april 27, 2018

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“Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.” ~ Unknown

 

week-long crew

 

It’s been one of the most technologically frustrating weeks of my career, and it’s pretty clear from the look on Doug’s face that he’d had a pretty rotten week, too. (we both got a big laugh out this picture) If I told you just how bad it was you wouldn’t believe me, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was really rotten. Thankfully, Ida Sell and Danielle Gabbard maintained a jolly outlook for us all. “But Abba got back together and they caught the Golden State Killer this week,” Danielle quipped. “So, see, it wasn’t all bad!” You can’t argue with that, and that’s one of the reasons I adore her. She sees the good in nearly every situation, and it helps remind me that I do, too. That’s especially important to remember when I’m struggling on days like this.

 

not quite done

 

After we four grabbed a pick-me-up coffee I excused myself. It was a beautiful day, I had my camera, and I just needed a quiet, little adventure to ground me. Last Saturday I’d passed the front of the new Student Center and noticed major progress. It was begging a second look. I was across the street admiring the impressive UK stone work when I noticed students filing out the doors. I soon realized it was open. Naturally, I jaywalked in front of a cop to see for myself. (I did not get a ticket)

 

now that’s a bookstore

 

Last month, Mike Moore told me he had installed escalators in the new student center. I found them inside the bookstore, which opened just this week. Not only does it span two floors, accessible by said escalator, but it houses a Starbucks cafe – not just coffee, but cafe – as well as a small market that sells cold drinks and collage durable foods like chips and cookies. It’s impressive. I knew the old student center and Alumni Gym sections were still being renovated, but I wondered what else might be accessible. I decided to wander some more. 

 

waiting to be filled

 

Earlier this week on social media I’d caught a glimpse of another Bowman statue (Bowman is the Kentucky Wildcat) being positioned somewhere inside the student center. He was easy enough to find. I just followed the crowds. I later learned from this video that this area is called the “social staircase.” It warmed my heart to watch parents photograph their collage-age children with Bowman. That’s the kind of photograph they’ll look back on someday with, I hope, fond memories of their time at the University of Kentucky. And just like that I’d been put right. My technological doldrums seemed a distant past. I left the new Student Center with a glimmer of hope, not just for the rest of my day, but for the future in general. This generation of young people are bright, talented, conscientious, and good. I’m glad that they’ll have a nice place to gather. I’m betting one of them will invent superior technology that will make my work-life a whole lot happier one day. 

october 23, 2015

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“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
~ Bob Marley

 

color (snapseed)
color (snapseed)

 

It was a stunningly gorgeous day in Kentucky. Surely heaven looks like Kentucky in October, at least a little slice of it anyway. It’s hard to imagine being anywhere else this time of year. It warms my heart every year.

october 19, 2013

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Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others exists in you. Remember, life is an echo.
It always gets back to you. So give goodness.”
~ Unknown

rental family
rental family

Kelly and Craig Barnes threw an awesome wedding for their only daughter tonight. Kelly is my rental sister, which makes Craig the best rental BIL any girl could ask for. His speech was the most moving father’s speech I’ve ever heard. I take so much joy in seeing their love for one another, and the love they share for their two children. Their families all love and adore one another, too. They’re just a great family whom I love very much, and feel so fortunate to be called their rental sister, too.

still in love
still in love

march 29, 2013

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Let go of what you can’t control. Channel all that energy into living fully in the now.
~ Karen Salmansohn

good friday
good friday

I haven’t been feeling my best this week, but I continued to soldier through hoping the streak would eventually break. Finally, I stopped, and spent the day doing a little healing. Good Friday was perfect for this. It is a day meant for reflection, a deepening of compassion and understanding. About 1pm I got a text from mom saying she and dad were at the VA. Last week, he’d had an abdominal ultrasound just like I’d had two weeks prior. Where they found stones in my gallbladder, they found a mass in his. He was seeing a surgeon about next steps. He’s already lost a kidney and part of his colon to cancer, so “mass” is a word we really don’t want to hear (not that anybody does). At our Good Friday lunch, his thumbs up signals that the mass was nothing. Our little trifecta continues to be blessed beyond measure, and our communion of Big Boys was exactly what the doctor ordered. I feel better. He feels better. We feel better. May you have an equally blessed Good Friday.

Prayer
(by Mark Sandlin)

Good and gracious God,
My prayer is simple.
Remind me that I AM
my brother’s keeper –
my sister’s keeper,
but I AM NOT
their judge.

Amen.

february 18, 2012

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I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as “making a life”.”                 ~ Maya Angelou

the reddest rose (Snapseed and Color Splash)

A few days ago my parents came to town. They left something at my house; six of the most glorious roses I’ve ever seen. Here’s one. Enjoy!

january 8, 2012

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Look at the beauty today gave me!

peace for my 47th year (Hipstamatic)

I had one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a year and, as soon as I opened my eyes, I started to count my blessings. My sweet, devoted parents: they are two of the most loyal, humble, and forthright people God ever made. How did I get so lucky? I have the most incredible circle of friends. Each one unique, reminding me that I am loved in spite of every fault I’ve got, and boy, I’ve got my share and then some.

After coffee I caulked my bathtub. Now, that may sound like a rotten thing to do on one’s birthday but, it was, in fact, the most perfect of things to do. With every bead I realized how lucky I am to have a bathroom with running water and a bathtub. As I smoothed those beads into a singular impenetrable seal I gave thanks for the lives of every friend who didn’t make it to 47. Lana Franklin, Jim Brown, Mark Collinsworth, Duane Ruth, Cindy Spradling, Lori Whitt, Sandy Adkins, Robby Pennington, Alan Elam, Olivia Evans. Each soul a loved and necessary bead of my life’s impenetrable seal.

When I went outside to face the morning sun I gave thanks for a house that’s warm and safe with a yard that birds and squirrels want to be in. I gave thanks for my neighbors, Chainsaw Charlie most of all. He is a gentle reminder that people are, at their core, good. And when I finished the house I drove to a car wash to have it washed. Freaky as it was to be inside the car as it was pulled through that…thing…I belly laughed with my traveling companion, Stacy Yelton. In that moment, I was thankful to have a car to wash and someone to laugh with. How many of us don’t have those things?

I am the most blessed woman you know. Happy Birthday to me!