Saturday, October 16, 2010

Good Day

Today was a good day. A really good day. Brady Charles Norton was born this afternoon to Adam and Christy (Farrell) Norton. So glad baby Brady is here!
I spent the day with me. The real me. I was quiet. I was calm. I got alot done around the house...laundry, cleaned, and got some groceries for the next 2 weeks.
Mom brought me breakfast and we ordered my glasses...Happy Birthday! You know you are getting old when you get glasses for your birthday and they aren't a gag gift!
Then I came home and cleaned and did laundry with ESPN college football blaring. There is something about football that makes me feel at home. Makes me feel like I am with my family. I know that is a weird way to describe football, but it feels like happy place.
I slept on the couch between loads of laundry and first downs.
Took a shower after lunch sometime. Went to the school in the hopes of finding my dream job online, a job that would take me to the next stage of my life, but of course, there was nothing. After filling out zero applications, I drove myself to Lufkin for a Pumpkin Pie yogurt....frozen yogurt can always brighten my day. As I drove back into NAC, I just drove the loop with my foot out the window and music blaring. Cruising!
I didn't want to stop. I wanted to drive off. Drive to I don't know where, don't care where. I still may do that one weekend...only tell my mom where I am going and take off. Drive til I am tired, find a place for the night and stop. Then get up and look around, and drive back. But could I turn my phone off and go? November may be just the month to take off. Sad that I will even have to plan that, because all of my days are filled with everyone else's schedules, with their plans, their events. I need to take time for me.
Today I was able to sit and not talk, not think, not fight with myself, not worry about what someone else thought of me, not think about what someone else needed. I just got to sit. I think when I am alone, I am myself, but at this point in my life, I am not sure who I am or even if I am living my own life. I at times feel like I am living someone else's life, doing what others want me to do, being where others want me to be, being what others want me to be. I am ready for someone to live my life, to share in my life, to want to be where I am. I always seem to try and be where they are. I don't remember the last time someone called said~"Hey, what are you doing today? Can I tag a long with you? Can I come see you? Can I hang out with you?" It always seems that I am asking others.
I want to stop asking, stop calling, stop talking...but when I do that "What's wrong with you?" is what I get from those around me. It is just expected that I am there. What will happen when I am not? Will they miss me? Will they need me? Would they look for me?
For many, I am afraid the answer would be no.
Today was a good day.
A day to myself.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"I" Person

Our school district had staff development with Rich Allen...I still haven't figured out exactly what he "teaches" because there is something new every time. He has taught us about how our brain works, how to use music in our classrooms, and about personalities. This past Wednesday was about people who were "we" people and those that were "I" people. He described the two types of personalities so that we could recognize these traits in our students.

'We' people--want inclusion---people who want to be around anybody and everybody all of the time.

'I' people--want choice--want to be able to work independently and enjoy times with people, but want the choice of who and what is going to happen.

I am definitely an "I" person, now don't get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, but I want to have some control over who is there and I have know what is going on. Control was another trait of an "I" person, they have to be able to have some control of the situation.

At times, I feel very in control of my life and what is happening or at least I am always trying to control what is happening. But I think it is time for a change. It is time that I let it go. Let go and give my life to God. I say I trust him, but I never let go, never give up control of my life. As a Christian we have one way to live and that is for him and in his hands.

But as a control freak or an "I" person, I want the choice- I want to choose what I do with my life, my day, my attitude. I don't like giving that power over to someone else. I don't want someone else dictating my life, my feelings, or my attitude. But at times, I allow some one's actions or feelings dictate my own. And I feel completely out of control.

So how can I ever give everything to Him? Allow him to take control of my life. How do I live free? Because the freedom seems chaotic, out of control. I am a planner, I live by a bell schedule, lesson plans, itineraries, and To-Do Lists. I know that His thoughts are not my thoughts, his ways are not my ways. I know that he has started a plan in me and is going to carry it out, but as an "I" person....I want a say in that plan. As a "planner" I want an itinerary to go with the life he has planned for me.

I feel lost right now. I feel alone right now. I feel confused right now. I feel as though I am chasing my tail.

How does an "I"/"planner" Let go and let God?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Man! There are a lot of emotions running in and around me these days. It is like everyone is frustrated, aggravated, or upset about something. I am just in a weird spot right now emotionally. Like I said yesterday, I should be happy and fine with the world, but for some reason, I am tired, depressed and confused about my life.

But it is nice to know that my friends feel the same way...and we all come from different lives and walks of life. I feel their frustrations and understand them because my own mirror theirs, but I don't tell them that. I just keep it all inside so that I don't seem weak. Hiding is just easier. Easy to slip the mask on and slip into the crowd of happy people.

Another thing. I know who I want to be, but for some reason I can't let go and just be. I want to be happy, fun loving, and sweet (which seems like such an immature description/vocabulary). But for some reason, I have a button or trigger that gets pushed and the sweet, quiet me disappears and I am back to being hurt and defensive. I don't know where I am right now or where I am going.

Yesterday, I said that I felt like I was in a maze. It really feels that way. A maze with no prize in the end. How this maze of life makes me feel: lost, tired, sad, alone, but the best word would have to be confused. I want so many things, but there seems to be no way for me to reach them. Not because they aren't plausible, but because my heart/hurt/past won't let me. I don't like the person I have become, I miss the person I was, but I know she is only a memory.

But how do I become the person I want to be? How do I get there? I know no one is happy all of the time, but I would just like to be happy some of the time. I want to know when it will be my turn. I have been richly blessed, I know that for why do I feel like this? Why does this dark cloud follow me?

I may go home and hide today. Hide under a blanket. Hide from everything around me.
I need a weekend away from everything....maybe to the lake again. I will have to ask!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


It is crazy that 6 weeks has already flown by, but believe me...I am not complaining. It is just that I am already soooo tired and it is just now October. What will April or May feel like? Hew!
I am pretty excited though. Michelle and I have decided to take a trip to CA for Spring Break. We have been saying for 3 years, that we were going to go, but we have never followed through. We are this year...I swear it! And if Chelle doesn't go, I am still going. Kendra...hope you are ready for country coming to town. It gives me something to look forward to. I need that....good things to look forward to, to help get through the everyday BLAH!
This year has been pretty weird for me. I feel as though I have been in an emotional/mental maze. Thinking that I am actually making progress only to run into another wall. I feel very lost right now and it is hard to explain that to those around me. I have friends and people that I can talk to, but I don't think that they would understand. Actually, I know they wouldn't. I guess it is the same thing for me over and over again. I think I have a place or purpose in life, then I get lost, overwhelmed almost.
There are days that I want to run away, to be alone, by myself and just hide from the world and my responsibilities. Not that I really have that many responsibilities...take care of me and my dog & look out for Mom & Susy, and my job. But for some reason I feel very sad at times. It is so strange because I don't really have any reason to feel that way... but I do. It is hard to tell friends that you are having a bad day...just because. I want to be by myself, but when I am alone, it isn't good for me either.
I hate feeling this way. Lost in a sea of unwanted emotions and confusing thoughts. Being tossed and twisted by my own anxieties.
Strange that I can't tell anybody how I am feeling, but I can write it so easily in this blog.
I want to turn my phone off, run away and hide. Maybe I can soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Mind Today

