Sunday, February 28, 2010

Broken Promises

Well.. well.. well. Needless to say, it does not surprise me - I broke my Lenten promise to give up Facebook.
The whole point of giving this up - was to turn my attention - instead - to God. I did get several excellent devotional books, and did a really good job with reading them.

I am simply not very disciplined in the whole sacrificing arena.

I hate rules.

But I love God.

What's a good little catholic girl to do??
Even though I made it (almost) two weeks - I did learn many new things:
1. I spent quality time with my husband.
2. I read more and relaxed more - which in turn, helped me stay focused at work.
3. I learned to tell myself no - and delay gratification.
4. I spent more time in actual conversation.
5. I got waaaay more cleaning done.
My final lesson - I will now learn to forgive myself. I am not perfect. ;-)

Sunday.. It's my fun day.

Who doesn't like a fresh start?

I always view Sunday as that weekly "fresh start."

I make plans on Sunday.

I clean (a little) on Sunday.

I "groom" on Sunday.

I pray on Sunday (especially on Sunday.)

I find that I reconnect with myself on Sunday. That is certainly a pleasant thought. Knowing that there is one day a week I "find myself" and I try to bring myself back to center.

That sentence reminds me of when I took ballet. If you are not familiar with dance terminology - just know that we always begin and end at center. You start off in first position - poised, strong, impressive with your feet turned out. Then it hits you - you need more strength, move to second with your legs extended, standing tall and strong. Third will draw the viewer back in, with a little hint of what is to come with your foot lightly caressed against your arch. Now time to grab your strength without trying to give away the beauty and complexity you head to fourth position. Stationing your foot in front of the other, beautifully turned out. Then it is time to put the icing on the cake - slide into 5th for the final curtain. Only to return to center.

I could not agree more with this picture. We have choices. Everyday - to be miserable or to be happy. I choose to make Sunday my "fun day" and in turn, I choose joy. Happiness to me seems like an unattainable state of being. But feeling joy. Joy is real. Joy puts a smile on my face and radiates through out my body.
I know that joy will come and go. I am not a fool to think that I can hold onto it. It is a gift. When it comes, I treasure it. When it leaves, I slowly prepare for it's return and in doing so, I return to center.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


According to Myers Briggs (Jungian) Personality test - I am an Extroverted/Intuitive/Feeling/Perceiving. Also known as ENFP.

Okay. I actually agree with this one.

I took the personality test this morning after an interesting conversation with my sister yesterday afternoon. She was very excited about attending a writers conference in our hometown in Georgia. I was laughing as I was referring to the "networking" opportunity - whereas basically you are thrust into a boxed area and forced to make small talk. I expressed how I found it disconcerting how every time I find myself in such a situation, the most socially awkward person is always attracted to me, and suddenly attaches themselves to me. Without fail - every single time. This, in turn, makes me HATE networking opportunities.

My sister went on to say, "Well Nicole, it is because you give off this very friendly vibe. You are very charming."

I could not help but laugh. Me?? Friendly?? Me?? Charming?? Huh?

I suppose the idea never really occurred to me. I "see" myself as standoffish, cynical - though I am compassionate (I just don't show it outwardly.) I tend to voice my feelings through the written word only.. or only to my inner circle.

Many people think I am shy at first - but really I am just assessing the situation. Which in the middle of the conversation with my sister I realized - "I am not charming. I think... I am disarming."


I watch people - then decide how to proceed. I draw people in.. then get my point across.

Anyway - I digress.

So - I decided to search out various personality types. When I did a google image search of a "disarming" person - this is what I found:

Interesting - choice.

Then I decided to research personality tests. Sure I had heard of the Myers Briggs test for many years. I decided to finally take it. To my surprise, I think the result is pretty dead on. (I always knew Carl Jung was da bomb!)

If you follow psychology - here is the "scientific" breakdown:

33% Extroverted

12% Intuitive

25% Feeling

22% Perceiving

I am:

-moderately expressed extrovert
-slightly expressed intuitive personality
-moderately expressed feeling personality
-slightly expressed perceiving personality

What does this mean? I found many, many examples of what this personality involves. I will only share the "easiest" explanation for it.

As an ENFP, my primary mode of living is focused externally, where I take things in primarily via my intuition.

My secondary mode is internal, where I deal with things according to how feel I about them, or how they fit in with my personal value system.

ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things.

Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.

ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them.

Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values.

An ENFP needs to feel that they are living their lives as their true Self, walking in step with what they believe is right. They see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace. They're constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves.

Since emotional excitement is usually an important part of the ENFP's life, and because they are focused on keeping "centered", the ENFP is usually an intense individual, with highly evolved values.

An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals. Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors.

Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving.

Most ENFPs have great people skills. They are genuinely warm and interested in people, and place great importance on their inter-personal relationships. ENFPs almost always have a strong need to be liked. Sometimes, especially at a younger age, an ENFP will tend to be "gushy" and insincere, and generally "overdo" in an effort to win acceptance. However, once an ENFP has learned to balance their need to be true to themselves with their need for acceptance, they excel at bringing out the best in others, and are typically well-liked. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivious to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP's family members.

An ENFP who has "gone wrong" may be quite manipulative - and very good it. The gift of gab which they are blessed with makes it naturally easy for them to get what they want. Most ENFPs will not abuse their abilities, because that would not jive with their value systems.
ENFPs sometimes make serious errors in judgment. They have an amazing ability to intuitively perceive the truth about a person or situation, but when they apply judgment to their perception, they may jump to the wrong conclusions.

ENFPs who have not learned to follow through may have a difficult time remaining happy in marital relationships. Always seeing the possibilities of what could be, they may become bored with what actually is. The strong sense of values will keep many ENFPs dedicated to their relationships. However, ENFPs like a little excitement in their lives, and are best matched with individuals who are comfortable with change and new experiences.

Having an ENFP parent can be a fun-filled experience, but may be stressful at times for children with strong Sensing or Judging tendencies. Such children may see the ENFP parent as inconsistent and difficult to understand, as the children are pulled along in the whirlwind life of the ENFP. Sometimes the ENFP will want to be their child's best friend, and at other times they will play the parental authoritarian. But ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems, which they will impress on their children above all else, along with a basic joy of living.

ENFPs are basically happy people. They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they're doing.

Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension. They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled. They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.

ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.

