The Glamorous Side of Life

The Glamorous Side of Life

About Me

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Knoxville, Tennessee
Live a Colorful Life is a place to share my hopes, thoughts, favorite recipes, personal style, ambitions, favorite reads and stories from my very colorful life. I am married to my best friend, John, and we have one beautiful four-legged daughter, Sophie. We are a true Southern family and can't imagine living anywhere else. I am passionate about giving back to the community and promoting early literacy. I am a former beauty queen... my most noteworthy title was Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival! I also love spending time with friends and family, Barre classes, running, organizing, shopping, reading, the beach, brunch and fresh roses. Above all else, I find my worth in my relationship with Christ. He shapes our family and life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee

I have spent three wonderful weeks as a graduate student at Vanderbilt University. While the experience has been quite enlightening... I have noticed several major differences in my two Tennessee schools:

1. At Vanderbilt tailgates, students wear the school colors by accident- you really never accidently wear orange.
2. It is considered "cool" to study on a Friday night.
3. No one at Vandy is actually from Tennessee.
4. Football. Need I say more?
5. The length of the syllabus'- Vandy: 16 pages, size 8 font; Tennessee:4 pages, reading optional

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Letting Go

"Yes! I did it all by myself! Show my friends... I can do it!"

This past year in my positively glamorous life, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to teach a physically handicapped student. Weldin is not only the light of my classroom, as a teacher, I sometimes wonder if I have learned more from him than he has from me. Weldin is diagnosed with spino bifitia, which is basically a hole in his spine that has left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Because of this disability, everyone in my classroom, including myself, go to extra measures to help him. One day, I looked over at his writing work and his sentence read, "I like Karla because she it cute," and a picture of Karla pushing his wheelchair. Needless to say, Karla wrote the sentence and drew his picture!

I did not realize until today that I was handicapping Weldin even more by doing what I thought was helping him. Weldin struggles with his fine motor skills, so any time he has a worksheet where something needs to be cut out, I do it for him.

Until today.

I handed Weldin his worksheet, and his big, helpless brown eyes looked up at me asking, "what should I do?" Instead of cutting out the pictures, I handed him the scissors and walked away. I could feel his stare on my back as I assissted the other students, but he had to learn at some point.

A half hour later, I looked at Weldin and he held up the stack of perfectly cut pictures and with the brightest smile on his face said, "Yes, I did it all by myself. Show my friends... I can do it!"

At that moment I realized the success and fulfillment that can come from letting go. Letting go of perfection, control, and worries. Weldin would not have experienced a feeling of success if I continued to cut out his papers for the year. What are you holding on to that is holding you back from feeling success and fulfillment. In the words of the greatest little man I know, "Yes, you can do it all by yourself!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To Serve and Protect

Although my blog is entitled "The Glamorous Side of Life," you will soon learn my life is far from glamorous. The crazy things that have happened to me lead my friends to laugh and just say "That could only happen to you, Holly." And trust me... it has. From bicycle accidents to blocked salivary glands, it has happened to me! The latest incident can also be called an accident...

As I was headed back to North Carolina after a great Christmas vacation with my friends and family in Tennessee, I began to reflect on what an amazing visit I spent with everyone and how I would miss my family so much, as I began the thirteen hour trip back to Charlotte. Like I sometimes do, my thoughts preoccupied my driving skills and, yes, I was speeding. Just as I passed a police car on a rural Tennessee highway going just BARELY over the speed limit (I hardly consider 11 miles over dangering other drivers, especially because there were no other drivers on the deserted country road.)

I was pulled over. By a police officer. A woman police officer. And she was not happy.

I calmly apoligized and explained how I thought I was only going 7 miles over the limit, somehow that seemed better, I soon realized she was not in the business of issuing warnings.

The police officer, lets call her Donna, Donna took my registration, license and insurance information (this will be important later) back to her car to write the ticket. She came back to my car to check on my current address and as I was clarifying my recent move, I felt a HUGE jerk from behind and a loud crash in the back of my car! The only thing I could think of to say, because I was still trying to be polite to get out of my ticket, was "WOW!"

Donna threw all of my paperwork in the middle of the highway and started chasing after her police car that was heading into a ditch! The officer began screaming "The devil is after me today! He is going to get me! It's the devil!"

Needless to say, Donna forgot to put her car in park and it ran into the back of my car, then down the ditch.... maybe the devil was after her after all! Although it was horrible luck, in the back of my mind all I could think was "At least she won't write me a ticket!"


By this point, my license and registration were lost from when the Police Officer threw them in the air, yet, she still wrote a ticket for $215... and never apologized for the accident! I would say she is here to serve tickets and accidents, not protect!!!

Another police officer had to be called in to write an accident report for Donna, and she was not happy. Infact, she was still arguing against the devil! Let's call this officer Barney. Barney showed up with a fat wad of dip in his mouth and declared in a very southern accent, "we would take your ticket to the judge right now, but he is gone huntin' for the week."

So there I was, in my glamorous life, with a dent in my car, a ticket, and a story so impossible, all you can do is laugh!

Lists of lists

How often are we asked to redefine ourselves? Perhaps we are starting a new career, relationship, moving to a new city, joining a new organization, or just redefining our lives. It seems as if the years of our 20's are just that...a time to redefine. Because I am a list girl, literally I have a list of lists that I need to make, therefore, I of course, made a list of what I need to redefine myself as, the list looked like this:
1. start a blog (check!)
2. decide which graduate program to attend
3. make a list of my strengths (interesting... I will share later!)
4. put my trust in God

Number four made me stop and ask, why am a putting the Lord on a list? We all put so much thought and concern into who we are that we forget what we are here for. I found a poem that helps put life into perspective for me:

God will never leave you empty.
If something is taken away,
He will replace it with something better.
If he denies your request in a certain area,
it is because he wishes to give you what is best.
If he asks you to put something down,
it is so you can pick up something greater.
-Roy Lessin

Therefore, I am putting down my pencil for lists and putting my trust in God. I challenge you to do the same and see where the Lord leads you.

Life can take on many forms of glamour, and as a former beauty queen...I say former because I no longer can wear a two piece on stage... well, I could but it would be scored RNS, for all of my avid Olympic fans, we all know RNS stands for "Run not scored" when the race is so bad, the judges are unable to score! : ) Anyways, as a former beauty queen, I have worn the beautiful jewels, performed on stages infront of hundreds and worn dresses that cost as much as my car, but I know these earthly "glamorous" items fail in comparison to what we will experience one day in Heaven. Today, my glamorous side of life is in a Kindergarten classroom, where I am inspiring 20 underpriviledged children to find life outside the confines of their current world. This includes wiping noses, changing catheters, giving approximately 100 hugs per day, seriously, and making sure each child learns in the midst of all of their struggles at the mere age of 5. This life is not glamorous to most people, but to me, I couldn't ask for a more glamorous life full of love and hope!