Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I would have to say...ze Rodeo

So we have some dear and precious friends from Romania (Transylvania actually, and yes, Cason makes lots of vampire jokes) named Eldad and Raluca. Some of the sweetest souls you’ll ever meet, and they love Jesus so deeply. Anyway, Eldad and Raluca really make the most of living in Texas – they’ve had season passes to Fiesta, Texas, they enjoy a trip to the Blue Bell Factory in Brenham and they love to go down to Galveston and just ride bikes up and down the beach. Anyway, one time we were at a girls night out for Sunday School, and as an icebreaker we went around the room and said our favorite thing about living in Houston. We got some great answers, and then it was Raluca’s turn. “I would have to say…ze Rodeo,” she said, “I never seen such things. Pigs being born, men thrown off horses…it is just fascinating.”

She went on to elaborate, and I just thought it was the cutest thing ever. If you asked me the most fun thing we did this week, I would have to say…ze Rodeo.”

We went to see Lady Antebellum for Brandi’s birthday! (special shout-out to the Hearns who didn’t make it because of traffic…boo…)

Rett and Cason admiring the livestock

I told you – baby pigs who were just born!

Cindy and I on a tractor

Rett always said he was a chick magnet…these don’t seem to like him too much.

Me and my cowboy.

Bradfords and Folloders

Kisers and Whites

Rabes and Cabiros

Lady Antebellum!

And note to self...cowboy boots will be next on a birthday/Christmas list. I wore my sisters, and I LOVED them. I would wear them all the time if I owned a I'll be headed to Cavender's or maybe Texas Junk Company to take care of that!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Simplification and StrengthsQuest

We hear the word all the time: “Simplify” – eliminate excess, learn how to say no to things, create a calm home. I need to learn do to a better job with this. While watching the Baylor basketball game with our good friends the Halgrens this week, Summers and I were catching up on life. “Allison do you ever say no?!” she said, multiple times. Hmmm, not really. I lead a very full life, and I love it, but I do need to learn how to say no more. I guess my “young adult” philosophy has been to enjoy the opportunities I am offered professionally and socially (different boards I’m on, singing in the choir at church, different leadership opportunities, etc.) because someday there might be little baby Whites in our home, and I won’t have these opportunities, so maximize! This probably stems from my Baylor days when we all took the StrengthsQuest test. The whole philosophy of StrengthsQuest is to really focus on and grow our strengths rather than try to correct our weaknesses. Soooo PC, right? I’d love to ignore my weaknesses! But what happens when your strengths grow pointy horns and also become your weaknesses? (Maybe if I actually had read the whole book I would know.) Below you will see my 5 “strengths” and how they sometimes turn against me.

These came from the full list on the website, and these are the descriptions that are given. Their ugly, negative counterparts are in parenthesis!

• Communication: People especially talented in the communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters. (They also talk more than they listen!)

• Maximizer: People especially talented in the maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something especially talented into something superb (or they just maximize every situation/opportunity and fill up their calendars too much!)

• Positivity: People especially talented in the positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do (and they can also be na├»ve and a bit too optimistic!)

• Woo: People especially talented in the woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person (see also: people pleaser)

• Input: People especially talented in the input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information (and they can be very nosy and curious!)

I like my strengths, I really do, I just have to keep them managed and under the Lord’s authority, and hopefully they will work well for me. In the meantime, below is a simple before and after of some simplification efforts in our study. I had my great college desk in there for awhile, but…if you don’t have all those cubbies in which to put things, you don’t have to worry about them getting cluttered!

And last, but certainly not least, my dear, sweet life-long friend Mrs. Laura Lalani is having her baby girl right now!! Here’s a photo of us in Waco just a couple days ago. You better believe that I am going to be cramming a Waco trip into my schedule in the next couple weeks. Some things, like meeting Emma Grace, are just worth it.