Not sure what I can really title this blog. This is more of a rambling of thoughts. I was asleep last night around 10:30...slept hard....didn't want to get up this morning at 7:45. But I did... hands hurting and all. We got to the church a little after nine. Worship this morning was awesome! Singing is some of the best I have heard in a long time. Songs just help me to pray...they always seem to say exactly what I can't.
Terry Rush this morning made a few more great points. He said that Christians go through trials, just like anyone else, but people of the world watch us to see how we handle the trials. When it says we are to take u our cross and follow Jesus, it means that we are to act as Christ acted, not just his whole life, but especially in those last few hours of his life. He forgave those around him, called out to God the whole time, and still reached out to those around him. We too should forgive those that hurt us, who talk about us, who tell us we are weak because of your beliefs. We too should call on our Heavenly Father not just when times are good, but especially when times are bad, times are lonely, times are dark . We should reach out to those when I suffer, I should be even more of an example during the hard times.
He played a video of two people riding an escalator. The escalator broke down and was no longer carrying the up to the 2nd floor. But the 2 people didn't just climb the stairs, they just stood there and called for help, for someone to come and fix the escalator. We too do that in our lives, we stay bolted down to the struggles, but we are free! We are free to carry on. We are free because of the cross, we are not tied to sin, we have no debts, we are forgiven, loved, and richly blessed.
Best points from this weekend:
*Do not worry...Wonder is here
*There are possibilities because of the cross.
*God is working even when I can't see it.
*He uses us everyday
*There is hope in the cross
*DO NOT WORRY--This is my major struggle. I am a worrier. I worry about: house work, work, health, what people think of me, where I will be in 10 years, how my past is hurting my future, what I say, what I do, how I cat, my attitude, my appearance, my family, my friends....the list goes on. I have struggled with worrying ever since my parents broke up when I was in 2nd grade. I remember my mom reading the Do Not Worry scriptures from Matthew. And when I worry about something it makes me physically ill. I believe that God loves me, that he has a plan for me, and I believe that I am more important that a flower and a bird. But I still make myself sick. How can I get passed this? I have been this way for 18 years. I tell God every morning, to day is your day. Do with me and it what you will. And by the end of the day, I have made myself sick about something.
I need a mantra...He is using me and He loves me and He has a plan for me!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This weekend I have traveled to Irving, TX with my Go Gos and the Katies to be apart of STREAM. We left NAC yesterday afternoon at around 5. The day was hectic for all, but the drive went smoothly. We stopped in Athens to eat dinner....but really to get a shake! So good! Ice cream has to be one one of my favorite things on earth!
We got to MacArthur CofC at 8:30...just in time for one video and a couple of songs. And I will be honest! That is the main reason I came this weekend....the singing. I LOVE singing and praising God through songs truly touch my heart. Hallal and Ken Young led the worship service today. Wow! I know that worship is worship...but I am sorry...there is just something so special and amazing about acappella singing. Something so real and raw about only using your voice to praise God!
Last night we got to the hotel around 10:30. Showered and I went to bed!
This morning we got up, ate in the lobby, and headed to the church. Worship started at 9. Terry Rush is our speaker this weekend...he is really good. Down to earth, honest, and real. He said some things that I know were from God straight to me. . . Do not worry because there are so many possibilities through the cross. God is working even when I can't see it. I needed to hear that. I just pray that I can believe it.
One of my "other" mom's pulled me aside today, grabbed my face with both hands and told me: I love you. I love your heart. You are so beautiful and have such a beautiful heart. You are touching lives everyday. I know you are changing hearts, but I don't think you know that. I know you have missed out on a father's love growing up. I know that you are searching for love. Just know that a man will be so blessed to have such a beautiful woman as his wife, and he is coming."
It blew me away to hear it. All I could do is cry.
The questions that I have been asking myself and God for the past couple of years has been, "Where am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to be doing?" What I learned this weekend is that God is using me, right where I am.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Football & Family

I put a new air freshener in my car...Pumpkin and Cinnamon! Smells like Autumn. This morning I knew it was going to be a good day when I got in my car! Smelled so good.
I also love this time of year because of course it is football season all over the US, but especially in the Farrell family. I have 3 guy cousins and they are all football coaches. I love that we plan family gatherings around football games. We take rode trips for football and family.
I was talking to some coach friends of mine tonight about Cody, Clayton, and Clinton. Talked about us at games and practices together. SO much fun and such great memories.
I was blessed in the fact that I was able to travel with the team and was able to see them play/coach in college.
I remember:
~giving the twins a gallon of water for 2-a-days and the guys picked on Clinton because they thought it was from Jenna...cause I put hearts and notes on it.
~Clayton practicing his run out 'routine'.
~dancing with Cody in the equipment room.
~washing TONS of football clothes and uniforms
~watching game film with Gary Gaines
~tutoring the guys in English and History
~Clinton & Clayton going up against each other in OL/DL one on ones
~pitching to the punters
~sleeping on the equipment boxes to make sure the stains got of the white jerseys
~turning 8 of the starters white jerseys lavender
~sitting in the hall with Omar on away games
~giving my 4 boyz Gatorade every Friday
~times on the side line:wiping faces, fixing helmets, and shoulder pads
~running to Wal-Mart during the game for more batteries for the headsets
~becoming friends with Danieal Manning
~shaking carpet freshener in the locker room
~bleaching out the showers
~spraying shoulder pads with frebreeze
~preparing for recruiting weekends
~driving the Bronco so the coaches could use my car to go on recruiting trips
~making my class schedule around football practice
~learning how to deep snap with Clinton
~trying to tackle Clayton
~drinking chocolate milk and watching the Friday night highlights with the family
~watching Amanda play volleyball!
~drying footballs under the clothes dryer
~giving embarrassed guys their socks and jocks
The list of memories could go on and on!
Let the road trips begin! I love being able to watch Danieal, Johnny, and Scott on TV...represent Wildcats! I have my ESPN app on my iPhone...keeps me updated and on track!
I love this time of year. It is truly my happy place!!! I love yelling at the TV. I love talking football. I love the game. Now I don't know everything there is to know. But there is just something about this time of year! The crisp air, the changing of the leaves, friends/family, food, and football.
What could be better in life than Football and Family!
To my 3 Coach Farrell's---Good Luck!
Go Wildcats! ! !
Go Jaguars! ! !
Go Bobcats! ! !
Go Bears! ! !

Monday, September 6, 2010


I have some how lost my glasses. Now...they are the lowest prescription and most wouldn't even be able to tell that they do anything for my vision. But trust me...they make a huge difference. I am now wearing my old glasses that were scratched up because I left them in the gym.
But I am telling you, I can tell when I am driving at night that I don't have my glasses because everything is fuzzy, a little blurry, out of focus.
And I started to think. That is a little how my life is right now. My spiritual life. My emotions. My relationships. Everything is just a little blurry these days. Negative thoughts seem to consume me, daily, hourly, every thought! It is torture.
Some how every little thing bothers me; insignificant details, small happenings, passing comments, everything has just been eating at me. Things that don't deserve a second passing thought are eating away at me. Physically hurting me. My thoughts are taken over by negativity. I do not want to live like this! ! !
I don't know how to make them stop. Who would really understand the things that are hurting me...scaring me...tormenting me? Who? Tell me how to make the thoughts stop. I am tired of them hurting me, I am tired of them making me so negative, so full of anger and hate!
This is not who I am.
I can't push the thoughts aside to focus on the many blessings that I have.
I want to find myself again. I want to be happy. But I am so afraid of the pain.
If you see her, tell her I am looking for her!

These Thoughts

All of these crazy things
denying people access
casting them out
The hateful thoughts,
The negative,
Untrusting thoughts
Are eating at me
Pushing those I love
hiding me
Wish they would stop
my heart
through my memories
my new emotions
Leave me be
Be still
I just want real
But these thoughts
passing through my mind
happiness rots
love dies
trust is nonexistent
Make them stop
I beg you
make them stop
these thoughts

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Start of the School Year

We have started our 2010-2011 school year. My 6th year to I come. First six weeks has flown by. It is crazy to me to think that I am actually a real adult...ok, not a real adult, but close enough. But this year has started off pretty well so far. The kids have been pretty good, but it has only been 7 days of school. Don't want to jinx anything just yet. This school year has started out smoother for me than last year. I felt like a chicken with my head cut off last year at this time. I guess having my lesson plans has helped.
I love the team that I am on...I don't know if I could survive without my teaching and coaching team. I am a lucky one...I have 2 support groups!
But I am starting to see the kids that I will have to keep my eyes on, they are a little sneakier than the group from last year. But I seem to have a reputation on campus. "Don't mess with her"...I can only hope that it is true. I actual heard a kid say the other day, "Coach Farrell scares me!" I was doing the happy dance in my head. You will be glad that it was in my me, you don't want to see the happy dance.
I will be helping with the Japan students again this year. I will be traveling to the State Fair on October 15th, I have never been...kind of excited, plus I get to miss out on a day of school!
I hope the next 5 6 weeks flies by as fast as this one!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Attitude is Everything

I have decided that I am going to have a positive outlook on this new school year. I tell my athletes to work hard, push through, even when it hurts, it will get easier later. It is about time I listen to my own advice. My job won't get done by being stressed and worried.
I am tired now...little drained...but tomorrow is going to be a new day! I am going to keep my head down and get my work done. I have got to change some of my assessments and I am good to go! I can do this. God wouldn't bring me to it if he wasn't planning on getting me through it. I am smart, efficient, and a hard worker. I can do more than just make it through this year...I am going to make it through and be successful at the end of the day. I am going to do my best for my students, team, and God.
Do everything for the glory of God! ! !
I need a mantra....I may steal it from the Little Engine that Could..."I think I can!"
Or Dori, "Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming."
I need to learn to smile more. I guess is this where the wall starts to come down. I need to trust the person that I know I can be, the one hiding.
I know that I can get all of this done...I was just a little overwhelmed hearing it all at once. But I am organized and disciplined enough to get the job done and get it done right.

Monday, August 16, 2010

When Storms Come

clouds rolling
wind dancing
rain drops kissing
bringing relief
lightening flashes
thunder calls back
earth rejoices
thirst quenched
when storms come

Sunday, August 15, 2010

2010-2011 School Year

The school year officially begins for me in less than 12 hours. I was really excited...kinda..but I have some concerns for the new year. Change is hard for me. We have new administration, new teachers, new colors, and even a new mascot! Lots of change. But I pray that it is a change for the better. New things freak me out! But I will take it step by step day by day. I will do my job to the best of my ability and to the glory of God.
What ever God brings you to, he will bring you through!
But I am very thankful for the co-workers that He has brought into my life this past year. They are amazing people with a heart for God and joy for their job. They are fun to be with and a true encouragement. They care for me even when I know I don't deserve it. Thank goodness! I just hope that I can be that same encouragement to them!