ENFPs generally have the following traits:
Bright and capable
Warmly, genuinely interested in people; great people skills
Extremely intuitive and perceptive about people
Able to relate to people on their own level
Service-oriented; likely to put the needs of others above their own
Dislike performing routine tasks
Need approval and appreciation from others
Cooperative and friendly
Creative and energetic
Well-developed verbal and written communication skills
Natural leaders, but do not like to control people
Resist being controlled by others
Can work logically and rationally - use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it
Usually able to grasp difficult concepts and theories

ENFPs are lucky in that they're good a quite a lot of different things. An ENFP can generally achieve a good degree of success at anything which has interested them.

However, ENFPs get bored rather easily and are not naturally good at following things through to completion. Accordingly, they should avoid jobs which require performing a lot of detailed, routine-oriented tasks. They will do best in professions which allow them to creatively generate new ideas and deal closely with people. They will not be happy in positions which are confining and regimented.

The following list of professions is built on the impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an ENFP. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate, or that the best career match is among those listed.

Possible Career Paths for the ENFP:
· Artist
· Art Director
· Actor
· Accountant/Auditor
· Banker/Economist
· Consultant
· Career Counselor
· Conference Planner
· Church Worker
· Diplomat
· Dietitian/Nutritionist
· Designer
· Entrepreneur
· Engineer
· Editor
· Human Resources
· Housing Director
· Homemaker
· Journalist
· Lawyer/AttorneyMusician

· Merchandise Planner
· Marketer
· Massage Therapist
· Nurse
· Newscaster
· Occupational Therapist
· Public Relations
· Psychologist/Counselor
· Painter
· Politician
· Project Manager
· Researcher
· Scientist
· Social Worker
· Speech Pathologist
· Social Scientist
· Senior Manager
· Trainer
· Teacher/Professor
· Technical SpecialistWriter

(Hmmm... I see my field... good.. good..)

ENFPs take their relationships very seriously, but also approach them with a childlike enthusiasm and energy. They seek and demand authenticity and depth in their personal relatio nships, and will put forth a lot of effort into making things work out. They are warm, considerate, affirming, nurturing, and highly invested in the health of the relationship. They have excellent interpersonal skills, and are able to inspire and motivate others to be the best that they can be. Energetic and effervescent, the ENFP is sometimes smothering in their enthusiasm, but are generally highly valued for their genuine warmth and high ideals.

ENFP Strengths
Most ENFPs will exhibit the following strengths with regards to relationships issues:
Good communication skills
Very perceptive about people's thought and motives
Motivational, inspirational; bring out the best in others
Warmly affectionate and affirming
Fun to be with - lively sense of humor, dramatic, energetic, optimistic
Strive for "win-win" situations
Driven to meet other's needs
Usually loyal and dedicated

ENFP Weaknesses
Most ENFPs will exhibit the following weaknesses with regards to relationship issues:
Tendency to be smothering
Their enthusiasm may lead them to be unrealistic
Uninterested in dealing with "mundane" matters such as cleaning, paying bills, etc.
Hold onto bad relationships long after they've turned bad
Extreme dislike of conflict
Extreme dislike of criticism
Don't pay attention to their own needs
Constant quest for the perfect relationship may make them change relationships frequently
May become bored easily
Have difficulty scolding or punishing others

ENFPs in Love
ENFPs make warm, considerate, passionate partners who are generally willing, eager, and able to do whatever it takes to make The Relationship a positive place to be. They are enthusiastic, idealistic, focused on other people's feelings, and very flexible. These attributes combine to make them especially interested in positive personal relationships, and also makes them very able to promote strong relationships in fun and creative ways. ENFPs take their commitments very seriously, and are generally deeply loyal and faithful to their partners.

There are a couple of difficult relationship areas for the ENFP. The first problem is that many ENFPs have a problem leaving bad relationships. They tend to internalize any problems and take them on their own shoulders, believing that the success or failure of the relationship is their own responsibility. As perfectionists, they don't like to admit defeat, and will stick with bad situations long after they should have left. When they do leave the relationship, they will believe that the failure was their fault, and that there was surely something they could have done to save the relationship.

On the entirely other end of the spectrum, many ENFPs have a difficult time staying focused and following things through to completion. If they have not focused on their ability to follow through, they may have problems staying in dedicated, monogamous relationships. They are so in tune with all of the exciting possibilities of what could be, that they will always fantasize about a greener pasture out there somewhere. If they are not paired with a partner who enjoys new experiences, or who shares their idealistic enthusiasm, the ENFP may become bored. The ENFP who is bored and who is not focused will be very unhappy, and will eventually "leave" the relationship if the problem is not addressed.

Since relationships are central to the ENFP's life, they will be very "hands on" and involved with their intimate relationships. They may be in the habit of constantly asking their partner how they're doing, what they're feeling, etc. This behavior may be a bit smothering, but it also supports a strong awareness of the health (or illness) of the relationship.

Romantically, The ENFP is creative, perfectionistic, playful and affectionate. Their rich fantasy world makes them fun and creative lovers, who usually have new ideas up their sleeves. They whole-heartedly embrace the opportunity for closeness with their mates, believing romantic intimacy to be a positive, fun way to express how much you love each other.

The ENFP needs to be given positive assurance and affirmation. More than one ENFP has been known to "go fishing" for compliments. They like to hear from their significant others that they are loved and valued, and are willing and eager to return the favor. They enjoy lavishing love and affection on their mates, and are creative and energetic in their efforts to please. The ENFP gets a lot of their personal satisfaction from observing the happiness of others, and so is generally determined to please and serve their partners.

A problem area for ENFPs in relationships is their dislike of conflict and sensitivity to criticism. They are perfectionists who believe that any form of criticism is a stab at their character, which is very difficult for them to take. Conflict situations are sources of extreme stress to the ENFP. They have a tendency to brush issues under the rug rather than confront them head-on, if there is likely to be a conflict. They are also prone to "give in" easily in conflict situations, just to end the conflict. They might agree to something which goes against their values just to end the uncomfortable situation. In such cases, the problem is extended and will return at a later time. The ENFP needs to realize that conflict situations are not the end of the world. They are entirely normal, and can be quite helpful for the growth of a relationship. They also need to work on taking criticism for what it is, rather than blowing up any negative comment into an indictment against their entire character.

Generally, the ENFP is a warm and affirming creature who is very interested and able to have an intense, meaningful, close relationship with their mate.

