I've been dieting because again, I'm trying to get back on track and I figured the best way to start was by being really strict on myself for the next couple of weeks. I'm only a few days in, but I think I've lost some weight already. And I feel better physically. Isn't it crazy how much of a difference your diet makes? You don't realize it until you have experienced the differences in the extremes of eating healthy and eating like crap.
 
So to end this post that my grumpy, caffeine deprived self has somehow managed to tap out, I leave you a picture of the facial expression that has described this week. Again I say...bring on this weekend! I want some fun and relaxation with my friends and John. :)
 
 
Happier posts to come, my friends. Sorry for extreme lack of blogging in May. This month has not been the kindest of the year.
 


What the Professional World Has Taught Me (Thus Far): Volume 2

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about some of the things that I have learned in the working world so far. Everyday is truly a learning experience, so today I bring you the second volume of what the professional world is teaching me.
 
1. Waking up at 6 AM doesn't get any easier.
There is one thing that 8 to 5-ers dread more than anything on the planet...and that is the sound of an alarm clock. (But, we also love the feel of pushing the snooze button.) Getting out of bed in the mornings is just becoming increasingly more difficult. 6 AM is not friendly.
The positive aspect to this is, I'm slowly perfecting how to take as little time as possible to get ready while also making sure that I don't look like a homeless person. It really is a fine line to walk, but it is certainly possible. Perfecting this art is more than necessary, because if I'm being completely honest, I actually don't get out of bed until around 6:45. Did I mention that I have to leave the house at 7:30?
I have a bad habit of wanting to sit and stare at the wall after getting out of the shower. I have to really force myself not to do that. It's just so darn hard. I love sleep.
 
2. To-do lists are your BFF's.
I would not survive the day without my post-it notes. That is not even an exaggeration. I seriously make at least two different to-do lists every day...one for urgent things that absolutely have to be finished, and one for smaller things that are easier to forget. I also have a separate list to keep track of phone calls that I have to return.
Don't sit there and pretend like you're so awesome that you can remember everything without a to-do list. I refuse to believe it's possible. And, if it is actually doable...please share your secrets with this type-A girl.
 
3. You really do need friends at work.
Just like in any other social setting, you are going to want people you can depend on at the office. We are social beings...obviously. We need people to talk to during the day, whether it's for advice, encouragement, or even a much-needed laugh.
I tend to be a pretty quiet person, and I sometimes have difficulty getting to know people. Now that I have had time to get to know my coworkers, it's so much more comforting to know that I can walk a few steps down the hallway when I need someone to talk to...for whatever the reason may be.
 
4. Casual Friday is not all it's cracked up to be.
Okay, so this is kind of a silly one. I had this conversation with my roommate the other day. Why do we get so excited to wear jeans to work on Fridays? They're tight, they're hot, they feel even worse after lunch...they're overall not fun to sit in for eight hours a day. Yet, we still look forward to casual Friday all during the week, even when we are sitting there wearing nice, flowy dresses and skirts that don't squeeze or hinder in any way. The world may never understand this reasoning.
 

SYTYCD, College Majors, and First Dates

Hey folks.
 
All I have to say is, you know you're getting old when you ditch movie plans to stay home and order pizza and watch TV. That's basically what happened with my roommate and I. We were going to go see The Great Gatsby around 7:00, but decided we are just too lazy.
 
And...I'm perfectly okay with that, because guess what premiers tonight?
 
Source: impawards.com via Julie on Pinterest
 
So You Think You Can Dance!!!!
Anyone else a fan? I have been crazy about it for the past three or four years. Cannot wait!
 
Now, as per the Tuesday usual...it's time to link up with Halie and Hallie for Firsts and Lasts.
 
