Friday, July 6, 2012

The Walk '12

What a crazy week it's been! My husband Ivan and I just got back from a church camp at Panama City Beach with about 1000 high schoolers and comparatively few adults. We had great views, fantastic late night parties, freshmen jamming on the bus on our way home, fun making weird faces with Jason, and Ivan and I finally got home to see Awesome (aka Alexander).

All of our campuses even worked together to make a fun music video to Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe - Can't wait for fall and spring camps!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New House

Wow! It's been a crazy few months and I have seriously neglected posting (and even this will be a short post). Ivan and I are selling our house and renting a new place. The closing has been pushed back a couple of times, but I expected that since it happened to us a few times when we were buying it. The rental we have it gorgeous and the yard is wonderful. Here are a couple of pics:

We had a great group of friends help us move and we owe them big time. For now a cookout will do, but returning the favor or paying it forward will be the best way to repay them. We have tons of boxes to unpack and rooms to situate, but I hope to have the majority of things done by the weekend. Here's to new beginnings!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Paint the Town Purple 2012

For those of you who aren't familiar with Paint the Town Purple it's an event held before Relay for Life. The point it to raise awareness of Relay for Life and of cancer. This year I actually participated in Paint the Town Purple in Suwanee.

I attended with my friend Karla and her mom. We decided to raise awareness by dying our hair, followed by chowing down at Olde Towne Tavern, and getting dessert at a local bakery.


We got our hair done at Hairllucinations. The ladies that did our hair were adorable and super sweet. It was $10 per streak with the entire amount going to Relay for Life. They ladies wouldn't even take tips since everything was for charity. 


I wanted dark blue streaks. They came out a little teal, but I loved it more than the original color I had chosen. It is also the color for cervical cancer awareness (which runs in my family). So it all worked out. :-)

The bottom streak is still a strong blue, while the semi-hidden streaks are a lighter blue. I also got purple streaks for Relay for Life and for women's cancer awareness. I love the color!! And I love that people ask about it and I can bring awareness to cancer and organizations that help people with the disease, as well as their families. 


It was such a fun event and I can't wait until next year. I wonder if I can get Ivan to get a streak of color? Probably not. hehe I'll volunteer next year and do more the the Relay event. There were tons of teens this year, so I think the older crowd needs some representation. 

Do you volunteer for any events or attend them? Did you go to Relay for Life? What other organizations, charities, or events are important to you? I have a few more, such as the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation 5K, but won't list them all here. Let me know who you help and root for. Until next time!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Road to Public Speaking

Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking and it's something I've suffered with for years. I'm fine in situations where I'm in front of a crowd with a bunch of other people, but when it's just me I have a hard time handling it. The worst time I can remember was in high school. The drama class was doing a Greek play (Antigone, I believe) and I was one of the characters...I don't remember which. I was so nervous, anxious, scared, so many things, that I made myself sick. Can you believe that? So sick that I couldn't do it and someone had to take my place the day of the play. I have never forgotten that. I've always believed that I could do anything, but for some reason I couldn't do that. I definitely had the encouragement of my parents, grandmother, aunts, sisters, and teachers, but I just didn't have confidence in myself when I spoke.

One of my teachers, now a friend, was always encouraging. She believed in me and always gave me a chance (even after missing the play because of my fear taking over). I still can't call her by her first name, so she remains to be called Strick. I always try to remember her tips or encouragement and things got a little better, but never to where I wanted them. I could do plays, chorus, and other things, but I had to be with others and not by myself. 

In college I took lower grades for reports that called for presenting in front of class. I did great on my papers, but the presentation I just refused to do. Why did it matter? I still got As in those classes, so who cares if they weren't 100s. I was fine in  my art classes where it was more discussion with everyone around table, but not when I felt like the spotlight was all on me. Things didn't change much over the years.

When I went to graduate school there was a lot more discussion and interaction in class. I found it worked better for me and I was becoming more comfortable expressing my opinions and talking in front of others. Still not to the point where I could easily get in front of others, but close. I started reading about discussion/interactive based teaching and trying to get involved in things, not just standing behind the scenes.