There you have it. My personality in a nutshell. What is interesting - refer to my Aquarius blog. Similar personality. I wonder if these personalities are linked cosmically. How many Aquarians are ENFP? Hmmm....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Confusion in the A-M

I wake up most mornings completely confused.
A series of questions will go through my head:
- What day is it?
- Am I supposed to be somewhere?
- Do I HAVE to go to work?
- even a Where am I?

Surely I jest? Absolutely not.

Today is no different.

I clearly do have too much on my mind and I can't seem to clear it out.
Right now - work wise - I am completely overwhelmed.

I have a handle on it, but it's there. Or rather, it's here.

Struggle is a good word to use. I struggle most days to keep my sanity. Perhaps that is a bit dramatic, but I cannot think of another way to explain it.

Apparently, when you marry an arab, there are very high expectations for the women.
1. You must keep a perfectly clean house.
(Okay, I am not filthy by any stretch of the imagination, but apparently if I leave a shoe in the middle of the floor - I might as well have emptied the trash can right on the kitchen counter.)

2. You must have a great job - but remember you priority is your husband.
(Okay.. I have nine media markets to supervise from Northeast TN to Pensacola, Florida.)

However - I have an added ugly bonus - technically the "man" is supposed to control the cash flow and make the household decisions. In our case, I am the bread winner - soooo... it gets tricky.

It all makes me extremely tired. Cultural differences can be an absolute pain in the a$$. There is no other way to put it. It's cute at first - now it is down right annoying.

I think that is where the confusion is coming in. I wake up - and ask myself - "Did I get my superwoman cape dry cleaned??"

I have never wanted a vacation more in my entire life. THANK GOD I do not have children. Plus - who knew that my egyptian did me a HUGE favor when he asked me to get rid of the cat.

Because apparently HE is the one who needs the attention and the care.
I look at friends who have multiple children, they juggle the job, the family, the "house hold "duties, etc. I am sure it ages them.
But what is easier? Living alone and wishing you had someone to share your life with and having to totally depend on yourself? Or finding that person who does make you smile and having someone to lean on when necessary? I choose the latter. With all of it's ups and downs.

The joy of a first year of marriage usually involves finding your routine. The joining of two lives is never easy. Imagine joining two people who clearly have a different vision of what marriage looks like. Then mix a difference in faith into the equation - and you would also wake up confused most days.

I found a great resource for anyone going through a similar situation (or if you are planning on getting married.) The resource sites 5 simple tips which I am sharing now:

1. Talk about your Expectations.

Not of each other, but of the marriage you have just entered together. Aside from the flowery vows you recite in the wedding ceremony, tell your partner exactly how you translate those vows in your own words and ask what those vows mean to him or her personally. In other words be clear with each other what kind of agreement marriage is and what you expect it will and won't change once you are actually married.

2. Know what their needs are and share yours.

Find out what your partner will need to be their best as a husband (or wife) and tell him/her what you think you'll need in the relationship so that you can be your best too. For example: "I need to be and feel listened to if I am to successfully work through difficult issues that come along", "I need to feel appreciated if you want help from me around the house", "I need to resolve conflicts between us before ending the day or else I will be a mess until we do".
Note: Your spouse cannot be responsible to fill or meet all of your needs. So, when sharing needs, be sure that you also express to each other what needs you can accommodate and which ones you think you may not.

3. Agree to disagree.

One of the most common tests in the first years of marriage is each spouse trying to convert the other to do or think or feel the same as they do about everything, which naturally leads to disagreements about - everything. This is also known as the Power Struggle.

You can avoid this by starting your marriage with the agreement that you can and will disagree with each other about how things should or should not be and you will not to try to bend each others will to suit your own.

In situations where an agreement is a must for marital success, agree to step away from your personal positions and come together to create a compromise that you both agree on.

4. Be a Team!

Marriage is not a game so don't keep score on who the better spouse is. You are playing a game and are indeed a score-keeper if you regularly withhold saying or doing something for your soon-to-be-spouse because he/she had (in your perception) withheld in some way or another on you. This is how you break down a relationship not build one.

The goal in a great marriage is for each spouse to 'be for' and root for the other spouse. Never tire on finding ways in which you can understand your spouse and help him/her understand you.

5. Forgive! Forgive! Forgive!

Learn this skill in your first year of marriage and count on years of happiness in return.
Those who cannot or won't forgive end up with a marriage that is filled with hurt and distrust and spend most of their time consumed and blinded by resentment.

Allow and forgive the screw-ups and mistakes you are both likely to make, with the expectation of course, that you both learn from the situation and not make it a habit.

Note: Forgiving is not to be confused with tolerating or accepting certain (especially harmful and abusive) behaviors. Always seek professional help anytime your health or life feels at risk or danger.

There you have it. Fives excellent (fairly obvious) tips - but truly a good recipe for success.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Craving something a little more PERSONAL??

I am still here.
I am just super busy.
I am traveling to the ATL tomorrow for a work thing.
But I AM still alive.
My mid-year came and went and I feel really good about it.
Glad it's over.
Glad to have 1/2 a fiscal year left to make miracles happen.
LOOOONG day tomorrow. I seriously doubt I will get the opportunity to drop in.
But I promise - Friday or Saturday, I am back in BLOG BUSINESS.
Tonight? Youth Group with the kids at church. We plan to do the "Stations of the Cross."
This weekend??? The sky's the limit.
Until next time.. and I promise.. there will be a next time soon!! :-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

This will be a quick one

I don't have a whole lot of time to write this morning - but I wanted to start this Monday off with a BIG happy smile.

I know.. that does not seem like my personality at all.

But this is how I wish to feel. See the pic to the left?

A little blonde girl, with curly hair and a pink bow.. and she is giggling. This is what I want to unleash. My inner giggly girl.

(also - did you notice the pink tutu?? Oh yeah... my dream.. lol)

So today I want to feel good.

The sky is soooo dreary out. No one is in the office. I have my mid-year review tomorrow.

Basically I NEED to unleash the giggly little blonde girl.

I spent most of yesterday dealing with some things. Personal items. Handling my "business" as you might say.

I think that portion is cleared up for now.

I also went with the egyptian to see the movie "Shutter Island" last night. VERY good movie. I highly recommend it.