First Things First
 
Today we are talking about:
 
First major in college?
Yes...I am one of those people. And by that I mean, I changed my major. Twice. Although, I wish I would have stuck with my first one now.
I began as an English major, because I absolutely love reading, writing, grammar, and everything else to do with the subject. I wanted to be a journalist, or a high school English teacher. However, a lot of people kept telling me that majoring in English would cause me to hate reading and writing, and that scared me. Those have been my favorite things since I was old enough to hold a book!
So, the first semester of my sophomore year I took my first Sociology class. It was so interesting and different than anything I had ever studied, so I changed my major to Sociology and went down that track for a year and a half. I wanted to go to grad school for Sociology and be a professor or an investigative author.
Well, my GPA was barely a 3.0 due to working so much and supporting myself outside of school. That wasn't high enough for grad schools. So, I changed my major to Social Science, which was a little more lenient. I focused on the subjects of Sociology and Geography, and wanted to be a high school Social Studies teacher.
And here I am, almost five years later...wishing I would have stuck to English. But, there's a reason for everything.
 
First date success story?
I never really "dated" when I was younger. It was always more like hanging out. I dated my first boyfriend for about two years in high school, and the first "date" for him and I was playing 20 questions in the church van on the way home from a youth retreat. A few months after that we went to Wild Adventures theme park and spent the day there and saw a Switchfoot concert there that night.
Even though those weren't generic dates, I would still count them as successes.
As for John and I, our first date was to my sorority's formal last spring. It was a great night.
 
Peace out, girl scouts.
 


Mothers are a Girl's Best Friend

This is a little late, but I still couldn't resist doing a little special post for my Mama! She is such a beautiful person, inside and out. I'm so glad that God chose her to be mine. I really don't know where I would be without her love and support. She is there encouraging me every little step of the way. More importantly, she prays for me daily. I'm so blessed. Also, you should check out her blog here.
 
 
Love you Mama! Glad I got to spend some time with you this weekend.
 


Songs that Have Changed My Life: Edition 1

I listen to A LOT of music during the week...just like most other people in the world. I listen to music as I drive to work, I listen to it while I'm at work, I listen to it on the way home from work, I listen to it while I shower, I listen to it when I lie down to go to sleep...I even listen to it while I'm cleaning. I would say it's safe to bet that I live at least 10-12 hours of my day with music in the background. In fact, if that was taken away...the world just may end. :p
 
It's no secret that music allows us to experience thoughts and emotions that we may not typically be able to conjure up on our own. I was thinking really hard about this as I was listening to my favorite iHeart radio station in my office today. There are certain songs that have literally changed the way that I think about life; songs that I will never grow tired of. That's why I have decided to devote one post a week to a song that touches my heart, makes me think, or even just makes me smile.
 
For the first edition of this little endeavor, I'm going to share the song that came on the radio in my office and made me think about this today...Dare You to Move by Switchfoot.
 
 
I fell head over heels in love with Switchfoot after watching A Walk to Remember and buying the soundtrack...which they were pretty much responsible for every song on. The first CD of theirs that I bought was The Beautiful Letdown, and I listened to it so much that I could sing every single word and it eventually wouldn't play anymore.
 
Dare You to Move is kind of the stereotypical Switchfoot song to like...but can't you see why? It's very near to my heart for more than one reason. Not only was it one of the first songs that I frequently listened to after I was saved, it was also the song we used for one of my favorite high school guard performances. The song is just so positive, and enlightening. It has always encouraged me to keep going, and "lift myself up off the floor" when I would rather not. I have listened to these lyrics probably thousands of times over the past nine years, and I'm still not even slightly tired of hearing them. They really had it right when they wrote this song. It's perfect.
 
My favorite lines would have to be:
 
Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be
 
So often in life, we become complacent. We become okay with being mediocre, and we adopt the attitude that failure is inevitable and we may as well accept it. Why do we have to accept that? We have the power to be better than we ever imagined. We have the ability to not only make our own dreams come true, but to make a major difference in the lives of others as well. If we just stop letting the negatives keep us pinned to the ground, we can get up and accomplish anything. We can't let a bad "today" ruin our lives. We truly have to live and believe like, as the song says, "today never happened."
 


Say What?

I'm writing a post at 1:30 AM. Yes, you read that correctly. And, nope, I'm not joking! I have to be awake in five hours to get ready for work...and I haven't even been to sleep yet!
 