Tonight was "Singing Sunday" with the Church of Christs' congregations. It is my favorite Sunday night of the month. I get more out of singing worship than any bible study or sermon. The songs say things that I don't always know how to put into words. Songs can stir my heart and spirit. The words can put my life in perspective when I at times refuse to do so! LOVE SINGING! ! !

Right now the Katie's are cooking Monterey chicken and green beans...I am pumped. We are rockin' the iPod on shuffle...they are making fun of all the randomness on my play lists. Then there is chocolate chip cookies and the movie Bounty Hunter for dessert! What a way to end the week; good friends, good food, and good entertainment. I love cooking nights with the Katie's...we have good conversations and always laugh till our stomachs hurt. You should all find your Katie's to hang with!
Tonight is a great end to my summer! ! !

Friday, August 13, 2010

Almost But Not Quite

Holy Moly....I don't think that I am ready for this next week. My free adult life is over once again for the next 9 months. I didn't do everything I wanted to do this summer. I didn't work on my story/book, I didn't write new poetry, and I didn't go to Abilene. But I did get a great tan and worked on some water color paintings.
I hope this year is better than last year, but I don't think that would be too hard. Last year I felt 2 steps behind everyday: paper work, discipline issues, and collecting class materials. Always stressed. I hope that all the work I did last year will help my year go smoother this school year. I know my subject and what I am teaching, so lectures and helping will be easier. I have high expectations for my classroom.
What is crazy, is sometimes I would rather be around the kids instead of the adults. Which many times are one in the same. Working in a middle school is very similar to actually being in a middle school. I am not saying that I am perfect...I have done my trash talking, but I am going to do my best to keep my head down and do my job.
If I am this tired right now, Monday evening is going to be ridiculous.

One of my favorite shows has become BONES. I love the fact that the main character, Tempest Brennen is a beautiful, smart forensic anthropologists and her co-star, Seally Booth, is a handsome FBI agent who is the typical man's man. I love their interactions, she is scientific and factual and he is emotional and goes with his gut. But what I love is how they are so different yet they fit together and learn from one an other's differences. The two are made better for knowing the other. What is crazy to me is, how much they care for each other, their obvious attraction for one another, BUT they never seem to work out. They get so close, but never end up being in a relationship. It is torture to watch! ! ! I find myself watching the show, remembering one such relationship. Almost, but not quite...the story of my life.
I was listening to a song on my iPod the other day, the name slips my mind, but gist of the lyrics are, 'If you are not the one for me, then why does everything about us fit, why does it feel so right?' I gave that song to someone in 2004 because I felt that very same way. I didn't understand why we weren't "together" if everything was so right. The fun, conversations, fighting, shopping, rode trips, dinners...the list could go on. How can two people seem so right for one another and yet, it just doesn't work out.
I felt that way 7 years ago, and I found myself asking the same question last week. Maybe it would be right this time around, maybe he was finally ready for me. I just knew it was going to be different, he had changed, matured. I know I am stronger. I let him charm his way back into my heart and the forefront of my thoughts. It was the same lie he gave then, but now he is more eloquent. He now obviously means what he says. But I found out, once again, that I would always be #2, I would say in his heart, but I am probably not even there. I am no more than a fleeting thought in his selfish mind.
I am just an idiot to believe it all. And I feel like an idiot to admit that any of it ever happened, that I allowed someone to treat me so poorly. Makes me feel weak and very stupid. But I guess it is a part of who I am...unfortunately.
BUT now there can be a change. I can start over anew in my life, without him in it. I will be careful from now on and choose those that I allow in my heart. I will not deny my heart of love and kindness, but I will just guard it a little closer. I can already tell it is going to be difficult to open up to those around me, but I just have to learn to trust again. I believe the man God has for me will be beyond my hopes and dreams.
I will start over and I will have to learn to choose my shows and music more wisely, so not to be reminded of the what could have been.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Time Flies

Man! Where has the time gone? The last few drops of sand are slipping through the hour glass of our summer. They say time flies when you are having fun. So I guess I have had a blast!
But after a few weeks...I began to feel a little useless. I am used to serving in Africa and this summer was actual me time. That doesn't happen very often it was a good thing. I spent my summer working out, laying out, and cooking. I even had my first vacation to FL!
But for the past few weeks I have begun to work up at the school. I painted the girls locker room with the help of the boys coaches ...THANK YOU! It took 3 days about 3-5 hours a day to get it all done, or at least my part done. The guys cut in my work around the ceiling and doors. They also painted the floor while I so graciously put the name plates on the boys lockers...NOT A FUN JOB! ! ! Then Hilary and I cleaned out the P.E. equipment room...WOW! There was dirt dating back to the pre-historic times, not really, but it was dirty, crammed packed full of "equipment". We threw out, cleaned out, and straightened up the first day. Then the next day we unpacked the new equipment and got it all in the room. But it all looks so amazing! ! ! I hope the kids appreciate the hard work and heart that was put in to it all. So many times people don't know all the work coaches put into their programs, but I hope that the students, faculty/staff, and parents see what all has been done on our parts. The coaches have ordered new equipment, new work out gear, new uniforms, painted, cleaned, organized, and gave up many hours of our time to do all of this. And none of the things we do is for ourselves, it is always about the kids!
I have my first week planned out for my class, my classroom set up, and my Texas flower pens made. Flower pens you ask? Last year, I supplied pens for my students to use if they did not have a pen of their own, believing they would return the pen. But...that is not how it happened. 80 pens grew legs and walked out of my class room. So this year, I have hot glued and taped Texas wild flowers to pens. In hopes that my pens will be rooted to my room!
Part of me is ready to get the ball rolling, but the other part of me still wants to sit next to the pool. But it is time for me to once again be an adult. Hmmm...not really ready.

Now...onto my other problems. Some people will say that I have a wall, and I guess I do now. But just a few years ago, I was a sucker. I believed any line that I was given. I thought that I had found real love, real friends, a real life. And none of those things stuck. It was all fake, lies, and temporary pursuits. It all changed me, and not for the better. I have grown bitter and cynical. I am now hurting those who care about me, because of those that hurt me in the past. But it just wasn't a one time incident, it was repeated in several different relationships. Promises broken. Lies told. Hurtful things said over and over again. It wore me down. I believed that was what I deserved. I thought that was how I was supposed to be treated. I didn't see anything better in my future, so I stayed and took it all. I allowed myself to be treated in such away. I did not expect more for myself. And now so many years later, when I thought I was past it all, I have fallen for the lies all over again. I feel so stupid. Did I really waste almost a decade of my life on a lie? Looks like it.
Even now, people around me are baffled when I tell them what a small person I became; timid, submissive, and insignificant. Friends from my childhood couldn't believe I lost my audaciousness, my spirit. And now my friends see me as strong, hard headed, and guarded person. So they too don't believe when I tell them how those few years changed me. I know that I will never go back to that amazing 18 year old that I once was, but I hope that I can find just a piece of her left.
But I have found new friends that see something more in me than this calloused shell that I f eel I have become. I pray that there really is a crack in this exterior. I want them to know that I can love and care for those around me. But I hope they can understand that it is fear that is holding me back. I am so afraid to be hurt again. I thank God for those he has brought in to my path. I could list them all, but I don't want to leave anyone out, but I hope you know who you are because I sure do!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Everyone goes through different trials and tribulations throughout their life time, it is those experiences that help mold us into who we are. Many people usually change for the better, having a better out look on life.
But I feel that my experiences have affected me negatively. I have become calloused and very skeptical of those around me. I am not trying to say that I am the only person on earth that has divorced parents, had my heart broken, and been hurt by people I have cared about. I know that everyone will have their heart broken at some point in life, I don't wish that hurt on anyone, but it will inevitably happen. I am just trying to share how those trials have affected me personally.
But I have never really stopped to look at how the pain and hurt has affected me and my personality. I used to be a fun loving, out going, smiling, happy person that loved to be around people and loved being a social butterfly. But over the years, the rejection, disappointment, and heartaches have taken their toll on me. I never saw the change myself, but those around me have.
At times it seems easier to keep people at a distance, not allowing them to get to close. I don't like letting people in my personal space or my life.
I am afraid to get close to new people because I don't know what is going to happen. What will they do with the personal information they know about me? Who will they tell? What will happen to us? Are they being genuine? Do they really mean that? The doubt and questions could go on and on.
It is sad to say that I have a trust issue. But I do. People could be nice to me, really mean it, and I just don't believe them. I always think there is something behind their compliments or they just don't really mean it. I have been promised a lot of things in my short life by people who said they cared about me and they turned out to be lies. So, if people who are/were supposed to love me could lie to me like that then what would keep someone I just met from doing the same thing?
I never really had to look at myself in such away, I guess because no one has ever said anything to me until the other day. I had someone tell me, "I have seen 2 totally different people in you". I was a little offended, but at the same time, I know that this secluded, frowning person is not really who I am, but for someone else to! So...I investigated the situation, I called my best friend and asked her if I was 2 different people. she surprisingly said 'Yes!" Really? She said that she has had to explain to people "She just doesn't like big groups" "She has to warm up to you." Total slap in the face for me.
It makes me feel bad to think that I have been ugly to the people around me. I never meant to hurt those that I come in contact with, I just meant to protect myself from hurt, disappointment, and weakness. I do not want to offend anyone or hurt any one's feelings, but at the same time... I still want to protect myself. I DO NOT want to be hurt like I have been. The good times that could be had just aren't worth the hurt later.
Have I really become an quiet, rude, standoffish, socially awkward person? Really?
Where do I go from here?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Danieal Manning Diving Interception Cleveland Browns-Chicago Bears NFL W...