I guess I could at least leave you with a quote of the day:

To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible?” ~ Queen Elizabeth II

***For my Lenten Journey

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mornings with Me

GOOOOD morning. *giggle*

Actually it is more like 10:39pm on Saturday night. The picture to the left is of me - at 9am on Friday.

For fun, I decided to do another "day in the life" - but this time - it will only go from 8am until 2:30pm. (I forgot to take my cam on my little adventure... sorry. :-$ )

Sooo... let's take a look at today.

I started my morning off with a doubleshot espresso from Starbucks. Yummmm.

Next.. I checked my personal email and wrote a blog about Prayer.

Around 11:00 - I got a little hungry. I made some tahini with crackers.

Then, I watered my flowers. This bouquet was a gift from my friend Katie. You can see they are still looking good.

FINALLY - I took a shower and did my normal morning routine. Here are the products I used this morning. (you can always click on the pic to get a better look!)

After my shower, I picked out the clothes and jewelry I was planning to wear. (I was going out with my friend Julie for the afternoon.)

Before I leaving, I knew I would need to do laundry. Sooo.. I proceeded to do laundry.

Now time for the makeup. I usually sit at my little vanity/desk by the window and apply my makeup. (click on the pic for a closer look.)
Here are the products I used today.

This should be scary and fun. (Indulge me.) I did a step by step application of make up. LOL

The blank palate. LOL Scary...

Time to add concealor. See - voila - no more dark circles.

To even out my skin tone (and hide those freckles) - I go for liquid foundation. Not too much.

Time to add powder and bronzer. I am sooo fair.

Time to add eye shadow. I used Twice the Spice by Clinique.

Next for the eyeliner, mascara and eyebrow liner.

Finally blush and lipstick!

(I look a bit like a clown.. I know. LOL)

Okay.. time to finish up.. dry the hair!

But look - the egyptian is STILL asleep.

There you have it. A silly little look at my morning. lol.

OMG - don't you see why I wear makeup??

Life is fragile... handle with prayer

Amen to that one. Life is FRAGILE. The problem is - trying to remember to pray.

(Yes, another Lent journey blog entry.)
I woke up this morning struggling to think what I wanted to write about. You may not realize it, but I made a promise to myself a while back that I would write at least one journal entry a day. It is part of 1. Using my brain in the am. 2. Creative process 3. Because I like to connect with people using words.

While sitting at my laptop, drinking my doubleshot espresso and taking a few random photographs (another thing I do daily - trying to get this photography thing going..), I looked around my desk for inspiration. Nothing really happened yesterday to warrant a vent. Yass was happy, I was content, work went exceptionally well. It was an odd -GOOD day. So.. what about a topic. I looked at the books lined up to my left - the titles in this order are: My Prayer Journal; The Purpose Driven Life; Becoming a Vessel God Can Use (with prayer journal); New Rules of Marketing & PR; The Art of Cause Marketing; Robin Hood Marketing - and then a binder of family recipes. lol.

I look up - and there is a beautiful ceramic vase my friend Angela gave me for my wedding - it says "Life is Fragile... handle with prayer."

I guess with all of the prayer books, and that - I am inspired to write about prayer.

I definitely believe there is no right way or wrong way to pray. This is your time with your higher power. I witness the egyptian praying five times a day. He pulls out his prayer mat, and says a series of prayers with involve kneeling and completely laying your head on the ground. He does this "religiously" - every day. It is beautiful to see his devotion to Allah.

I found this picture of a muslim boy praying. This is a perfect example of what is expected of someone following the teachings of Islam.

As a Christian and a Catholic to be exact - I have many options.
1. I can recite pre written prayers

2. I can pray the rosary

3. I can pray on my own in my own words.

Each denomination has a different set of prayers they may use. Majority of the prayers came from the Catholic Church (since it is the first Christian church.)
My Daily Prayer -

O My God, I place my trust and confidence in You,who will reward the good and punish the wicked.
I believe in You and accept everything You have taught and revealed.
I believe that in one God there are three Divine Persons -God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
I believe that God the Son became Man without ceasing to be God.
He is Jesus Christ, my lord and my Saviour, the Redeemer of the human race.
He died on the Cross for my salvation and eternal happiness.
O my God, give me a strong faith.
Help me to believe with lively faith.
O my God, all-good and all-merciful, I sincerely hope to be saved.
Help me to do all that is necessary to gain eternal salvation.
I have committed many sins in my life, but now I turn away from them.
I am sorry, truly sorry for all of them,because I have offended You, my God, Who are all-good, all-perfect,all-holy and all-merciful.
I love you, O my God, with all my heart.
Please forgive me for having offended You.
I promise that, with Your help, I will never offend You again.
My God, have mercy on me.
There are so many more beautiful prayers. You can find them on the website - Follow that link and you will have hundreds of pre-written devotions and prayers.
I can even pray the rosary. I am sure many of my protestant friends are completely confused on this one. That is okay. I will attempt to explain it in simple terms.

The word rosary comes from Latin and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary.

If you were to ask what object is most emblematic of Catholics, people would probably say, "The rosary, of course."
We’re familiar with the images: the silently moving lips of the old woman fingering her beads; the oversized rosary hanging from the waist of the nun; more recently, the merely decorative rosary hanging from the rearview mirror. (which I have.. lol)

After Vatican II the rosary fell into relative disuse.

The same is true for Marian devotions as a whole.

But in recent years the rosary has made a comeback, and not just among Catholics.

Many Protestants now say the rosary, recognizing it as a truly biblical form of prayer—after all, the prayers that comprise it come mainly from the Bible.

Basically, the rosary is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary. It consists of a set number of specific prayers.

First are the introductory prayers: one Apostles’ Creed (Credo), one Our Father (the Pater Noster or the Lord’s Prayer), three Hail Mary’s (Ave’s), one Glory Be (Gloria Patri).

The Apostles’ Creed is so called not because it was composed by the apostles themselves, but because it expresses their teachings. The original form of the creed came into use around A.D. 125, and the present form dates from the 400s. It reads this way:

"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day he arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


Traditional Protestants are able to recite the Apostles’ Creed without qualms, meaning every line of it, though to some lines they must give meanings different from those given by Catholics, who composed the creed.

For instance, we refer to "the holy Catholic Church," meaning a particular, identifiable Church on earth.

Protestants typically re-interpret this to refer to an "invisible church" consisting of all "true believers" in Jesus.

