Monday, July 31, 2006


The gate is wide
The road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been

'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I am small
And I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name
Just Your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...

Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
Every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if you believe in me
That changes everything
So long, I'm gone

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
I wanna be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I will go through the valley, if you want me to.

God will be there. When everyone else walks away, he stays. He knows all parts of you. The parts of me that feel broken, the parts that feel so grown up, and the parts that no one else even has had a glimpse of yet. And he likes all of me. Every bit. He constantly waits and looks for me everyday to share more of myself with him. He asks me to trust him and to be his child. He asks me to be a woman of courageous faith, and to walk down this new path with him. He promises to hold my hand. He promises to give me just enough. He knows I will make it. He knows how large my heart is, and that it hurts sometimes. He knows how much I love wild roses growing outside, and that my hands are so little. Taking me in closer and closer he holds me. Gently urging me on with only the kindness a father can show, he tells me to go forth into the unknown. He asks me to take risks, and he asks me to listen, be quiet and still and other times beckons me to stir fire. He reminds me of my unique beauty, the gentleness, the quietness, the elegance, the depth of emotions that I can feel. My heart, my eyes, my wanting a family to be a family so badly. He tells me that's beautiful. He tells me every part of me is beautiful. I'm beautiful despite what emotions feels so unme sometimes, he says my heart is of gold. He says Emily look at your capacity to love, look how much you have loved, and look how much you will love with that heart of yours. God tells me in whispers everyday how beautiful I am, he holds my heart and my hand and will walk through the valley or the fire with me. I will walk there God if you want me to. Cause if all of my trials bring me closer to you, then I will walk through the valley if you want me to...

And now for the song that speaks to my heart
Cause I'm not who I was when I took my first step
and im clinging to the promise you're not through with me yet
so if all of my trials bring me closer to you
I will go through the valley if you want me to

Monday, July 24, 2006

New Mantra

I've been struggling with my own personal monsters lately. I won't lie. It's part of my walk in life right now. But I'm determined to overcome, reach peace, and live a healthy, happy, and successful life.

1. Let go of the anger
2. Forgive
3. Live up the values I hold

Reach inner peace.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My Date

Tonight I had the most wonderful date. Tonight as I sat alone in my room and I read my new book, and suddenly the inability to get through other books made sense. (those books didn't get me) It's with books that I seek this connectedness I can't get through other people, things, or encounters. I often form some of my most intimate relationships with my books. I can feel more understood by a book, then if I were in a room surrounded by 30.

The topic up for discussion was life, love, lessons, and spirituality. I like when people look back on those and reflect. Perhaps because I value myself as a reflective liver. There were quotes and thoughts in there that just made sense...

  • "It was in love's absence that let me know how much love mattered."
If you know me then you know that when I was a child it became very clear to me that life was not really living if we did not know love. Honestly, there are times I wish that Icould have come to testify that I came to this awarness because of the love I felt in my life. But really it was because of the lack of love that I found out how important love is. It's in our pain that we can come to greater awakenings. Relating it back to Christianity we can see that suffering comes to an end, but love is forever. And in that search for a true definition of love we may endure suffering and even alienation.
  • "The word 'love' is most often defined as a noun, yet all the more astute theoriests of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we used it as a verb."

Love is clearly beyond just feelings, it's actions. Love is the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth. Love is as love does. Love is an act of will - namely, an intention and an action. Will also implies that love is a choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. This directly relates back to the ideas of Christianity and how Jesus spread his gospel in how we should go about living.

  • Love is a mix and it's a risk - We must see that it's a variety of ingredients - care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust as well as honesty and open communication. It's both a give and take. "Many of choose relationships of just affection and care that will never become loving because they feel safer. The demands are not as intense as loving requires. The risk is not as great."

  • You're going to connect with people differently throughout life. Some will stay and some will go. All will teach. And the best of all will help you to feel that you are on your way to knowing love. The difference is that some will touch your hearts and others will go deeper.

The deeper will open you up to a further part - you will see and know them and yourself for who you could be, and for who they and you could become in a together. This type of connection will be a difficult process, and that's the other part of love that people don't get or don't want to get.

  • "Like so much else, people have also misunderstood the place of love in life, they have made it into play and pleasure because they thought that play and pleasure was more blissful then anything and work; but there is nothing happier than good work and love, and extreme happiness requires work...that's what makes it so rewarding."

It's an ongoing committment to constructive struggle and change.