This is just one short clip of one of my friends from college doin' his thing for the Chicago Bears!!!
Go Yay-Yay!

South Africa- England 02 June 2007 best tackles


Double Rainbow

In light of the fact that my posts have been a bit on the serious side lately...I am going to tell you a little story. I am sure you have heard of the "Double Rainbow" video that has been posted on youtube, but by some chance you haven't seen it...Let me just tell you. I was watching Good Morning America, like any true blooded American, and they always show a popular video that is being spread across the nation via youtube or emails. Most of them are dancing or singing kids or crazy animals.
But this particular morning they were featuring a video made by a man in one of our many national parks. He filmed a "Double Rainbow". Yes two rainbows all the way across the sky. He is in complete and total awe of the scene. He yells and screams and even breaks down into tears. Everyone was so convinced that he was stoned or on something.
I at first was taken a back from his excitement, but at the same time...I remember at time that I too was so emotional moved by a kind act. I have always made fun of people who cried when they heard good news. Never really got it. But in the summer of 2008, I was in South Africa on a mission trip. But during my mission trips there, I have fallen in love with their national rugby team, the Springboks. And I follow them online and watch every game I can while I am there on TV and read the papers as well. One day at lunch Dorian said he had a surprise for us. He had gotten us Springbok tickets. They were playing there in Cape Town. I started crying...Really?...crying? over a professional sporting event? But it wasn't just the fact that I would see my favorite team, but that Uncle D had gone and gotten them!
So to get back to my point. I was sad that everyone was making fun of this guy being so excited about seeing the two rainbows. I was in awe of his true delight in God's amazing creations. It may have been to an extreme, but I think that people should really slow down and look at the beauty that surrounds us. He may have gone crazy, but I still think it is pretty neat.
Now on top of that video post, a group of young people have dubbed the guys voice into a catchy, pop song using only the words he uses in the video as the lyrics. I have a friend, Ruby, who is head over heels for this song. I think it is a little weird that people would take the time to make it into a song. But the part that kills me, makes me bend over in laughter, hide my face in embarrassment is my friend Ruby jamming out to this 3 minute pop song. She loves it and it might make me uncomfortable with her choreography and singing; I love the fact that she loves it! True delight.
What gives you true delight? Take time to stop and think about the things that move you, the things that give you true joy. Whether it is Springbok tickets, a child's laugh, or a Double Rainbow. Find your true happiness and share it with others.
(In a tribute to Ruby...I have posted the song...enjoy. And I have also posted a highlight clip of my first Rugby game I watched on TV in Swaziland...Springboks vs England)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Needed to Tell You

I can still see you walking into a room and I can almost feel myself blush at the thought. My heart raced when you were near me. I tried to keep my eyes off of your every move. I always wondered if anyone could hear my heart pounding in my chest,. You made me so nervous, even now, the mere thought of you makes butterflies dance in my stomach. How long ago was it? Really? It feels like only yesterday.
I still dream about those beautiful eyes staring into mine, so deep and mysterious. I can still see your smile, every time I fall into a dream. The monotony of my day always leads me to a moment we once shared. Every little thing blasts me back to what we had; shopping, movies, singing, going to Wal-Mart, homework, dinners, laughter, fights, tears, hugs, family, were always with me and you still are. At times it is almost haunting how you are still so much apart of my life, and yet you are not even here. Is there something wrong with me? I don't know what to do when all theses memories and emotions come flooding back. My heart aches because I can't share life with someone like I shared it with you. I don't get to see you, hear you, or hold you anymore and the memories taunt me.
How long will you come to mind? How long will I see your face when I close my eyes? How many more dreams will I spend in your arms? How many more times will I go to pick up the phone only to put it back down? How can I make the thought of us fade into the mist?
Answer me this: if we were not meant to be together, not meant to share our lives with one another, then why do I still love you the way I do? Why hasn't that love faded? Why do I still want you to hold me? Why when something good or something bad happens, you are the one I want to call? Why are you the one I want to fight with?
Am I the only one that feels this way? Is it really only a one sided desire? Do you ever think of me? Have you ever wanted to call me, but just put down the phone? Has there been a time when you thought, "She would understand?" Have you ever wished it was me by your side?
I have yet to find something as real as you, even though I don't really know if we ever really were. I just know that I still love you. It may be too late, but for what its worth, at least you will never doubt my love for you.