Protestants, when they say the prayer, refer to the (lower-cased) "holy catholic church," using "catholic" merely in the sense of "universal," not implying any connection with the (upper-case) Catholic Church, which is based in Rome. (This is despite the fact that the term "Catholic" was already used to refer to a particular, visible Church by the second century and had already lost its broader meaning of "universal."

Despite these differences Protestants embrace the Apostles’ Creed without reluctance, seeing it as embodying basic Christian truths as they understand them.

The next prayer in the rosary—Our Father or the Pater Noster (from its opening words in Latin), also known as the Lord’s Prayer—is even more acceptable to Protestants because Jesus himself taught it to his disciples.

It is given in the Bible in two slightly different versions (Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4). The one given in Matthew is the one we say. (I won’t reproduce it here. All Christians should have it memorized.)

The next prayer in the rosary, and the prayer which is really at the center of the devotion, is the Hail Mary.

Since the Hail Mary is a prayer to Mary, many Protestants assume it’s unbiblical.

Quite the contrary, actually. Let’s look at it. The prayer begins, "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee."

This is nothing other than the greeting the angel Gabriel gave Mary in Luke 1:28 (Confraternity Version).

The next part reads this way: "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

This was exactly what Mary’s cousin Elizabeth said to her in Luke 1:42. The only thing that has been added to these two verses are the names "Jesus" and "Mary," to make clear who is being referred to.

So the first part of the Hail Mary is entirely biblical.

The second part of the Hail Mary is not taken straight from Scripture, but it is entirely biblical in the thoughts it expresses.

It reads: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Let’s look at the first words. Some Protestants do object to saying "Holy Mary" because they claim Mary was a sinner like the rest of us.

But Mary was a Christian (the first Christian, actually, the first to accept Jesus; cf. Luke 1:45), and the Bible describes Christians in general as holy.

In fact, they are called saints, which means "holy ones" (Eph. 1:1, Phil. 1:1, Col. 1:2).

Furthermore, as the mother of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Mary was certainly a very holy woman.

Some Protestants object to the title "Mother of God," but suffice it to say that the title doesn’t mean Mary is older than God; it means the person who was born of her was a divine person, not a human person. (Jesus is one person, the divine, but has two natures, the divine and the human; it is incorrect to say he is a human person.)

The denial that Mary had God in her womb is a heresy known as Nestorianism (which claims that Jesus was two persons, one divine and one human), which has been condemned since the early 400s and which the Reformers and Protestant Bible scholars have always rejected.

Another Mediator?The most problematic line for non-Catholics is usually the last: "pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."

Many non-Catholics think such a request denies the teaching of 1 Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

But in the preceding four verses (1 Tim. 2:1-4), Paul instructs Christians to pray for each other, meaning it cannot interfere with Christ’s mediatorship: "I urge that prayers, supplications, petitions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone. . . . This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior."

We know this exhortation to pray for others applies to the saints in heaven who, as Revelation 5:8 reveals, intercede for us by offering our prayers to God: "The twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. "

The fourth prayer found in the rosary is the Glory Be, sometimes called the Gloria or Gloria Patri.

The last two names are taken from the opening words of the Latin version of the prayer, which in English reads: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen."

The Gloria is a brief hymn of praise in which all Christians can join. It has been used since the fourth century (though its present form is from the seventh) and traditionally has been recited at the end of each Psalm in the Divine Office.

Between the introductory prayers and the concluding prayer is the meat of the rosary: the decades.

Each decade—there are fifteen in a full rosary (which takes about forty-five minutes to say)—is composed of ten Hail Marys.

Each decade is bracketed between an Our Father and a Glory Be, so each decade actually has twelve prayers.

Each decade is devoted to a mystery regarding the life of Jesus or his mother.

Here the word mystery refers to a truth of the faith, not to something incomprehensible, as in the line, "It’s a mystery to me!"

The fifteen mysteries are divided into three groups of five: the Joyful, the Sorrowful, the Glorious. When people speak of "saying the rosary" they usually mean saying any set of five (which takes about fifteen minutes) rather than the recitation of all fifteen mysteries. Let’s look at the mysteries.

First we must understand that they are meditations. When Catholics recite the twelve prayers that form a decade of the rosary, they meditate on the mystery associated with that decade.

If they merely recite the prayers, whether vocally or silently, they’re missing the essence of the rosary. It isn’t just a recitation of prayers, but a meditation on the grace of God.

Critics, not knowing about the meditation part, imagine the rosary must be boring, uselessly repetitious, meaningless, and their criticism carries weight if you reduce the rosary to a formula.

Christ forbade meaningless repetition (Matt. 6:7), but the Bible itself prescribes some prayers that involve repetition.

Look at Psalms 136, which is a litany (a prayer with a recurring refrain) meant to be sung in the Jewish Temple. In the psalm the refrain is "His mercy endures forever." Sometimes in Psalms 136 the refrain starts before a sentence is finished, meaning it is more repetitious than the rosary, though this prayer was written directly under the inspiration of God.

It is the meditation on the mysteries that gives the rosary its staying power.

The Joyful Mysteries are these: the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38), the Visitation (Luke 1:40-56), the Nativity (Luke 2:6-20), the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:21-39), and the Finding of the child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-51).

Then come the Sorrowful Mysteries: the Agony in the Garden (Matt. 26:36-46), the Scourging (Matt. 27:26), the Crowning with Thorns (Matt. 27:29), the Carrying of the Cross (John 19:17), and the Crucifixion (Luke 23:33-46).

The final Mysteries are the Glorious: the Resurrection (Luke 24:1-12), the Ascension (Luke 24:50-51), the Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), the Assumption of Mary into heaven (Rev. 12), and her Coronation (cf. Rev. 12:1).

With the exception of the last two, each mystery is explicitly scriptural. True, the Assumption and Coronation of Mary are not explicitly stated in the Bible, but they are not contrary to it, so there is no reason to reject them out of hand. Given the scriptural basis of most of the mysteries, it’s little wonder that many Protestants, once they understand the meditations that are the essence of the rosary, happily take it up as a devotion.

I’ve looked at the prayers found in the rosary and the mysteries around which it is formed. Now let’s see how it was formed historically.

It’s commonly said that St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), instituted the rosary. Not so. Certain parts of the rosary predated Dominic; others arose only after his death.