After work I came home to get ready, and then went to dinner with John. We hung out at his place for a while watching Chuck, and I left there around 10:00. I came home and then walked right back out the front door to go to my friend Kathryn's 21st birthday party. Needless to say, I just walked into my room and I'm not even remotely able to fall asleep right now. I'm going to regret this in the morning. I'm normally in bed by 10 PM. You know, grandma status.
 
So, yesterday one of my Facebook friend's shared this article and the name of it immediately caught my attention. Go ahead, click on over and read it.
 
 
Of course, I opened it up and read it...in disgust. Abercrombie and Fitch has never been a place that I have shopped, and not just because my jean size is bigger than a 10. When I was in high school, I was actually able to fit clothing from there, but why would I want to spend $60 on a cotton tshirt? Also, my mom was turned off by the advertising, so I wasn't even allowed to buy from there if I had wanted to. After reading this article, I am beyond thankful for that.
 
What really got me was the reason behind why he doesn't want to offer plus-size clothing. Obviously, he is the CEO and he can do whatever he pleases. However, his notion that "fat kids aren't cool" is not a very educated stance. He wants to "go after the attractive all-American kid," but I'm not so sure that's even working for him. Sure, his stores are stocked with young, thin, attractive employees. But, I'm positive that I'm not the only person that has witnessed this brand being sported by 50-something moms with so much botox in their faces that they can't even see straight, or even those "fat, unattractive" people that he dislikes so much. Mr. Jeffries should be honored that so many different types of people want to support him and all of his jerkiness.
 
I'm not writing this to offend anyone. I'm not going to email out a petition that I want you to sign stating that you won't support Abercrombie or anything like that. I know a lot of people that love their A&F clothing, and that's fine. I guess the thought process of Mr. Mike Jeffries just makes me...sad. It's really upsetting to see people discriminate so harshly against groups of people that they don't even know anything about.
 
What is your opinion on Mike Jeffries and his harsh way of promoting his products?
 


Groceries, Shopping, and Personal Facts

After yesterday's negative little jump back into the blogging world after disappearing for a week and a half, I am just really in the mood to do a fun and easy post. Lucky for me, it's Tuesday...which means I can head over and link up with  Halie and Hallie for From Firsts to Lasts. These adorable ladies have recently revamped their weekly linkup, so make sure you go check it (and them) out.
 

First Things First
 
This week we are talking about:
 
The first aisle you hit up at the grocery store.
Well, if you know me well, then you know that I absolutely hate going grocery shopping. But...when I HAVE to, I find myself sticking to the game plan that my mom always went by: get the cold things last. Which means that the first aisle I meander to is typically the one with the ramen noodles canned foods or the bread or something of that nature, ie: items that don't have to be refrigerated.
 
First store you head to at the mall.
I just realized that I really don't go to the mall that much. At all. Is this what getting old feels like? Or maybe...this is just what having bills feels like.
Anyhow...I guess it depends on what I'm looking for. If I need perfume or other "smelly good stuff," I will hit up Victoria's Secret or Bath and Body Works. I also really enjoy spraying all of the tester perfumes looking around in Sephora.
If I'm after clothes or shoes, I will go to JcPenney, Macy's, and occasionally Forever21. Most stores that I buy clothes at aren't in the mall though.
 
I'm finished answering this week's firsts...but I don't really feel like ending this post yet. While I was browsing around Halie's blog, I came across her "reverse pyramid" style about me post...and it looks like fun! Hope she doesn't mind that I'm borrowing her idea!
 
10 Favorite Foods
1. Spaghetti (My mom's specifically)
2. French fries
3. Salad of almost any kind
4. Brussel Sprouts (I know...that's really strange)
5. Burritos
6. Pizza
7. Philly cheesesteaks
8. Green lima beans
9. Cookies
10. My Grandma's cornbread!
 
9 Favorite Movies (In no particular order)
1. Phantom of the Opera
2. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
3. A Walk to Remember
4. The Blindside
5. Never Been Kissed
6. Titanic
7. Ever After
8. The Princess Bride
9. Mona Lisa Smile
(For the record, who only has 9 favorite movies? So hard to choose!)
 