Live and Learn

All of my life I have been told that you live and learn. But I must be a slow learner. I just laugh at myself. But, then again, I have learned that putting your hand on a hot stove burns you, but yet I do it over and over again. Just as the burns heal and even the scar starts to fade. I walk back over to the stove, maybe it won't as bad this time, maybe it won't even affect me, I am over it. And BOOM--- I have another burn. Really? Its gonna burn you! ! ! I don't get it...I know what I want in my life and the stove isn't helping me get there. Romans 7:15-20 hits the nail on the head. "I do not understand what I do."
I just can't believe that I am 28 (almost 29 in almost 3 months) so you would think that I would have some wisdom by now. I do believe it or not. One thing that has helped me, I have finally written down my weaknesses while trying to find my strengths. People, if you haven't written down your strengths and weaknesses, you need to do it. Not so you walk away thinking what a terrible person you are, because believe me, I did that. My weakness list is longer than my strength list. But it has made me more aware of what I need to work on. It makes me listen to my words, where I am, and what I do. Now I know some of ya'll are thinking..."Really? Penni, you are a jerk, I saw you out!" And that's fine, I said my weakness list was a long one.
But, I think what makes me different from others, I will let you know straight up- I am not an angel! I mess up on a daily basis. But I am trying. Don't they say the first step in rehab is admitting you have a problem. I know I have not just one problem, but tons of them.
I wish I was different, but unfortunately, I am stuck with me. But I am working on making this hopeless case into something better.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Confusion seems to be the story of my life.
I am just at another point in my life where I just don't get it. I pray. I ask for guidance. I ask for stength & wisdom. I ask for a husband and family. And at times, those requests seem so far from ever being answered. Is it just not the right time in my life for my prayers to be answered, or am I being punished?
Does God even punish people, or is it Satan getting in the way of God's plans or is it me getting in the way of God's plans?
At times it all seems almost too much to understand, too much to try to comprehend. I was raised in the church and I know all the things that God promises. I know he has a purpose and a plan for my life. But I just dont see or know what the plans are. I feel like I am roaming at times.
I am tired of roaming. Tired of just being. I want to live. I want to have a purpose. And a purpose to me could be several different things.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Being raised Church or Christ, I am not really sure what to call the desire in my heart & I really don't know what it is. Some would say it is a calling. I am not sure what to call it. Some of my mentors, family, and friends feel that I should be a speaker/teacher. Not just a 7th grade TX History teacher, but an advocate for Partners 4 Africa and a women's speaker. I feel very intimidated at the thought of it all, but at the same time, so drawn to it.
I do not know all there is to know about life or Christianity, but I do have a desire to search for it. Many people along with myself, would look at my life and say, "Penni, you are a sinner. You are the biggest screw up and so what makes you think you can 'teach' me how to be a better Christian? How can you stand before anyone and tell them how to serve God?" Trust me...I think about that every time the thought even passes through my mind. I know that I am not perfect, I know that I am a sinner, I know that I have a long way to go to being where God wants me to be, but I think the important thing is that I know that.
I also know that I love Africa and the people that I have come in contact with there. I want to do all I can here in the states to help them by collecting books, clothes, and blankets. I truly believe that God saved me by making me away to go to Africa 3 years ago. I was headed down a path of destruction, denial, and anger. When I was asked to go...I even said, "Ummm...I can't do this. I am not a good person." But God said you are going whether you want to or not and I thank Him everyday that he sent me. The people there touched my heart. I think about them daily. Serving God and serving those orphans and those who have never known true love or God's peace is what I love doing. But I am here to tell you right now...its not easy, it is most definitely out of my comfort zone, but afterwards it is the most amazing feeling. And if speaking to classes, school groups, and women's groups is what I must do to help them, I will do it.
But many times, I feel intimidated, like I am lacking, like there is nothing I can do to help. I still mess up and sin on a daily basis and so I always have Satan in my head telling me that I am worthless and that I am a hindrance. There are so many times where I am not sure where to start or who to turn to for support.
I understand that I am a woman in the Church of Christ, which means I am limited with out a male in my life...which I find very sad and difficult at times to accept. I know with all my heart that I could do so much good by being a speaker/teacher. I could get schools and groups to donate toiletries and text books, the women's groups that I spoke to could take the information back to their churches and homes. God's works would be spreading and the people in Africa would be helped and blessed.
But how do you know when it is a 'calling' or when it is a selfish desire? I will continue praying and I hope you all will do the same. Or if you have a group that is interested in hearing about Africa and the work that God and Partners 4 Africa is doing...find me and I would love to share my heart with you.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Man...I am so torn. Stressed is not the right word, but close. Frustrated is not the word either. Torn is the right feeling. I want the life that God has planned for me, but I also want what I want. I hope the desires of my heart are in line with God's plan.
Part of me wants to get out of Nacogdoches and find a bigger church with a congregation that has more people my age--Young Professionals. I want to move to a bigger area with more museums, jazz bars...more "culture". That has been my prayer, to find a place to fit in.
And now, I have been invited to sing with the Sweet Adaline's, a women's barbershop chorus. My grandmother sang in a Sweet Adaline group when they lived in El Paso. So it is pretty neat to follow in her footsteps. And I have had a friend that asked me to join the Nacogdoches Art League. in Nac? Really? But here it is! Answered prayer? I just don't want to get "stuck" here. But would it really be that bad? Is this God telling me I have a place in Nac? There are benefits staying here:small town feel, family, new friends, new opportunities, and I could buy a house here and it would be an asset to buy a house here in a college town.
I am also having trouble putting my feelings in order, trying to balance the old and the new. I am want to grow, to be more than I ever have been. But at times, holding onto the past seems to be holding me down. It makes me negative, sad, stressed-- I am tired of being a grouchy person. I want to be happy and fun loving. I just wish that my friends would see it as growth and not neglect. I wish they would want me to be happy.
I will keep praying that my heart's desires will align with God's. He has got to show me the way, cause I am struggling.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Tonight, my family celebrated the 4th a day early. We grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and ribs. Very nice. That is one thing the Farrell men know how to do. And the thing all Farrells do well is eat. There is never a dull moment when we get together. From kids screaming and playing to remember when stories. After letting our feast settle they guys went to get fireworks---for $40, we had a nice little show: slappy dos, slappy don'ts, fountains, and roman candles were just a few of the stars of our show. Oh....and Sparklers...I love sparklers. Watching the children oooo and awww over the fireworks is such a joy. And there was fun had by all!
But the 4th of July is more than just hamburgers and fireworks. It is supposed to be a day of remembering what our forefathers did for our country. Many men fought and died so that we could be free, so that we did not have to endure the same persecution that they under went while in other countries. So that we could truly have a life.
But I am afraid that their fight for our freedom has become an alter for excuses, The young people of today make me sad and at the same time sick; absolutely SICK. They have no knowledge or respect to the history of our country. They cannot see past the end of their own nose, past today, past their own selfish wants. With this generation, I fear for our country's future.
They do not seem to understand the sacrifices of men and women of the past, what they have lain down at this generation's feet only to be trampled. Sacrifice so that people can sit on their opportunities at home and do nothing with their lives. Sacrifice, so that people can waste my tax money on frivolous temporary highs and material items that will rot in the earth one day. Sacrifice, so that young people no matter their color, religion, or socio-economic status could get a free education. Sacrifice, so that people of every belief or religion can go to church with out being under fire or scrutiny. There are countries even today where people are being killed because of their beliefs, daily. right now we have men and women fighting, sacrificing their lives in Iraq so that we may be safe and protected, and fighting to prevent another 9/11.
I as an educator am expected to teach kids grammar, simple mathematics, biology, and out entire history. But they do not care. They do not desire such education, yet we try to force feed them. They do not have any respect of true understanding for their elders or the men and women who died to make our country and homes safe. They take for granted the freedoms and blessings our country has afforded us. In instead of taking the freedoms and blessings they have been given and being successful, productive young people, doing everything that is offered to them. They spit on the opportunity and in that spit on me as an educator. They would rather live in ignorance at our expense.
How do I as an educator, as a U.S. citizen, teach them passion, compassion, respect, or understanding for our past, for others, or themselves? How do I impel them to desire success or education? I cannot. So, is my passion for teaching in vain? I feel my love for history and my respect for the past is lost among the weeds and rocky soil. How many flowers will grow with the water of knowledge, truth, and love we are sharing and providing to our students?
I feel as though my efforts are futile in this microwave society. How much longer do we allow our forefathers' passions, hopes, and dreams to be trampled on by the ignorance of today's culture?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Yesterday morning I left NAC at about 8:15 to go to Longview. My cousin Christy's little boy was having his 2 yr birthday party at Pump It Up Jr. It is fun to watch the little ones jump around, slide, scream, and play...all the while knowing that they will all go home with someone else. But I always love seeing my family. I don't have brothers and sisters, so my cousins are the closest thing that I have. I love seeing their kids and how much they look like their parents. Wow!
After we had cake, Capri suns, chex mix and Blaze opened all of his presents we headed out to Libby.
Libby is a small community or area between Garrison and Martinsville where my grandfather and his siblings grew up. We had our first Farrell Family Reunion since I don't know when. They always have a Libby Reunion, but other families from the community come as well, but this was just our family. My grandfather's parents were James Alden and Lottie Mae Farrell. They had, and this is in no particular order: Oscar, Joseph, Doc, Ruby, Naomi, Eli, Cory Thomas...I think that is it. Uncle Cory is the only living child. But each of those had 2-4 kids each. There were 7 of their kids there and 8/9 were missing and there were still 30+ people there. So next years family reunion with more telling how many of us there will be.
Whenever we go to these family favorite thing is to hear all of the old stories. Stories about the family I never go to meet...stories that help me see my grandparents as teenagers. The stories always help me to see my grandparents in myself and the family I do know. I am always told that I look like "Aunt Maggie" that is my grandma, my mom's mom. She used to take care of me and the twins when we were preschool age. When I knew her, she was older and when I could actually talk with her, she had Alzheimer's. So, I didn't get to know her as well as I would have liked. My mom and aunt always tell me I act like her too. So I love to hear the stories. My boy cousins are automatically pointed out as Ben's grandsons. I love that I can still my grandfather, one of the most amazing men in Cody, Clayton and Clinton. I not only see him in their eyes, hands, or smile. I can see him in their love for the outdoors, their calm spirits, and love for God and their family.
But those Farrell's have the most beautiful eyes! And almost all the men stand alike. They don't put their hands on their hips, but on their love handles. It is the craziest thing, but it is so funny to watch them all standing and talking to each eyes, tall, same smiles, and their hands on their love handles.
I guess that is what makes us family.
One of the jokes yesterday is that everyone brought their coolers with food and drinks for the pot luck. All the coolers had FARRELL bodly printed on them. Ray, one of my mom's cousins, made the comment anyone could walk off with any of these coolers.
We got to see our families grave sites. And heard stories about loved ones lost. It is amazing to see so many people, good people come from 2 simple farmers.
I am proud to be a FARRELL.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Florida Cont.