Centuries before Dominic, monks had begun to recite all 150 psalms on a regular basis. As time went on, it was felt that the lay brothers, known as the conversi, should have some form of prayer of their own. They were distinct from the choir monks, and a chief distinction was that they were illiterate. Since they couldn’t read the psalms, they couldn’t recite them with the monks. They needed an easily remembered prayer.

The prayer first chosen was the Our Father, and, depending on circumstances, it was said either fifty or a hundred times.

These conversi used rosaries to keep count, and the rosaries were known then as Paternosters ("Our Fathers").

In England there arose a craftsmen’s guild of some importance, the members of which made these rosaries. In London you can find a street, named Paternoster Row, which preserves the memory of the area where these craftsmen worked. The rosaries that originally were used to count Our Fathers came to be used, during the twelfth century, to count Hail Marys—or, more properly, the first half of what we now call the Hail Mary. (The second half was added some time later.)

When it comes to personal prayer... the sky is the limit. I pray when I am sad, I pray when I am mad, I pray when scared, hurt, happy, and peaceful. I pray for friends, family, coworkers, enemies.

If you are agnostic or an atheist. If you simply believe something completely different - then you probably understand meditation, or other ceremonial activities that give you that feeling of connection. Perhaps you jog in the morning alone, and find peace in that.

I think that is all it is. A deep connection. I will continue to find new ways to pray - and to be open and honest in all of my prayer. ;-)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Loving my Neighbor.. even the one with the barking dog.

If only we lived in the fairy tale home, with the perfect little gingerbread houses and smiling and happy people as our neighbors.
However, this is not reality. 10 homes in my building. On my floor - there is a young, gay male who works as a waiter across the hall; the person to my left is a young, african american, single female; across from her is a 40-something year old white female. All professional. All quiet.

Below us is a young military guy and across from him is another guy in his early 30s. Right below me is a young african-american, military couple - and across from her is a LOUD, obnoxious 20 year old who throws parties most weekends. Below them is a punk-rock guy who practises his guitar most afternoons, and two college students across from him.

Do I love my neighbors? Lord knows I am trying. But I don't really think that is what the meditation I came across is all about today.

By loving your neighbor, you are traveling on a journey.
Where are you journeying except to the Lord God.
We have not yet reached the Lord, but our neighbor is with us already.
So, support your neighbor who is traveling with you, so that you may reach Him with whom you long to dwell.
~St. Augustine, 5th century

As promised, I am on my Lenten journey. I must admit - I have stayed off Facebook (and I miss it) - but I have not done my devotions the way I wanted to. I even skipped out of Ash Wednesday. I have my reasons, and they are personal. I will just leave it at that.

But I have done something that I normally am completely inable to do - I am loving my neighbor. This means I am truly taking a moment and seeing each person as an individual - living, breathing, feeling person. I know you are probably thinking - geez Nicole..

Let's be honest with ourselves for one minute. We love people who love us. We love people who meet our standards. And Lord knows, we love people who are really, really bad off (as in the poor children in Africa, and the victims in Haiti.)

What about the redneck down the street that slings racial slurs? What about the egotistical CEO that is taking more than giving back? Can we take a moment and see them for the person they are?

I don't believe anyone is born innately evil. I don't. I believe the world around us shapes us into the hateful, judgemental, angry, insecure people that we all are. And yes - we all have hate in our heart. Do you hate a sinner? Do you hate the murderer? Do you hate the child molestor?

Here is an example of what we (Christians) are taught:

~And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (NAS, Mark 12:28-31)

In Jesus' teachings, our relationship with our fellow men, women and children is inseparable from our relationship with God. Love of God and love of our neighbors are two aspects of the same calling:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (NIV, John 13:34-35)

Who is my Neighbor?
We commonly think of neighbors as the people who live near us, but Jesus meant it to include all mankind - even our enemies! Jesus told His famous parable of the Good Samaritan to make it clear that "love your neighbor" means to love all persons, everywhere - not just our friends, allies, countrymen, etc.:
One day an expert on Moses' laws came to test Jesus' orthodoxy by asking him this question: "Teacher, what does a man need to do to live forever in heaven?" Jesus replied, "What does Moses' law say about it?" "It says," he replied, "that you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind. And you must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself." "Right!" Jesus told him. "Do this and you shall live!" The man wanted to justify (his lack of love for some kinds of people), so he asked, "Which neighbors?" Jesus replied with an illustration: "A Jew going on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, and beat him up and left him lying half dead beside the road. "By chance a Jewish priest came along; and when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Jewish Temple-assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but then went on. "But a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw him, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his donkey and walked along beside him till they came to an inn, where he nursed him through the night. The next day he handed the innkeeper two twenty-dollar bills and told him to take care of the man. 'If his bill runs higher than that,' he said, 'I'll pay the difference the next time I am here.' "Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the bandits' victim?" The man replied, "The one who showed him some pity." Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same." (TLB, Luke 10:25-37)

The Jews and Samaritans had been enemies for hundreds of years. The Jews of Jesus' society considered the Samaritans to be ceremonially unclean, socially outcast, religious heretics. Yet, the Samaritan took pity on the poor man who had been robbed and beaten. He gave freely of both his time and his money to help this Jewish man who was not only a stranger, but also an enemy from a foreign country. In His parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus challenges us to "Go and do the same."

To reinforce that "love your neighbor" applies to everyone, Jesus extended the rule of love to even our enemies!

"There is a saying, 'Love your friends and hate your enemies.' But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (TLB, Matthew 5:43-48)

Like the unselfish Samaritan man of Jesus' parable, we are called to extend our love and concern to all persons everywhere, as our neighbors. We should not exclude anyone or any group because of social status, a supposed character fault, religious difference, racial difference, ethnic difference, citizenship difference, etc.
This is my Lenten revelation (of sorts.) This what I will attempt to do.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


My birthday is in February - the 16th to be exact.

That makes me an Aquarius.

I would like to say I do not believe in astrology - but without even trying to understand it, there is an undeniable correlation between my personality and this sign.

I have done a little research, and here is what I have found out about my "astrological" sign:

According to astrology online -

Aquarians basically possess strong and attractive personalities. (hmmm strong yes, whether or not you are attracted to my personality remains to be seen.)

They fall into two principle types: one shy, sensitive, gentle and patient; the other exuberant, lively and exhibitionist, sometimes hiding the considerable depths of their character under a cloak of frivolity. (I think I tend to contain a bit of both.)