So where does this leave me? Of course it's a lot to think about and take in. And it challenges the world's ideas. In order to become more fully ourselves, and better we have to open up. We have to be willing to sacrifice our old selves in order to be changed by real love. I like exploring these thoughts, especially as I move further away from things that once were and form on my own what I want to be.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Appreciation - Chapter 4 of LeadU Lessons

Appreciation: Noun. Recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things.

Chapter 4 of this summer's lessons - Appreciation is very important in managing and working with others. In order to be a good leader I believe you not only need to coach, coach, coach but also offer thanks and good job when folks go above and beyond their duty. We all like to be recognized for a job well done. Last night we celebrated our staff and the work done with a dinner at the Capital City Brewery. Okay, so maybe there were a few drinks and lots of good laughs. A good time was had by all. Now onto the last and final session of LeadU. It's sure to be great!

Summer 2006.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Due to recent events and life's process you will find below a note written by me for my Nane.

Dearest Nane,

Even before I was born I know that you loved me. Somehow you even managed to build a house on a street named Emily Lane, and each and every year in the Spring we'd come down and visit you. I knew you loved me so much, cause I shared your nickname Lou . I was Emma Lou and you were called Lou-Lou when you were little. Plus you raised me to be a tiny dancer, just like you.

You've influenced my life so much, and your shear energy, prescence and spirit was that of an amazing woman. You defied odds and opened your own children's theater company. You ran classes and taught kids how to sing and dance, but more then that you gave them self esteem to be up on stage. Fortunatly enough for me, you passed on these wonderful gifts to Heidi and I as well. You were the first one who put me up on stage, and revealed within me my passion for drama and the arts. I'll never forget all the productions we put on in your family room or the dancing that you brought into our home whenever you visited us in Illinois. Thank you for teaching me the art of living with positiveness.

You were also such a brave woman. In the summer of 1983 your husband passed away. You and Grandpa Harold were in the midst of building a house in Sarasota, FL. And even with his passing you continued to build this house and move in. All these years, on your own, you were so brave and brought so much love into everyone that you came across. You and Muffin (her sheepdog) made a life for yourselves down there. All the charity work you did with the Humane Society and Oslo Theater. You were always so engaged and active in life. Giving back and loving everyone for who they were and what they had to offer.

You were always a lady. Having taken ballet lessons for so many years, you had the most perfect posture and beautiful shape. As a 5'4 woman, with the most petite little frame, you had the biggest zest and gusto for life that I've ever encountered. I'd like to think you were a huge influence on this attitude I have for life and that you showed me the true ways of a lady. Even as you got older you still took such good care of yourself and always were fashionable. I remember when you flew in for my high school graduation and would lay 4 different outfits out on the bed and ask me which one you should wear, and then what earrings. You put so much thought into yourself, and it was clear to everyone that you loved who you were. And we loved you. I loved climbing into bed with you in the morning, whenever you'd visit and giving you the tighest of hugs. Of course as the years went on you became even smaller, and sometimes when we'd hug you, we'd be fearful of hurting you. One year one someone gave you such a tight hug, it broke one of your ribs. You were just so beautiful in all of your Delores Louise Masonickness'. Thank you for being the lady that you were.

I'll never forget the trip that we took to Toronto Canada the year of my soph. summer in high school. We packed up our bags on the train and headed east for an adventure. I can remember carrying your bags and eating our little ritz cracker snacks with cheese. Till this day that's when of my favorite snacks too - and frequently ritz cracker crumbs can be found in our kitchen. We had a special relationship, made up of trips to Canada, me visiting you over Spring break, and of course when you, Mom, and I went to California. The best memory was when I was pushing you around in a wheelchair at the art museum, and you let me do pop a wheelies with you! You were such a good sport! Always.

Your love was amazing and unique. And your faith was rock solid. Even with the relationship bouts between Mom and Dad you always treated Mom like she was your own daughter. Your love for our family surpassed all boundaries and rules. You accepted us for who we were. Your love for God was an example to all of us. Each day you took time to pray, and at each meal we prayed as a family. You always talked to Heidi and I about your faith and how Jesus was the one who we could always count on, and that he'd get us through whatever hard times came about. You reminded us that even when you had to move to the nursing home that you imagined that you were living in a monastary. What a woman! I know that God awaits you and welcomes you with open arms. Heaven will embrace you and your family and Grandpa Harold are sure to be so happy to greet you when you come.