The Butterfly house was very simple! But nice at the same time. We then went to The Zoo...that was the name of the zoo...The Zoo. Really? How original! But was $19+ to get in, ride the train, and buy food to feed the giraffes. So we went straight to the train depot. Which was loud and squeaky, due to the cart behind ours, but pretty cool cause we go to see other animals we would have never seen others wise. We got to see chimps, 2 silver back gorillas, 4 hippo ears, some African deer, and a zebra.
After our 10 minute train ride. We roamed around the zoo and found ourselves in the petting zoo...goats and llamas. I did not want to touch the thank you. Didn't want to feed them, cause I was saving my food to feed the giraffes. I found it...finally found the giraffe cage, pen, or whatever you call. And the 2 giraffe are under their covering/shed thing. Out of the sun. Not interested in my food what so ever. I tried to get them by shaking the food and making noise. Nothing. They just stood there and chewed on hay. UGH! ! !
So I was left with no other choice but to go and fee the llamas. So 3 llamas approach the scene, ready to be fed not shy what so ever. The smallest one was nice, ate nicely. The other brown one was OK...not too impressed. Then there was the white one. He chased Kristine around the fence line. Hilarious! Then he approaches me and I allow him to eat some of my feed. But he was gobbling the food up and spilling it everywhere. So I pulled the cup away. He looked at me and proceeded to spit a loogy on me. Really Llama? Loogy...Disgusting. Was that really necessary...I don't think so.
So we finished our time at The Zoo and it was time for beach time. We stayed there on Navarre beach Friday. We were out there for almost 2 hours....sea weed, algae, and all.
Now Friday nights dinner was a hole in the wall Mexican joint, nothing to get excited about what so ever. But good. After we left Acapulco Grill we headed done to Juana's after about an hour after trying to find somewhere to park. Really? We couldn't park on the shoulder of a rd where the speed limit was 30.
The bar/restaurant/beach volleyball/concert on the beach Juana's we watched the boys play volleyball....very nice. Met some interesting friends....very interesting. We stayed their for about 2 hours and it was time to call it a night!
Saturday was Fort Walton day. We drove at a crazy speed of 45 90% of the way there...15 minute drive took almost 40. Really? We can't go faster than 55 on a straight flat road? When we got to Ft. Walton....2011...we went to the Gulfarium. The first show we watched was the multi-species show: 2 dolphins Zach and ?, and Kyle preformed some tricks: painting, splashing the crowd, eating fish...the usual. After enduring the show with 100 screaming under 1 year olds...we roamed around and waited for the Dolphin show that started 10 minutes late and lasted less than 15. Three dolphins did 3 jumps each .. woo hoo! So it was blazing...went to the gift shop.
Ft Walton beach has changed so much in 7 years, when I went to Faulkner and went to the beach alot. We were there for 2 hours. Not so much sea weed.
We went back to the hotel chilled and got all dolled up to go back to Ft. Walton for dinner. After driving around for awhile, we decided to eat at a little Italian restaurant. Holy Moly... the best food I have had in a really really long time! ! ! I had Italian fried grits, with sausage, shrimp, and tomato cream sauce. AMAZING!
We wanted dessert, but were completely too stuffed so we drove around for over an hour finding a place to go and get dessert, being distracted by our crazy stories. We decided on cheese cake....but where to go...WINN DIXIE. Yay-ya! It all boils down to the fact that we were all dressed up with no where to go. We got a multi-flavored cheese cake and 2 milks.
After 2 pieces.... I was ready to crash.
Sunday we left at 9 after a "hot breakfast" reading, talking, glee soundtrack, eclipse soundtrack, more talking, Starbucks, McDonald's, and 9 hours later...NAC! ! !
Had a blast Kristine...thanks for going with!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Yesterday, Kristine and I headed out of NAC at around 5:15 a.m. Kristine is my cousin's wife's sister. We are the same age and in the same kind of circumstances: hard-working, single women!
So we both had some vaca time and decided to get out of TX!
Yesterday we traveled 9 hrs to Navarre, FL---only stopping once for gas in Hammond LA. The trip was filled with girl talk, family talk, music and a few yawns. But we arrived at our hotel at around 2:15! Woo-Hoo!
We ate lunch in our room. Then went and found the beach---BEAUTIFUL. No oil at this point! PHEW! After sitting out there for about 30 minutes taking pics, we headed back to the hotel. I went to the pool and laid out for an hour...partly napping!
Around 5 I came in, posted pics, and took a shower. We got ready and went to eat at the East Bay Crab House...ummm...little over priced for the atmosphere of a small town cafe and the food was not the best. But it was food!
After dinner we went to TC's Front Porch for karaoke and a drink (for me!) It was fun...stayed there for about an hr and sang along with the "star singers". After our fill of off key country, we headed back to the hotel.
I tried to plan our day for today (Friday)...not sure how well I did.
This morning I woke up at 7:45, got dressed and went and worked out in the Fitness Center. I did the elliptical for 3o minutes...2.06 miles--WooHoo! Then I headed over to the "Hot Breakfast". Had a southwest omelet and cranberry juice and a bottle of water!
Today the plan is to go to the Butterfly House, souvenir shop, and the beach! Then we are going to try and find a nicer place for dinner. We will see how that turns out as well.
Enjoy your day...I know I will enjoy mine!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Time is Here!

Well good afternoon people! This is the first full week of my summer vacation....woo-hoo! I am planning a summer full of rest and relaxation! So far this week has included: working-out @ 8a.m. with Ruby, eating, and laying out by the pool! How amazing is that? I think it is a great start to my summer break. It has only been a week, not even, and I am already a shade darker! Oh...I wish somebody would have told me you are supposed to by your swimsuits in January...When you go in June...there is nothing left! But REALLY? Who is looking to get their white, lumpy behinds into a swimsuit in January...No one!

Next week I will be traveling with my "cousin-in-law" to Navarre Beach in Florida. Kristine and I realize there may be oil on the beach in FL thanks to BP, but as Kristine so cleverly pointed out, ". . .there will be no oil in the pool!" So will be heading down to FL next Wednesday and returning home next Sunday. The main point of the whole vacation is to get out of Texas. . .just get away! I will do my best to write while I am there.

OH! ! ! June 30th at 12:20 a.m. Tammy, Michelle, and I will be watching the 3rd movie in the Twilight saga, Eclipse, at the IMAX in Houston! I am soooo totally pumped and ready to go. We will start the evening off at 6 p.m. watching Twilight and New Moon back to back. Then we will get to see the showing of Eclipse at midnight in the IMAX theatre! ! ! Yay-ya! I know what you are thinking..."Really? 3 grown women going to see that movie, all the in Houston?" That's right your heart out!

Today was supposed to be a day of fun in the sun with Michelle, Ruby and her son, but NOOOO, the rain decided to come today.... I know that we need the rain and all, but REALLY? my first week of vacation? Really? But is was a good morning....good workout up at SFA with Ruby. I make things up as we go throughout our workout, but today was good...bear crawls, lunges, squats, running, jogging, sprinting, walking, bunny hops, back pedaling, karaoke--45 minute workout. Phew! Just glad it is over! The sun was out at 8 a.m., but it is far from being out at 12:20 p.m.

This summer I am going to try and be productive: keep working out, write more on my story, write more poems, lay out, read, fold and pack clothes for Africa, get a good tan, get my balcony decked out looking cool, get ready for school next year, and just chill. Sounds like a productive summer, lets see if it happens.

I am sitting on the balcony watching it rain, enjoying the coolness this rain shower is bringing. Lawli sits in her chair and I in mine, soaking up the relief from the East Texas summer. The rain keeps chasing me in and outside. It is peaceful, even though this is not what I had planned today. The sun keeps peaking through the clouds, making me think that the rain is over and gone, but it goes right back behind those clouds...tease! I am crushed that there is no sun, but I am totally stoked that school is OVER! ! !
I hope everyone enjoys this rain!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Disney Cartoons...Really!

Whoever said that Disney movies were just for kids was mistaken. Those animated cartoons have to be some of the best movies ever. The twins and I used to watch "Dumbo" and "Pinocchio" when we were little before nap time. "Aladdin" was the first VHS that was bought for me. I have almost all of the cartoons memorized. One of the preachers that always goes with us to South Africa quotes "The Lion King" when we are in the game parks. He cracks me up! Michelle and I used to rewind a part in "Aladdin" 5 million times and just laugh and matter how many times we watched it. Now that the Princess and the Frog has come out...I now found myself singing Mama Odie's, "You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper". I guess this blog could go under the things that make me smile. Almost every Disney movie has a childhood memory attatched to it...makes me smile.
When I was in college...I even did a "Disney Devotional" for a women's bible study. I pulled scenes from Disney cartoons and made biblical lessons from them. I still have that lesson written down somewhere...I need to find that! It was pretty cool...even if I do say so myself.
But what brought all this is on is, earlier tonight I was watching a real movie. Now when I added this particular movie to my queue on Netflix, I thought it was going to be a romantic comedy...umm not so got creepy. feel not so oogy anymore, I have put on "Princess and the Frog"... it makes me smile!
And isn't that what life should be about...true happiness. I am here to say proudly...I am 28 year old professional and I love watching Disney Cartoons. I know many of you are saying, "Really? You are a grown woman watching Disney animated cartoons. Really?" I am not ashamed. I would rather watch Disney cartoons than some of the trash movies that are produced today. Like that super creepy one I watched tonight. All the violence, the over sexuality, the super vulgar language...can't handle all that. And now that I am a teacher, I can't believe my students are watching some of that mess. Hurts my heart! The cartoons are sweet, simple, and have good lessons to be learned, and don't take a whole lot of thinking to follow the story (sometimes my brain is fried from working...needs a break). Sometimes after a hard week, a good cartoon helps me to think of my family and friends and reminds me of where I came from. They make me feel like everything is going to be OK.
Thank you Disney for making me smile!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Things That Make You Smile

Today I was inspired once again...this time by an East TX author who came to speak about her life, her books, but it was more so about her passion for life and writing. She told about how she is very inspired by images still or moving. She said she would journal her days, what she saw, what she did. And sometimes from those meager writings she could go back and form a story. How simple that may seem, but I, as a lover of writing, sitting down and doing can be intimidating more than difficult. I am scared of what people will think of my thoughts. Sounds kind of ridiculous when I write it...their thoughts on my thoughts.
But what an amazing job would that be? Write all day, visit different conventions, meet other authors, and get to travel to different schools speaking about something you love doing. I am jealous. I will be there one day! That is a goal of write a novel!
She really made me want to sit down and write. My wonderful & inspiring friend, Sonja, has been encouraging me to write as well....and since I have been doing this, I have been writing more and I have actually felt better on the inside since I have been blogging. I know this is really more for myself than anyone else. But I love it!
Summer is just around the bend....THANK GOODNESS! This week has been super draining, but we are almost done! ! ! 9 school days and 2-- 1/2 days! ! ! I am so stoked and so ready for this summer and all of its new adventures. I am pretty sad about not being able to go to Africa this summer, but I am so ready to do more reading, writing, photography, cooking, and researching. Things that make me smile!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Mind