Both types are strong willed and forceful in their different ways and have strong convictions, though as they seek truth above all things, they are usually honest enough to change their opinions, however firmly held, if evidence comes to light which persuades them that they have been mistaken. (Goodness - that is dead on. HELLO? Does this person read my blog??)

They have a breadth of vision that brings diverse factors into a whole, and can see both sides of an argument without shilly-shallying as to which side to take. (worked great for when I was a journalist.)

Consequently they are unprejudiced and tolerant of other points of view. This is because they can see the validity of the argument, even if they do not accept it themselves. They obey the Quaker exhortation to "Be open to truth, from whatever source it comes," and are prepared to learn from everyone. (I could not agree more!!)

Both types are humane, frank, serious minded, genial, refined, sometimes ethereal, and idealistic, though this last quality is tempered with a sensible practicality.

They are quick, active and persevering without being self-assertive, and express themselves with reason, moderation and sometimes, a dry humor. (ooooh sooo dry humor.)

They are nearly always intelligent, concise, clear and logical. (hmmm.. what do you think?)

Many are strongly imaginative and psychically intuitive, so that the Age of Aquarius, which is about to begin, is much anticipated by psychic circles as an age in which mankind will experience a great spiritual awakening. (Rock ON!!)

The Aquarian philosophical and spiritual bent may be dangerous in that it can drive the subjects into an ivory-tower existence where they meditate on abstractions that bear little relevance to life.

On the other hand it can help the many who have scientific leanings to combine these with the Aquarian yearning for the universal recognition of the brotherhood of man, and to embark on scientific research to fulfill their philanthropic ideals of benefiting mankind.

When some cause or work of this nature inspires them, they are capable of such devotion to it that they may drive themselves to the point of exhaustion and even risk injuring their health. (ummm... yeah....)

Both types need to retire from the world at times and to become temporary loners. (Hell to the yeah.. like - NOW)

They appreciate opportunities for meditation or, if they are religious, of retreats. (HELLO???)

Even in company they are fiercely independent, refusing to follow the crowd. (WORD)
They dislike interference by others, however helpfully intended, and will accept it only on their own terms. (HAHAHAHA - yep)

Normally they have good taste in drama, music and art, and are also gifted in the arts, especially drama. (I was a theater kid.. yeppers..)

In spite of the often intensely magnetic, forthcoming and open personality of the more extrovert kind of Aquarian, and of their desire to help humanity, neither type makes friends easily. (That;s the God honest truth there!!)

They sometimes appear to condescend to others and take too little trouble to cultivate the acquaintance of people who do not particularly appeal to them. (that would be dead on..)

They do not give themselves easily - perhaps their judgment of human nature is too good for that - and are sometimes accounted cold.

But once they decide that someone is worthy of their friendship or love, they can exert an almost hypnotic and irresistible mental attraction on them and will themselves become tenacious friends or lovers, ready to sacrifice everything for their partners and be faithful to them for life. (Dear God in Heaven.. yes..)

However, they are sometimes disappointed emotionally because their own high personal ideals cause them to demand more of others than is reasonable. (yep)

And if they are deceived their anger is terrible. If disillusioned, they do not forgive. (unfortunately - yes..)

Aquarians work best in group projects, provided that they are recognized as having a leading part in them. ( ha ha ha.. yep.)

They have a feeling of unity with nature and a desire for knowledge and truth that makes them admirable scientists, especially astronomers and natural historians.

They may excel in photography, radiography, electronics - anything connected with the electrical and radio industries - aviation and everything technical. (Broadcast Journalism baby!!)

On the arts and humanities side their progressive tendencies can be expressed in writing, especially poetry, and broadcasting, or as welfare workers and teachers. (hahahahaa)

Some have gifts as entertainers and make good character actors (having an ability to mimic) and musicians. The more psychic among them possess healing gifts, especially in curing the mentally sick.

Among the faults to which they are liable are fanatical eccentricity, wayward egotism, excessive detachment and an inclination to retreat from life and society, and a tendency to be extremely dogmatic in their opinions. (*sigh*)

Aquarians can be a threat to all they survey or a great boon for humanity in general.

Circumstances - for example, continuous opposition to a cause they hold dear - may cause the atrophy of the openness of mind that is one of the Aquarian's most attractive traits.

They may express a lack of integrity in broken promises, secretiveness or cunning.

Simmering anger and resentment, rudeness or, worse, a tense, threatening silence which may suddenly burst out in eruptions of extreme temper, these are all part of the negative side of the Aquarian.

This can also reveal itself in a sustained hatred for enemies that is capable of enlarging itself into a misanthropy toward the whole of mankind.

Possible Health Concerns...As Aquarius is said to govern the legs from knees to ankles and the circulation of blood, its natives are susceptible to ailments particularly in the legs and ankles, such as cramps, and are also liable to spasmodic and nervous complaints, as well as wind, catarrh, diarrhea, dropsy, goiter and delirium tremens - so that the avoidance of alcohol is important for those Aquarians who have a taste for it.

Fighting for Causes
Dreaming and Planning for the Future
Thinking of the Past
Good Companions
Having Fun

Full of Air Promises
Excessive Loneliness
The Ordinary

What about who I should be with??? My husband is an Aires... what of him?

Aquarius and Aries
When Aries and Aquarius come together in a love match, the combination of Aquarius vision and Aries action makes them a highly creative pair.

Their relationship is anything but static; they can be competitive, but life with these two is never dull!

Zodiac Signs that are two apart tend to have a special connection, and these are no exception.

They are great friends as they communicate really well.
They have a special understanding of one another’s idealistic, enthusiastic outlook on life.
They both crave excitement and new experiences — the wilder and stranger, the better. They’re both into thrills and showing off.

Many Aries-Aquarius relationships are based on mutual admiration. Aries loves how unique Aquarius is, their inventive vision of the world; Aquarius loves Aries for their energy and initiative — Aquarius gets new ideas all the time but sometimes finds it hard to carry them out.

Since both Signs prize independence, Aries’s tendency toward possessiveness can push Aquarius to become aloof or detached as a self-preservation tactic.

Though they have that special connection, they do see the world in very different lights, which they both need to understand.

Aries can be too involved for Aquarius’s taste, and Aquarius in turn may be too unpredictable for Aries.