When I became a librarian I knew that, because I eventually wanted to go into academic libraries, I needed to become more confident and work hard to defeat my fear of speaking. It was very hard to do, but I forced myself. I fought through the nervousness, fear, nausea, and self doubt to try to achieve my goals. I finally got into academic libraries last year and was allowed to participate more in associations and have more flexibility and freedom in creating training classes and modules. I also have wonderful encouragement and support from peers, coworkers, and bosses.

The combination of facing my fears, inspiration gained from school and peers, and support from family, teachers, and coworkers has had a tremendous impact on my life. Now, people come to me for advice on speaking and I'm asked to speak at various events. It's been a tough road and it's taken until I reached 30, but I'm finally able to speak in front of people, alone, without feeling like I'm going to pass out. I still feel nauseous, but I work through it and I make it work for me.

What things in your life have you been afraid of? What have you worked through to reach a goal? I'm curious to see what factors have helped others attain something that was important to them. Until next time....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Video

So here's my first video. The lighting is terrible, but I haven't quite figured out how to make the lighting work without it glaring off of my glasses. I also have no clue why the video uploading smaller than it should have. Fun things to figure out, I suppose. Anyhow, on to the video (where I discuss my current makeup collection and this month's Glam Bag). Enjoy!


Friday, March 30, 2012


I really don't like coming up with titles for posts...nothing ever seems to really say what I want, but I don't want to spend an hour thinking of the perfect title. This post is specifically about my relationship with Ivan, which is an intimate one. I want to cover three aspects of a relationship, intimate or not: communication, closeness, and compromise.

Communication is a key aspect in any relationship. You need to talk about things that make you happy, sad, angry, confused....everything. This doesn't mean you have to be a chatterbox and never shut your mouth, but it does mean that you need to be open with your spouse (or partner, brother, aunt, mom, whoever). Often you don't have to say anything to communicate what you think or feel. A look can say so much. Sometimes silence, when sitting together or on a long road trip, can show that you are content with the don't need to talk. This is obviously different than the silent treatment, so don't take what I'm saying the wrong way. Ivan and I try to discuss everything. Sometimes we don't talk about something because we think it will  upset the other person, but I've learned that this can end up backfiring in the end. Ivan is better at discussing things than I am. I'm the one who tries not to hurt feelings and waits to talk about stuff, usually bringing it up at the wrong time. Or, like this morning, when I'm running out the door for work and we don't have time to actually talk about anything. All in all, though, Ivan and I are pretty good at communicating and it has helped our relationship tremendously.

Closeness is another part of an intimate relationship. Yes, this can mean what you think it means, but I'm not going to get into that. I just know that as soon as I do someone in my family will see it - like my dad. So I'm skipping that aspect and moving on to another. Friendship is a big part of the relationship and being best friends is even better. I know a lot of people, more guys than girls, that think it's gross to be best friends with their wife, girlfriend, whatever. They say, "I would never do what I do with my wife with my best friend." I think that's a silly way of thinking about it, but that's just me. It's more the mental relationship you have with your best friend that you should have with your wife. If you aren't that close with your wife or husband, then it can make difficult times even worse. Ivan is most definitely my best friend and my soul mate. I am so lucky to have him and, yes, he's lucky to have me. Closeness also concerns love and, if you don't love who you're with, then why are you with them? I don't really know how to expound on love in an intimate relationship; it should just be there. And for people who have intimate relations with someone they don't love, well that just blows my mind. I don't think I'll ever understand that, but I doubt some people understand why I do the things I do.At times I still get butterflies when I'm around Ivan. I would think that those would have stopped with us having been together for a while, but they haven't and I'm glad.