As I try and wind down for the day, I have decided to sit on my balcony and enjoy the night air. The wind today has made me miss my Abilene days. Enya is playing softly in the background as Lawli sniffs out her surroundings. I am trying to breath deeply, trying to clear my mind of all the chaos and stress around me.
I am doing a daily devotional from the Women of Faith series and they are making me think...really dig into my thoughts on life and my relationships. And its not just talking about my relationship with God, but also with my family and with friends. Its hard to look yourself in the ideological mirror, I mean really look at yourself. To examine your soul, your heart, your thoughts. It is not fun and for me somewhat disappointing. I have found I do like some of the things I see: service, compassion, love, friendship. But there are so many weaknesses: language, habits, unwholesome thoughts, weakness, swaying in my faith....that list goes on and on!
I have also found that I lack strength and courage to do what is in my heart. I keep waiting around for someone else to lead, or for some one to tell me what to do. Romans says it best for me... I know I am not supposed to do those things, but yet I do them anyways. Really? If I know they are wrong, then why do I do them? Why do I put myself through the guilt, the hurt, and resentment that sin brings? For an intelligent person, that just doesn't seem very smart.
I am praying for courage to do what He wills and I pray that my heart's desires align accordingly. But, at the same time, I am afraid of what He will give me the courage to do. That courage may mean stepping way out of my comfort zone. That courage may mean nights alone at the house (which I am totally OK with) The courage may mean cutting ties with people and habits I have grown accustom to or so attached to.
I can feel it in the breeze that swirls around me as I write these words, the breeze is never the same, it is always moving and dancing always searching. I can see change in the misty white clouds floating across the navy blue sky. Nothing ever stays the same.
I pray I have the courage to search as the wind.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The story of my life...just $.10 off. I finally got up the energy to go to the grocery store yesterday. Do you make a grocery list like I do...where there is only 6 or 7 things on your list and you walk out with buggy overflowing? Well that was me yesterday, my little list to get me through a week or 2. I even got one of the little buggies at Krogers to limit my spending. But that plan failed miserably. I even stopped in one of the aisles to reorganize my buggy. All things that go in the fridge or freezer in the top section, lined things up accordingly, then the lower basket was for things that need to go in the cabinet...organized that rack, lined things up nice and neat. Perfect! More room to buy more things not on my list!
So I finally get to the check out line. Waiting for what feels like an hour for a woman, who confessed she couldn't feel her fingers, to dig out her change, one coin at a time. Then it is my turn after an eternity of agony! ( I don't like know...I am not the "p" word). I give the lady my phone # for my Kroger's discount, then I hand her my coupons, yes I use coupons, and she begins ringing away. Now remember, I have given myself a budget for the month of May. I have my grocery money in hand, watching the total go up, higher and higher. After all of that my total is: $---.30. I look in my wallet, and I have $---.20. Yes, that's right...the story of my life...almost there, but not quite. The lady thought I was joking when I said I didn't have another dime.
They had to push my grocery cart aside so I could run to my car and retrieve another dime. While everyone stared at me while I walked away without my groceries.
I think there needs to be a little more training for sackers at grocery stores. They should be taught the art of placing things in plastic sacks. In one bag he put 500 T.V. dinners and in the next sack my one box of Skinny Cow Ice Cream. Makes no sense. Then in one sack he put items that would go in the fridge...good...and package of rice. They need the worksheets we had in elementary: "which of these items does not belong". And they need to buy them the Playskool cube where you put the correct shape block into the correct shape hole. Sacking should be an art, not a job for the disorganized!
Many of you are probably wondering why any of that makes a difference, "Why does it matter which bag has what in it? Its all going to the same place." I can hear you saying it. Make fun, that's fine. But I am telling you know that it is not me it is being efficient and organized. Many of my friends say that I have a problem, but I do not believe that organization, neatness, and order is a disorder, but a life of happiness. It would just make my life smoother and easier if the bags were more organized. And yes, I stood at the back of my car and re-sacked my groceries!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dude...what is the deal??? I am doing the whole vitamin thing, the whole workout thing, the whole trying to be healthy thing...isn't all of that supposed to give you more energy, make you feel better, turn your whole life around? No? Did I not get the right memo? But it has been fun drawing up the workouts. I sit down and write out exactly what we are going to do, reps, seconds... I do it all. And the crazy thing is...I am usually the one laying on the floor crying to make it all stop...and Hilary so sweetly reminds me..."You are the one that made this workout!!!" I am kicking my own butt! You would think that I would have the upper hand, be mentally prepared for the whole mind and body are not on the same page... may have a short somewhere! Melissa has decided to join the madness. I think the group thing seems to dull the feel of torture when you have people to laugh at...I meant laugh with!

The closer we get to the end of the school year... the longer the school days get and the shorter my personal time gets. I got home today around 6:30 and the next time I looked at my was 9:17...really??? I need my me time...and the whole clock speeding up after 3 p.m. is not working for me! For example...I need to go get groceries....but I don't have the time or the energy to go get it all done. I don't want to walk around the grocery store when my legs hurt and the sound of voices hurts my ears. I will just have to start eating my lunch menu for breakfast and dinner until there is just no other option but to go to the store. My new diet...don't eat!

This month is going to be a real challenge for many reasons: finishing my first year of teaching JH, keeping up the workout regiment, and my budget. Yes ladies and gentlemen...I have put myself on a budget, I am only allowing myself so much dough for groceries, entertainment, bills, shopping, ect. As of the 6th day into the new plan...I am doing quite well...but lets see how it is going on the 26th day of the plan! I am really trying to teach myself how to save and to only spend money when I need to not because I want to!

I am sitting on my balcony with Lawli, partially out of wanting to be outside in this amazing weather, but also to get better Internet reception...its pitiful I know. But my thoughts need to be sent to the masses! As the crickets chirp and the birds in my rain gutters scratch around...I bid you all goodnight.

Monday, May 3, 2010


My family is one of my favorite things. We don't always get to see each other anymore, and we are scattered from New Mexico, to Abilene, to Nebraska, to Arkansas, to Longview, to Nacogdoches, to Tatum, and to Flower Mound. But no matter the distance, we are still family. Now just because we are family doesn't mean everyday is a bed of roses, but even through the thorns, they are still the most important people in my life.
Now that my cousins all have children and we get to see them playing together, it makes me smile to think about all of the games and activities we played when we were little: making a club house in the horse pen, making salads for the horses, mud pies, tents out of blankets and chairs, ghost baseball, fishing, running, rolling down the hill, slip and slides, & all our different sporting events. I remember watching Charlotte's Web, Mary Poppins, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Robin Hood and all the other Disney cartoons and musicals like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the Music Man. Now that we are older...we still watch all the Disney movies and musicals with a few extras like Tommy Boy and Tombstone.
I remember when our Grandpa would let us help him in his garden. We each had our own job: Grandpa would point where he wanted the seed to go, one of us would dig a hole, the next would drop in the seed, and the last one would cover it up. We would race through the corn rows, the long leaves slapping us in the face until we could get to the other side. The dirt of the garden burning your feet, almost like running on sun soaked pavement.
I remember when we would all load up and go down to Lilly Mae's for an ice cream cone. 2 scoops of cookies and cream was what we always got. and we would have to race to eat it before the East Texas heat got it.
But one of the things that sticks out in my mind even more so is my grandparents studying their bible together. Everyday, sitting in their own recliner, with bible and Power book in hand, they would take turns reading and answering the questions together. When I was 4 I never realized the impact that would have on my family today.
And when I really took notice of my family's faith was 2 years ago when I was in South Africa with the Flynn's. Dorian was talking to some of the elders of a church there and told them that I was a 5/6 generation Christian. The elders were highly impressed, nodding and smiling. I didn't understand the magnitude of that simple fact until 'D' and I sat down to talk. He explained that many of the families here are 1st generation Christians, that their families did not have Christian grandparents that passed on the importance of church and religion. He explained that in the overall picture of Christian families, our family's lineage of faith was unique. Wow!
So, when I think about my family as a whole, we aren't just nieces/nephews, cousins, aunts/uncles, parents, spouses, brothers/sisters...we are more than that, we are brothers and sisters in Christ, we are more than just blood related, we are apart of a much higher family. We are the recipients of a great inheritance.
I know that families are not perfect and heaven knows the Farrell's are far from perfect, but we as a family are pressing on towards the same goal...Heaven. And because of our family's faithful past, we will get to spend eternity together in Heaven.
This past Sunday, a good portion of our family was able to worship together in Longview. I cried as I thought about how blessed we were to have such a special bond. Hearing Amanda's beautiful voice singing, passing little Wade down the line so I could hold him, bowing our head together in prayer, watching my aunt sign the worship service, and sharing the Lord's supper together. What an amazing gift.
The blessing is this: your family are the people that are supposed to love you and take care of you no matter what life throws in your path, but how amazing is it to be able to go to your family with praise and problems, knowing that they will be praying for you and doing their best to give you Godly advice.
I just pray that our family will remember that amazing bond that we share, the bond that runs deeper than DNA.
Family, I love you and thank God for you everyday!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pump it up! ! !