8 Favorite Musical Artists
1. Coldplay, Coldplay, COLDPLAY
2. Adele
3. Anberlin
4. Maroon 5
5. Mumford and Sons
6. Switchfoot
7. Tim McGraw
8. Shania Twain
 
7 Things I Love Right Now
1. Spring!!! :)
2. Sea salt texturizing spray (does wonders for my wavy hair)
3. Dance Moms
4. BB cream (so much better than foundation)
5. Fresh flowers
6. My new laptop
7. My wonderful roommates!
 
 
6 Places I'd LOVE to Visit
1. Prague, Czech Republic
2. Hawaii
3. London, England
4. Florence, Italy
5. Paris, France
6. Greece
 
5 Favorite Games
1. Apples to Apples
2. Catch Phrase
3. Scattergories
4. Charades
5. Yahtzee
 
4 Things I'd Like to Do Again
1. Road trip halfway across the country with my amazing friend Liz
2. Go on a mission trip
3. Perform on stage
4. Compete with a travelling colorguard
 
3 Things I'd Like to Do in 2013
1. Take a trip to a spontaneous destination
2. Run a 5k
3. Finish my first novel
 
2 Facts About Me
1. I legitimately have OCD. Some of my obsessive habits include constantly reorganizing my house and office, fidgeting my hands, and tapping my fingers.
2. I love Broadway musicals of any kind.
 
1 Meaning Behind My Blog Name
Progress, Passion, and Young Professionalism is really just a description of where I'm at in life. I'm learning to better myself, and improve the parts of my life that need improving. I'm making progress and living with passion, all while working a desk job in the professional world.
 
Now I'm feeling like I reached my daily dose of blogging happiness. I'm off to watch the new episode of Dance Moms! Hope you all have a great night! :)
 

Not a Post Full of Rainbows

Before I get into this post, I just wanted to go ahead and inform you that it's not going to be full of sunshine and flowers. It's actually going to be a little on the negative side. I try to avoid that as much as possible, but I just need to get these feelings out of my system. Also, just because I'm complaining does not mean that I'm playing the "poor me" card, or that I'm not thankful for the opportunities that I have. Any real blogger...or human being in general, should understand that life just gets annoying sometimes.
 
You may have noticed that I have been MIA for over a week now. I really get upset with myself when I don't blog, but every couple of months I go through a period of time that I'm just kind of down on life. Sometimes I don't know what causes it, but in this instance, I definitely do know the cause...and that cause is work. Work has really been stressing me out, and most days during the past couple of weeks have been crazy busy. I'm overwhelmed, I have to talk to rude people on the phone more than I would care to, and I'm just overall stressed out an on edge when I'm at the office. It's not a nice feeling, and most days I have come home and just sulked around. I'm really disappointed in myself, and I have had a super hard time shaking the negativity. I love my coworkers, and I have a fantastic boss, but I don't like the stress that this type of work places on my work life...and more importantly, my life outside of the office.
 
I tried to go in with a positive attitude today, but it just ended up being another full day of emotions. I was grumpy all morning, and after lunch I ended up having a meltdown over the slightest mistake. When did I become this type of person? I know I'm doing a good job in this position, so why am I letting every little thing freak me out? I understand that it's completely normal to dislike your first "real" job...but that just doesn't seem to make waiting for a sign of what to do next any easier.  Yes, I completely realize that I'm only 23, and I have all the time in the world to figure things out. Maybe I'm just annoyed because I know what I want to do...but it may never work out. I just want to write...regardless of whether it's articles for magazines...or freelance writing...or the novel that I dream of publishing.
 
What it comes down to is...I just need to calm down. I really need to just trust God and have faith that things will look up. God will open doors for me...whether it be a new job, or a writing opportunity, or something that hasn't even crossed my mind yet. I need to focus on the positives. I have so many people encouraging me as I'm trying to find my place...John, my family, my friends...they're all fantastic.
 
So, I'm going to suck it up...and stop crying on the way to work in the mornings. Things could be worse. I'm probably never going to love this job while I'm in it, but the major perk to being an ambitious person is that I can do a phenomenal job even though it's not my niche.
 
Maybe this ended up being more positive than I thought it would be. Again, I apologize for my disappearance. I'm slowly coming out of my funk...and things will get better.