The last part I want to talk about is compromise. Ivan and I have had to compromise a few times in our relationship. I have to get over my OCD tendencies for things to get perfectly clean and he has to get over the fact that I am going to spend money on things like music and unique shirts. Those sound like stupid things, but when something is important to you it can be a big deal (this is where communication comes in handy). More than just compromise goes into this way of thinking. You also have to be understanding, considerate, and honest. Maybe honesty goes more with communication, but I've written that part, so I'm moving on and not looking back. Just know that honesty should be there just like love. Understanding is like compromise. You need to understand your spouse's odd tendencies and semi-embrace them. Love that they are a part of the other person, but don't necessarily let it mean they can do whatever they want. It's not an excuse to get away with things. Like having an obsessive personality isn't an excuse to drink, gamble, or even eat your life away. Understand the personality, but don't let it rule their lives or yours. Consideration is something that can bring a spark back into things or just make your day perfect. Ivan makes sure I start my day great every morning. He always gets up before I do and usually gets Alexander ready for the day. He then brings Alexander into our room and has him wake me up. It's the sweetest way to wake up...with my son's face right in mine making him look like a cyclops. Ivan also makes an English muffin for me and has it ready just as I'm leaving so it's still warm and crunchy. These kinds of things sound small, but they make such a big difference on how my day begins.

So, I guess that's it. Remember to have communication, consideration, and compromise in your relationship. Appreciate the little things, laugh off other things, and work together on the things you need to fix. Life is a carnival - it's crazy, scary, fun, and exciting - and it's made better by sharing it with someone. Make sure that you make sure that someone is there for the long haul by making your relationship a better one.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Food, Food, Food - Chicken Gyros

I have had so much good food this week! Pan-seared steak with butter sauce, asparagus, and a sweet potato; chicken gyros; beef and Guinness pie; Irish soft tacos; and chocolate Guinness cake. Obviously, parts of this weeks menu were for Saint Patrick's celebrations. My favorite item of the week, though, was the chicken gyro. I have never had a gyro and, quite frankly, can't stand the thought of lamb. I have really weird food issues when it comes to things like that. haha Nothing that was a baby (lamb, veal), nothing uncooked or rare (caviar, sushi), and nothing with bones (ribs, most fried chicken). I embrace my oddities.

I didn't have a recipe for the gyros, but went along with what I thought might be good. Below is my supposed recipe for chicken gyros. I say supposed because I didn't measure anything, which usually makes remaking my recipes a little difficult. At any rate, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did (yes, even Alexander).

Chicken Gyros (4-6 servings)

1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3 teaspoons minced garlic (approx. 6 cloves), divided
4 teaspoons chopped parsley, divided
1/4 cup each of Kalamata olives and Greek black olives, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons of minced shallots
1/2 cup feta
3 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
olive oil
4-6 pieces of naan or flatbread

To make the tzatziki combine diced cucumber, sour cream, Greek yogurt, half the chopped parsley, and half of the minced garlic in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for an hour (longer if you want) for the best flavor.
To make the tapenade combine chopped Kalamata and Greek black olives, the remaining minced garlic, and the remaining chopped parsley in a bowl. Refrigerate if desired.
Combine the diced tomato and minced shallot and season with salt and pepper in a bowl. Refrigerate if desired.
Crumble the feta or, if, just pop the lid off of your favorite pre-crumbled feta.
Warm skillet on medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. When the skillet it hot add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add chicken and cook until done, about 7-10 minutes. If you want to be sure then use a meat thermometer and call it done when it reaches 165 degrees.
Warm naan or flatbread in the oven. My recommendation is to brush a little olive oil on the top before heating. If you're at work and eating as leftovers the microwave, minus the olive oil, will suffice.
When all is done lay the flatbread on some aluminium foil, layer the chicken, tzatziki, tapenade, tomato, and feta. Wrap/fold the naan or flatbread in the foil to make eating it a little less messy.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

25 Things I Love About Me

This post was inspired by the brilliant and lovely Alana Mokma. A few months ago she made a similar post and I finally got off my butt and made my own list. To me, the list is more than a way to expound on the awesomeness of you. I think a list of 10 things would be relatively easy, but 25 will force you to look harder at yourself and realize that there are so many reasons to love yourself. It also makes you realize that you are worth loving. So here are the 25 things I love about me, in no particular order.