Wow! Today has been a 90 to nothing kind of day...but when it is spent with family... I don't mind the sugar filled, running from birthday part to soccer to baseball to cook out...this is a good kind of tired.
We started out of NAC this morning at 8 am. Not cool on a Saturday...but it was for a good cause. My cousin Clayton and Amanda's little girls turned 2 & 1 today...yes I said both of them turning a year older on the same day! WHEW! Well we started our day with a trip to Starbucks and Donut Palace. My Mocha Chip Frappicino had so much chocolate syrup in it...I was already sugar loaded by 8:15 am.
Pump it up was a blast... a mini family reunion for the kids. Clinton and Jenna's little boy is getting soooo big...and just like his shirt said, definitely 100% boy! Too cute! Adam & Christy's kids are growing up soooo fast. Why must kids do that?
The kids were running around, bouncing, sliding, screaming, sweating, pushing, jumping, crawling, and laughing....having a complete and total blast. I think that has to be one of the best sounds in the world is to hear children laughing.
Even some of the "adults" if that is what you want to call them, got in on the action. Cody, Clayton, Amanda, Jenna, and even Monnie (my aunts 80 year old mom) climbed up the inflatable stairs and slid down! FUN!
Amanda and Christy made the cakes themselves....Minnie and Mickey mouse was the theme! TOO CUTE!
Then....we went out to eat lunch....all 20+ of us at Papcitas in Longview. HUGE TABLE! And the waiter took all of our orders...with out writing them down...and drum roll them all right! I was blown away! And oh so glad to get to eat!
2 pm....Jackson's soccer game...super hot but super fun to watch him.
3-6 pm Taylor's baseball game...super hot, but really good to see him pitching.
Then I just had to go to Kohl's...hello, we got paid this past week...its been burning a hole in me pocket!
Then we all headed...yes all...20+ of us headed to my aunt and uncles place for fellowship and burgers! Playing with the kids, fishing, carpentry, eating, laughing, and talking...that is what we Farrell do best. we are at our Go-Go's are sleeping and I smell to high heavens I know. So I bid you all a good night and there will be more to come!

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Day

I am doing a daily devotional in a book published by the Women of Faith. Its been a really good push into my own thoughts and feelings about my life as a Christian. One of the main points of the text is that no matter where we have been in our lives...good or bad... we are able to start over, begin a new day. And it isn't just meaning through baptism. It means everyday is a new day to get up and be better and do better as a family member, friend, employee...whatever it is you can be better.
Shoot! I am glad everyday is a new day...I know I need a new start to everyday. Just ask my friends...they know I need a clean slate daily! I don't want to wake up and carry the porblems and burdens from one day to the next...who does? Baggage is a terrible burden...ugh...who wants to lug all that mess around? Who wants to hang out with someone that has alot of problems and drama? Drop the baggage at the check in, don't carry with you on the journey that is called your life! (cheesy I know, but it gets the point know you got a visual!)
It is just crazy that at the age of 28, I feel as though I am getting a fresh start on life, even though not many things have changed outwardly: I am still a teacher/coach, still living with a dog, still living in the same town, still going to the same church. But I feel refreshed, new. And I am thankful for all of the new people He is bringing my way...the list is really too long...and I don't want to leave anyone out! I have been praying for friends lately and I can see where he is directing me. Change is scary!
I will share my everyday life with you. I love writing and actually seeing my thoughts on the with the encouragement of my dear friend Sonja...I am finally writing again. Thank you for pushing me! I hope you all like the blog, I am excited to see where it takes me. Hope you get a laugh every now and then. I don't mind if you laugh at me...happens all the time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just One Day

I crawl out of bed to the screeching alarm clock at 6:10 a.m., which is really 6 a.m., I try to trick myself into getting ready faster. I shimmy into some old grey sweat pants, throw on a hoodie, (no one needs to see all that so early in the morning) and I stumble down the stairs as I wipe my sleepy eyes. Is this really necessary? My sweet little puppy has to be taken to the 4th corner of the earth to go potty, OK; maybe it's only the corner of the parking lot to the "Puppy Park". This is one of the many amenities my 'luxury' apartment provides, a special place for my little Frenchy to go potty.
I turn the shower on, down the vitamins for energy and appetite control. It makes me feel like I am doing 'something' for my health and well being. Shower seems to spur the senses to mid consciousness. Same old outfit, just a different color" old navy slacks, v-neck tee, and tennis shoes--comfort is the deciding factor, not fashion. Lawli slips into her kennel, watching her mommy cook breakfast, correction, the microwave heat up breakfast. Lean pocket, 2 minutes, weight watchers 6 points. Smart One out of the freezer, apple sauce, and a 100 calorie pack for lunch all into the back pack along with the workout clothes...ugh! ! !
The door clicks shut and it is back down the stains, back in the car with lean pocket in hand. "Is this it? Really?" I ask myself as I drive to school (work). Pulling into my spot for the day in the parking lot, I turn off my Acapella praise and worship music. Trying to prepare myself not to go psycho on a teenager. I head into the building , the building that smells like cheap, 100% bleach cleaner that always singes the nostrils. I laugh to myself thinking of my cousin Clayton.
Glade Hawaiian Breeze hits me, and its smells way better than stinky 12 & 13 year olds. But the peace and quiet and fresh smell will all vanish away when that bell rings at 7:25 and rings in a new school day.
dirty looks, lecturing. Students who have 6 teachers screaming, "Miss! Miss! Miss!" Because Miss Farrell or Coach seems to be too much for them to hold in their busy brains. But I, the teacher/coach, have over 120 students & athletes first names, last names, locker numbers, lunch numbers, test booklet numbers, where they sit in class, and their daily grade point averages in my brain, but "Miss Farrell" is way too much for the hormonal teenager to handle. Spitting out command after command. A discussion in the hall about poor behavioral choices and how there won't be a next time, because next time, somehow this teenage boy will actually stop and think before he shouts out something inappropriate next time....right.
Lunch with my co-teachers consists of discussing students, all of us eating diet food, but the diet food probably doesn't help when you eat 3 bags of the 100 calorie packs of Chips Ahoy cookies.
Lecture. Discuss. Grading. Entering grades. Answer the phone every 3 seconds. Parent emails. Grading.
The final bell rings to the end the day. There are 180 days of school. 180! ! !
Working out with the ladies after school is just more proof that 'Miss!' is completely out of shape and getting older. "Those vitamins better be working," runs through my head. "Ladies, you do realize I am not going to be able to sit down to go potty after today. I hope the same for the both of you as well!" Both Ruby and Hilary laugh, the two other teachers that have decided it is time to be motivated and get back into shape. I just wish my shape was no longer 'lumpy'.
Back home, I take the pup out once again and it is down and up the stairs, one stair at a time, legs are killing me from the work out. I am definitely not the 17 year old athlete I once was. Just a has been!
The fresh scent of Glade Relaxing Spa hits me only for a moment. Off with the tennis shoes. On with the TV, channel 30, back to back episodes of BONES. I like the show's leading lady, a strong, smart, beautiful woman...reminds me a bit of myself until I realize that I am a middle school teacher and that woman on TV is not a forensic anthropologist, but an actress.
"Really? This is it for me?'
This question is thrown around in my head several times a least a "baker's dozen."
There are times when I was important or at least I thought I was important or at least special. A time in my life when I was wanted, not just by a 12 year old who doesn't want to do their own work, or an administrator that wants me to do something else on top of all the other stuff I have to do, or a disgruntled parent who wants to give me a piece of their mind. I mean really wanted, by friends who wanted to hang out with me, by guys who wanted to go out with me. But where did that all go? Is that what the college diploma really means? "Your life is over, you have a real job now?"
Oh wait! Teaching is not a "real" job according so some of my friends. "You get summers off. What do you really do all day? You work with kids, how hard can that be? You get off of work at 3." I squeeze my temples between my finger and thumb to try and numb the headache. To make the voices in my classroom, TV and people around me telling me I am done with go away.
This is it. But I think to myself, "Am I really the only 28 year old in the USA or state of TX that is single, a young professional, that during the stress of her job and becoming an official adult that has put on a small kindergartner in weight, that fixes dinner out of a frozen card board box. Am I really that rare? And if I am, I should be studied by a team of young scientist."