Monday, February 28, 2011

A New Kind of Tired

I am so tired today that I actually picked up my phone and put it to my face to "talk to God". I also tried to unlock my house by pressing the unlock button on my Nissan key fob.

I think it's time to say good night.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's Finished!

Here is what I have been working on for the last few days. I am so glad to have it finished so my art room will have some color on the walls.Sometimes I can hear the other rooms mocking her, "Haha, we are decorated and you are not. Nanabobo!"
"Fear not sweet art room, you have been delivered."

Check out that awesome full size locker on the right. It's ok if you want to be jealous. Hehe.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

30 List… Check.

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with a substantially younger friend of mine. He and I were reflecting on the next biggest milestone in my life, turning 30. He shared with me a series of events that another friend of his sought to accomplish before he turned 30. He called it a “30 list”. It is similar to a “bucket list” but death is not the deadline (pun intended), the deadline is one’s 30th birthday. I instantly became a tiny bit sad because I did not make a 30 list. Due to current financial difficulties I doubt it would be emotionally wise to create a list that I could not complete on account of being one step above an orphan.

In the last few days I have been reading blogs about two other “bloggers’ that have reached this brilliant age this week. One of these bloggers created a modified version of the 30 list. She challenged herself to do something new for thirty days. It is very exciting to read her daily adventures as she reports them on her blog. The other blogger created a list of the most monumental stuff that occurred each year in her 20’s. I really loved that idea. These ideas really put me back to the thirty list idea.

Then, out of the blue it hit me: “How do you NOT have a 30 list. YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER WANTED TO DO!!! Baby, you have a 30 list:”

Learn how to overcome bullies… check.
Learn how fix my hair by myself… check.
Overcome my fear of talking to people… check.
Jump off of a huge cliff into water… check.
Be on a Student Council… check.
Win a soccer championship… check.
Pass Pre-algebra… check.
Be in a dance recital… check.
Become a Lifeguide… check.
Learn how to snowboard… check.
Be a better snowboarder than the boys in my youth group… check.
Become a leader in my youth group… check.
Overcome fears concerning public speaking… check.
Become a cheerleader… check.
Win ribbons for my photography... check.
Become photography editor for my high school yearbook… check.
Pass Algebra 1… check.
Pass Algebra 2… check.
Get out of high school without earning a C… check.
Get a job working with kids… check.
Learn how to dress for my body type… check.
Pass College Algebra… check.
Win an intermural soccer championship… check.
Get a Bachelor’s degree… check.
Learn how to follow God better… check.
Completely transform every relationship I have… check.
Go camping with my friends… check.
Fly on an airplane… check.
Teach myself the art of decorating cakes… check.
Go canoeing and sleep by a river… check.
Get a cruiser bike and ride it on Riverside… check.
Go to an OSU football game… check.
Rent a perfectly posh little house in Mid-town… check.
Get my own art room… check.
Get a Master’s degree… check.
Sell something I made in a store… check.
Get a job as a therapist… check.

The only things I can think that I have left to do are:

Learn to sew with a machine.
Become Debt free.
Have a booth at Mayfest.
Visit Time Square.
Learn Spanish.
Go surfing.
See if anyone wants to sign up to be a family with me.
Buy a house.

I think I should let the last 8 space themselves out over the next 40-50 years. (smiles)

Rewind: Small Wonderful

When I was a child I had a favorite show. As I have already explained that I have an obsession with robots of the 80's persuasion it should come as no surprise to you that Small Wonder was the show I lived to watch. Proper Bully etiquette states that in an attempt to ruin a person's life one should try to ruin all her favorite experiences for her. My bully decided that my new name should be "Small Wonder". He went on to define his reasoning: "Because you are small and you 'wonder' around the room." I had no success in my attempt to inform him that the problem that haunted me in my everyday of my life was described as "wandering". Nope, the "Small Wonder" train had left the station and several of my classmates were on board. Being small was no walk in the park either but by third grade I had learned there was absolutely no point in defending my honor in the height department.
Here is a visual of the "awesomality" of "Small Wonder".

Fast-foward 10 years. During a group therapy session at a camp I attended, it was a camp for "peer-counselors" I disclosed that my childhood bully mocked me daily with "Small Wonder, Small Wonder". Then, from the back of the room, an amazing upperclassmen "hollered"[1] one of the top 10 best things ever said to me in my life. This was not just any "ole" senior. This was one of the few, very few, seniors I respected. She was very established as a person. She wasn't flighty or pretentious. She had a poise I adored. She stated, right in front of God and everybody, that she thought I was "Small Wonderful". It's amazing how one statement can redeem a entire event. It can and that day it did.

When attempting to think of a name for my "brand" I wanted one that would be a secret code for God's redeeming plans. I was reminded of the way that God used the words of another to transform bitterness into joy inside my heart. That was that... and now you know.