25. Tiny nose and big teeth (Ivan has the opposite hehe)
24. Odd, almost non-existent pinky toes
23. Organization skills (which most people don't understand)
22. Cocked eyebrow (it's always cocked a little...I've no clue why)
21. Stay calm, in most cases
20. Loyalty to and trust in others
19. Flexibility when it comes to changing plans
18. Along the same lines, a vision for the future
17. Neek (Nerd/Geek - I'm not one or the other, I'm both)
16. My signature happy dance (that I even do at work)
15. My love of food
14. The fact that I take forever to say goodbye
13. That I giggle at middle school jokes
12. I try to always find the good in others
11. My name
10. Freckles!!
09. Ability to see patterns (it makes finding 4 leaf clovers so easy)
08. My butt
07. Childlike curiosity
06. Unintentional goofy faces (especially when I think someone's being silly/dumb)
05. I make life a musical
04. I'm not afraid to change up my hairstyle (even when it makes me look like a French poodle lol)
03.My smile
02. My eye color
01. I can always find something to love about myself (which is one reason it took so long to lose weight)

So there they are! What's your list? I'd like to see what you love about yourself. Link back if you make a post or leave a few examples in the comments. Peace!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Being Social

One of my goals for this year was to try to be more social. Meet new people, make new friends, and try to get out a little more.One giant step in the process was joining a small group at church. Ivan has been wanting to join one, but I've held back. One, I wanted to wait until the new campus we're going to started it's own groups and, two, I just wasn't ready to meet new people. I finally stopped being a baby about it and we went to a group meet-up. We found a group of people and have met 3 times now. I haven't had the chance to hang out with any of them outside of that, but I think we have a pretty awesome group. I already feel comfortable with everyone and we all seem to get along great. I can't wait to see where this will go and how we grow together, both personally and in our relationship with God.

I'm also starting to do more things with people at work. A group actually started a committee for it. They've already put together a Valentine's Day lunch (which I missed because Ivan took me to one of my favorite places - Mellow Mushroom) and a Mardi Gras cook-off. There will also be hiking, shopping, going to the movies, and many other things that I'm not even aware of yet. I think this is going to be a lot of fun and can't wait to see what the group has planned next. :-)

Here's to the meeting new people and a fun-filled future!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Being Published

No, I'm not published, BUT I was asked to write an article for a professional journal! I was so excited when I got the email last week. An editor saw a presentation I did last October on digitizing items and loved it! She said it would be perfect for her technology trends column and said that it would probably be published next January, but she would show it to other editors who might publish it earlier. Isn't that awesome?!?! I can't believe this goal is becoming a reality so soon. (^_^)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Learning - Be creative, ask why

Not that I have any kind of formal education on the subject, but how people learn is a fascinating topic. In my opinion school systems, colleges, and many other educational avenues teach kids to memorize, not learn. The school system teaches kids to show up, memorize, do as they're told, and avoid creative thinking. Ivan and I talk about this a lot and still aren't sure what we'll do when Alexander starts school. Plenty of time to worry about that, so it seems.

Schools focus on scores too much, not the actual outcome. I know plenty of teachers who could help students learn the subject, but have restrictions on what they can and can't do and how they do it. I would rather have students who can intellectually talk about a subject than ones who cram to get good grades then forget the information not even a week later. Which do you prefer? Would you want your child to know and understand information or get good grades. Technically, you want both, but what if you could only choose one? I wonder how the school system will evolve over the next decade? I hope it gets better for everyone involved.

So how do we learn? We can learn a lot from children. Have you ever paid attention to a baby or toddler when they are learning something new? You can almost see the wheels turning in their head. They try something and if it doesn't work they try it again. They take risks and don't care if they do it wrong or look silly doing it. They are curious and ask why. When do they stop this? When adults make them stop. Parents, teachers, everyone. We teach them to be ashamed of  making mistakes. We should be teaching them to learn from them. Be creative, take risks, and if you fail you need to learn from it. Everything in us wants to, but everything within our entire system says to just follow the path and don't think for yourself, don't be creative. Memorize and get good grades and you'll go far. I really don't think that's true.