For now I pray and thank you for all that you have given, done, and brought to my life. You're spirit was always so lively and has no doubt left an everlasting love here. Thank you again for your example. I love you and as you enter into the light I pray and know that you will be greeted with a love that surpasses all we can imagine here. A love that knows no boundaries. You are blessed, you are forgiven, you are an angel. You are love.
Farewell tiny dancer.
Farewell my teacher.
Farewell my friend.
Farewell my caretaker.
Farewell Nane.
Thank you for letting me love you.
Thank you for letting yourself be loved.
I will see you again someday.
God bless you,

Chapter 3: The Jack Welch in All of Us

Currently Reading: Winning by Jack Welch

In reviewing Winning I have come across a few key points that I think can help guide us all further in our pursuit of better leadership and managerial skills. His book is written in a conversational tone, and much of the time it's as if you are having a talk over a cup of coffee. I think he takes his strong.

  • Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself, when you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
  • Willingness to admit mistakes -don't be afraid to be human.
  • Simplify - this makes life easier.
  • Section on hiring/firing - putting people in the positions that suit them best. Sometimes this means saying "bye"
There will be more review to come.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sleep Talking

I have to report that over the past 2 or 3 weeks now I've been doing some occasional talking in my sleep. As I recently have acquired a roomate awhile back, she'll enter my room after I've already been sleeping. At that point I will stir and say a few words. It seems that when I am woken by her coming in I'll talk out loud, and I'll be slightly aware of what I'm saying. I'll be drifting in between dream and awake state. It's funny to hear what I'm saying. Most of the I'm usually talking to my staff or my significant other. As someone who doesn't usually remember dreams or dream frequently this is an interesting new phenomena for me.

Since this has been happening fairly often I've been wanting to look up sleep talking and the reasons for it's occurence. This really hasn't ever been an issue for me before, at least not that other roomates, my family, or myself can recall. The research I did clearly shows that stress is a factor in sleep talking. They point out that reducing stress can also help to eliminate these utterances. It's just funny to me, I think I may be working things out during my dreams, things that subconsciously are on my mind and heart. For now, the business of my day will not be able to decrease, but hopefully once I head up to Lake Shelbyville these funny little conversations will dissipate.

I can hear you sing it to me in my sleep.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Full Bodied Reds and Discussion

This morning during one of my very common PVI grading periods I found myself drifting in and out of my future dreams, and finally struck a name for the most wonderful coffee, wine, book, music, and of course tea (!) shop in the world. At this time I cannot disclose this name, but I'm sure sooner or later the excitement of it all will consume me and I'll be sharing it here in my small corner of the world.

That's what the shop will represent, a small corner of the world in which people can come again to get that ol' town feeling back, that special place where people smile, talk to strangers, and magically remember what dreams and life are really about: love, hope, and the story. The story we all have.

I think they'll be a special hour where kids come to hear books read, and costumes will be incorporated. Of course they'll be deputs of up and coming musicians, and occasional wine tasting parties at which point guests can talk about literature and converse over smooth reds, and full bodied flavors. Good discussion and good wine represent very fine moments of life = this little place.

It's fun to think about these things coming to be.

And they will be; all in good time my dear.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What a wonderful world

Good news of the day -

I got to enjoy a bbq over at Mr. Gary Crocker's house yesterday with staff from the IDN and Congressional Forum program. I was also accompanied by my favorite Mrs. Laurie Campbell, and wonderful Christopher Miller. It was so nice to sit back, enjoy a beer (okay let's be honest - a few) have a great piece of salmon and chill. Fantastic evening. All I have to say is that when I look across the room and exchange a glance with that certain someone, how can I help but smile. All is right with the world.

And so with that said I am craving some great pizza.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July


It's the 4th of July! I can't believe it! Already. Another 4th in DC and I'm working, but it's worth it. Over the past few days there have been ups and downs, but it also feels like a lot of progress has taken place. I got a chance to spend time with someone special and regained all my energies magically through sleeping, eating, and having a really great margarita!

Half of my summer work is now completed and then it's up and onto looking at the year ahead. What's ahead? Nail that GMAT! Hopefully take on some more program coordinator work (I know, did I just ask for more work, yep) and learn and become a better facilitator. Also work in some more planned out vacation times and take some time to visit my potential graduate schools. I'd also really like to take a vacation with my best friend, Kate, for about 3 days!


Outside my window now you can see the Capital and a couple of fireworks shooting off.

Happy 4th!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I'm Growing I'm Growing

It's true...I'm growing!
angel with an edge'
32 flavors...and then some.
Thank God for good ears, shoulders, and sleep. Blessings. I'm appreciative.