As it turns out, Aquarius is the one Sign that has Aries beat when it comes to spontaneity!

As long as both partners reassure each other that the relationship is important and secure, things will be just fine.

Aries is ruled by the Planet Mars (Passion) and Aquarius is ruled by the Planets Saturn (Karma) and Uranus (Rebellion).
Aquarius gets its great, progressive vision from Uranus, and its social conscience and philanthropy from Saturn.
Mars, then, can make a great addition to the mix — it brings passionate, direct action to all these lofty thoughts and ideals.

Aries is a Fire Sign and Aquarius is an Air Sign. Air fuels Fire and helps it spread; similarly, Aquarius can help Aries think up new schemes and then realize them.

Aquarius stimulates Aries intellectually, something that most of the other Signs fail to do.

Both Signs have wide-ranging interests, so mentally active Aquarius is sure to provide physically active Aries with plenty of fodder for new adventures and crusades.

Aries is a Cardinal Sign and Aquarius is a Fixed Sign. Aries gives Aquarius the confidence to charge ahead rather than just sitting in the laboratory concocting new ideas.

Aquarius can help Aries stabilize and complete projects rather than jumping into new plans without completing the old ones. They have a lot of respect and admiration for one another, which helps smooth any obstacles in their relationship.

What’s the best aspect of the Aries-Aquarius relationship? Their ability to achieve so much when they work together. Cardinal Fire and Fixed Air cover all the bases. Theirs is a relationship of vision as well as practice.

There you have it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What did your Feb 17th look like?

I actually documented my day visually. Seriously. So how did you spend your day?

I started my day off with a BIG cup of Starbucks coffee. (Ground) and I added Italian Creme. This is my favorite coffee mug. I bought this mug back in 01 in NYC from a little trinket store near the theater district. SUPERSIZED. And you see my fabulous red coffee maker - given to me by my old room mate from college (for my wedding) - Lisa.

Then I went into the bathroom to prepare for my day. These are (and I am soo serious) my messy drawers. The top drawer has my medicine, tooth brush, toothpaste, moisturizers, eye cream, etc. Then the bottom drawer has my hair dryer, and other hair styling tools. LOL Needless to say.. this is what happened next.

After applying a tad bit of make up, getting dressed and grabbing my lunch - this is me. Can't you tell how sleepy I am? I did manage a smile for you!

Now it is time to grab my bags. Amazingly enough, I have managed to keep the same laptop/bag for about two years now. This bag is amazing and super strong. I opted for gray with black accents. I found it is business enough and neutral enough to work with whatever I am wearing.

Then I made sure I had my fabulous raspberry colored purse my sister purchased for me for Christmas. It's awesome and truly my favorite right now!!

Time to head to the car. And here it is. I drive a Volkswagon Beetle - 5 speed. Luckily I was frost free this morning!

Finally made it to work - and here is a basic look at what I see most hours of the day. You see my laptop, phone and glass case.

Next up - a Marketing/Communications conference call. Once a month my "team" touches base. Most of us are located in major metro areas in the southeast - we share ideas and touch base on major items coming up. Here is a look at our agenda.

Our conference call ends close to lunch time. I open my little yellow "Birmingham Parent Magazine" canvas bag and grab my Hummus, crackers and green olives. Yummmm

As much as I talk to people all day, sometimes my job can be very lonely. I am just one person in my department - and if I do not have an appointment, all I have is my desk and this view as I eat my lunch - as was the case for this day.

After lunch, I went through our National Casting Call DVD submissions and picked out the top three candidates. I got their information and contacted our local media sponsor to put the reel together. Amazing that one little email sent by me - could very well hold the key to someone getting national recognition on women and heart disease. Coool....

Next up - going though dozens of local/state newspapers for stories on Heart Disease. Yes - I have to scan every publication in my territory to find OUR story or our competition. Every two weeks I finally clear this out - only to pile right back up again.

NOW - I am tired. Yes, time for cup of Joe #2 - but this time with work coffee. PS - I am not a fan of Red Diamond coffee. Boooo. This is strictly a caffeination moment, nothing more.

Our manager finally have us a map of our territory. Note everything in green is me, with the grey circle in Alabama is where I have serious goals around. :-) I am TIRED.

Finally, around 2pm - I got to leave and head to Macy's Department Store for a quick meeting. Here is a look of our office building from my car.

After my trip to the mall, I made it home. First thing I did - take off my shoes. Cute aren't they? One of the first items Yass bought for me when he first got to the states.

Just because I am home, does not mean my work is done. I had to call my boss to ask for some ideas on convincing a major research hospital to become a cause sponsor. Part of my job is to come up with excellent marketing ideas to help our development staff sell, sell, sell.

Then I tackled another project. Each week I have to call media outlets in three states. I try to take notes next to each outlet's contact info. It helps me when calling them back - especially when I am pitching stories to the news departments.

Now I can get some house work done. Here is a pile of clean clothes laying across my stair step in my closet. Time to put them up!

Okay - time to grab dinner. (Alone) - Yass is at work. I grabbed that little plastic container of olives. Here you have my refrigerator. Doesn't get more personal than that. Let's see... here you see: egg container (brown organic), Italian Creamer, Jalapenos, Skim Milk, green olives, Limeade (in the pitcher), and bottled water (Yass's cold water in the orange bottle.) Second layer: crumbled feta, olivio butter, lite sour cream, fat free plain yogurt, sundried tomato hummus, cheese slices (left over mexican cornbread in that red topped container; 3rd layer: Turkey bacon on the left sitting on top of a container of ground turkey thawing, in the white plastic thing is greek chicken salad (yogurt, purple onion, garlic, chicken breast shredded, oregano & feta mixed together) and then tons of Lebanese flat bread.

Next I went for the Tahini. That's kept in the pantry. Here you can see a jar of salsa, all bran crackers, tahini, taco shells, sweet peas, foule (which is arabic for fava beans mix), diced tomatoes, tomato soup, and some ramen noodle soups for Yass.

Then I wanted a little falafel and frozen yogurt.

Finally - right before I decided to upload the pics - I decided to go through my library books. I plan on copying down some raw food recipes, and I am reading a few of the books you see below. One on Mother Theresa, one on praying the rosary and one on Zen meditation.

And this is it... it is now 7ish. This was a 12 hour journey with me.

What did you day look like? How much are we alike? Hmmm.. I wonder...


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