For those of you who got good grades, how far did it get you? I had great grades throughout school and college, but it doesn't really have anything to do with where I'm at today. I came up with ideas, sometimes worked by myself, sometimes with others, used creative thinking, took risks, and asked why. Because of this I have presented multiple times, been asked to write columns, joined committees, helped others create classes, and taught and mentored other librarians. I have taken risks that haven't paid off and I've made mistakes, but I have learned from them and learned how to use them to benefit me. I have only been in my profession a little over 3 years and have achieved more than I ever thought I could. Now, to be honest, part of this is also because of the confidence Ivan has given me. He has always believed in me and supported me in my educational and professional decisions. What risks have you taken? What creative ideas have you put in place? Have you ever made a mistake, but learned from it to come out on top?

Maybe one day I'll have a better grasp of this topic. Maybe I'll get my PhD, write a thesis on this topic, then change the education system. It all depends on how I learn.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dreamed a Dream

Man! It has been a busy, crazy week. I want to keep to my goal of posting, though, so I dug through my dream journal and found an interesting dream from 2005. No clue what it means, but it's funny and odd all at the same time.

May 27, 2005
I have the oddest dreams. Last night was a particularly weird/funny one. The dream started out with me, Heather, and some other people getting ready to go to a pool party or the lake to see friends. Next, I'm just at some house (that looked really cool, by the way) and Ivan and I are watching TV, although it may have been Heather. The dream is really fuzzy there. Anyway, the new Willy Wonka movie came on a Hallmark Channel that shows only new movies, but it wasn't Willy Wonka as we know it - it was him at his house. The first thing that can be noticed is that there are scarves everywhere (he apparently loves them) and that all toilet paper he has is black. Later it's revealed that he never gets rid of anything, which is why a multitude of scarves are in the home. A lot of bad stuff starts happening to him, though, and no one can figure out who is behind it. A friend of his asks if he really does keep everything and if there is anything he just discards after use. Mr. Wonka replies that he keeps everything because he grows attached to any object that he comes to own. For some reason he's working with some kind of press while this conversation is going on. I don't know if he's pressing scarves or if it's a press used to make lithographs. The only other thing I remember in the dream is that later, when he mentions that he discards nothing, the "camera" zooms in on two rolls of the black toilet paper. One's lying on its side and the other is standing up, but both are partially gone. I guess the whole time it was the toilet paper doing all the bad stuff because it felt it meant nothing since it was just used and discarded. I don't know. It was weird. I woke up laughing.

I probably had Oreos and milk before bed that night. I have weird dreams whenever I eat them too late, but that hasn't stopped me from eating them. They are delicious! Do you keep a dream journal? Had any odd dreams lately? Please share - I love a good story.

Friday, January 20, 2012

2012 Goals

Dream Board 2012 - By Skye Bickett

Last year I had 11 goals, 2 of which were not completed. One would think that I'd decrease my goals or keep the same number, but what's the fun in that? When I made my goals a couple of weeks ago I ended up with 18. One thing is wrong with that number - it's an even number and I'm really not too find of those. I do have a few favorite numbers and I would have had to cut 5 or add 3 to get to the closest one, so I decided to add 3. I'm going to list them briefly here and go into more detail in later posts as needed.

1. Lose 25 pounds
2. Learn to use/apply makeup - mainly using Michelle Phan's videos as a guide
3. Blog at least once per week
4. Create final outlines for 2 stories and write at least 1 more chapter in each
5. Write an article for publication
6. Short write-up and photo shoot of most places for book
7. Continue to eat healthy, which includes starting a small garden
8. Try one new thing a week, big or small
9. Work on household finances
10. Study/research at least 20 different Bible stories/timelines as they relate to history or science
11. At least 2 family nights a week with no TV
12. More time to focus on mine and Ivan's relationship and each other
13. Be more social
14. Re-purpose an old coffee table
15. Photograph the night sky
16. Photograph the moon
17. Mini-vacation at the beach
18. Buy clothes for fun - maybe try Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Items
19. Work on relationships - clear the clutter and grow closer with those who value our friendship
20. Compete in the Warrior Dash
21. Start YouTubing

So that's the list. Have any of you made goals for the year? Are they fun, serious, tough, or a mix? No matter what, have fun and enjoy 2012!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Incomplete Goals

The 2 goals listed below were not completed. I'll give you my reasons, but they're just excuses - they could have been done if I would not procrastinated or spent money on going out to eat/buying presents for  myself and others.

2. Go as Dr. Who #4 (Tom Baker) or Velma Dinkley for halloween
Why didn't this get completed. 1) I waited until last minute. 2) I would have just been wearing it around the house and we had no trick or treaters this year (which made me really sad). We didn't go to any parties or go out anywhere for Halloween. I actually am glad I didn't dress as Velma, though. Apparently it was the trendy thing to do this year. Dr. Who would have been awesome, though. :-)

5. Pay off at least 2 credit cards
Well, with medical bills, car repairs, and Ivan starting his own business this just wasn't going to get done. I was hoping it would, but too many other things were stacking up. :-( Next year will definitely still have a financial goal in the works. It is definitely needed. Definitely.

Were there any goals that you didn't complete. Or that you completed and it was a great achievement and a shock? I'd love to hear about it. Let me know!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fitness Finale - Week 12

The title says finale, but this is the end of my first round of Jet Set Body; not the end of my fitness goals. This has been a great process that was tough at times, but I know myself and that helped me know my limitations and strengths to get through things. Below is my chart. I am going through this program again and may see if they have any additional workout routines to change it up some. I'm also going to try a couple of other things, but I'm not sure what yet. This brings my total weight loss for 2011 to 29 lbs and 12 inches!! I have completed my 4th goal - Be at least 50% of the way to my goal size/weight. I couldn't have done this without the support of Ivan and Alexander. They have been there every step of the way and have actually enjoyed the healthy food I've planned or prepared for meals. I also owe a great deal to Kim and Rob Murgatroyd. Their program and encouragement has been wonderful. Yay!

I can't wait to see what this year brings and I know it is going to be as fantastic as 2011. I'll share my 2012 dreams and goals with you soon. Until then, here is my Round 1 completed chart for Jet Set Body. I wish I had measured at the beginning of the year instead of just doing weight. It would have been cool to see the loss in inches and weight since January 2011, instead of just from October 2011. I'll have it this year, though. :-)

195 lbs
188 lbs
186 lbs
 180 lbs
 176 lbs
42 ¾”
41 ¼”
41 ¼”
 40 ¼” 
36 ½”
36 ¼”
 35 ½”
 34 ⅝”
40 ½”
40 ¾”
 40 ⅝”
44 ⅞”
 44 ¼”
Right Thigh
27 ¼”
 26 ¾”
 26 ¾”
Left Thigh
27 ¾”
27 ½”
 26 ½”
 26 ½”
Right Arm
12 ¼”
12 ¼”
 12 ⅛”
 12 ¼” 
Left Arm
12 ¾”
12 ¾”
12 ⅜”
 12 ½”
 12 ⅜”
Right Calf
16 ¼”
15 ⅞”
 15 ½”
15  ¾”
Left Calf
16 ¼”
15 ⅝”
 15 ½”
15  ¾”

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Georgia Aquarium

I finally put together a slide show of our trip to the Georgia Aquarium. If some of the images look odd for aquarium decorations keep in mind that it was near Halloween. Enjoy! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Story of Us

My wonderful husband knows me so well. I never imagined that I'd be lucky enough to find the guy of my dreams. The closest I could ever get to my perfect guy - the only thing missing is the singing and dancing abilities. ;-) For Christmas this year my favorite present was something he made me. Despite the fact that he thinks he isn't creative, he really is. I love it! It's a book titled The Story of Us. It has different events from when we first met until today with blank pages for my notes/additions and to add to the story as the years pass. Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

I love his sense of humor.

Secretly, I wanted it to be him, too.

True story. :-D

It's Awesome! We love our little Alexander. Love, love, love.

Have you done anything special for someone you love? Have they done anything for you. Please share your story. I'd love to read about it. Looking forward!