Batch 1

Batch 2

[1]"Hollered" is an Oklahoma word for talking really loud. It is the volume of yelling but contains no disdain.

Dashing Through the Snow In My Polka Dotted Boots... To Ida Red We Go

As you may or may not know one of my life goals was to sell my greeting cards in a store. The most wonderful store in in all of Tulsa made my dream a reality. Ida Red, "Tulsa's Rock'n Roll Boutique", took my first batch quite a few months ago. When I spoke to my friend who is employed there he informed me all but one had sold and I could bring more into the store. I was so excited to make some valentines to sell. I decided that I would drop off my creations on the 1st. The store was closed on the 1st due to "Snowmageddon 2011". The 2nd and 3rd told the same tale. Then, I caught wind they would open on the 4th to sell Cain's Ballroom tickets. I knew this was my chance. I suited up again and ventured out into the winter wonderland that was once known as Mid-town. I got there just in time to catch another friend closing up shop. I dropped them of with him and left with the greatest joy in my heart.Batch 2: Delivered.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

I hadn't been out of the house for 3 days so I asked my neighbor if he would accompany me to Whole Foods. It was so nice to get out of the house.

On the way home from the store I spotted Sonic in all it's neon lit glory. It was so cold and I knew that burger would be so warm. I think you can tell how happy I was to have ordered one.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lovin' This Blog And This Giveaway

Mrs. Darcy Giveway

Please copy the scrpt below and paste it into the "magic window" because I cannot seem to master the "link" concept. Thank you and good luck!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What Is a Cutie Patootie Anyway?

When you need to know what something means, what something REALLY means, there is one place to look. That place is Urban Dictionary. I thought I would share with you my favorite defintion so far.

"1. cutie patootie-
Someone or something so cute that the word cute itself has to morph into something cuter, thus cutie patootie was born.
OMG, [Shala] is such a cutie patootie , it makes me wish I was her Hubby.
Syn: cute patootie, cuteness, cuter, cutie
by Hubby65 Oct 7, 2008"

I am a firm believer in morphing words so that a greater credit can be given to the situation. Some people might describe this as "making up words" but not me and Urban Dictionary. We help words "morph" to achieve their greatest potential.

It's High Time We Celebrate

Most single women hate Valentine’s Day. They seem to feel left out or cheated somehow. Not this one, no way. Valentine’s Day is my favorite official holiday. It is only second to July 22, my birthday, which is not an official holiday, YET! (We don’t know what my life holds so never say never.) This girly hears single ladies crying and whining about not having a date or not getting flowers on this day. I look at this day and say this is the commercial holiday to celebrate the most AMAZING concept that has ever been invented. I say take my money, give me your overpriced pink and red trinkets and let’s party.

Starting off I have already received two Valentine’s this year. The first was a handmade card from Sara, she made her debut in my blog a few posts ago. The second was a Valentine’s package from my dad. This is the first Valentine that I recall receiving from my dad so I am very blessed by that. I also got an official invitation from my grandmother to be her Valentine this year, which I accepted.

As if those things were not enough let me share with you other acts of love that I celebrate on this day. My mother is number one. She had me less than a month after she was 18. This means when she was 17 she had to make some really, really tough choices. She knew what would be best for me and she began making sacrifices accordingly. Her love for me has never changed. No matter what happens our love remains strong. I rejoice in these things this time of year.

Second on the list to celebrate are my “Grandestmother”, my “Greatest Aunt Carol” and my precious Aunt Terri. They helped me and mom so much in those first years of my life. They also sacrificed a lot to give me a great life. I know these three ladies will always love me and help me whenever they can.I thank God for them.

I also rejoice in the fact that my dad adopted me when I was 2. One parent adoption is such a blessing in a person’s life. It creates a seamless structure to a family. I love my dad and I am very thankful that he choose to give me his love and his name.

My family is huge and I praise God for all the redemption that He has given us. I have met my biological dad and his wife when I was 20. I love them very much. Having them in my life has been wonderful. Meeting their daughter, my youngest sister was surreal because she is my only sibling that has ever looked like me. I love her.

My dad married a woman five years ago that has two daughters. I love having all of them in my family. My dad is happier than he has ever been. Watching them grow together is beautiful. Add that to the list of things to celebrate this holiday.

My mom has a husband that is perfect for her. Every year together their love for each other seems to grow stronger. He and I are also becoming closer. After 14 years of knowing each other we are finally learning how to communicate. That is certainly something to celebrate.

All together I have 6 siblings and one sister-in-law. We are almost all completely different. Our one common denominator is that we all try our “darnedest” to be the best we can be. We all work to be the best at whatever we do. That is something to celebrate in this day and age. One thing is for sure I cherish them all. Every one of them brings a unique element to my life. I love them for that.

I also thank God for my Ma and Pa. They have been together for almost 70 years. I think that celebration needs no further articulation. Plus, Pa always tells me how pretty I am and Ma always brags on the strawberry shortcake that I made for her.

Let's be honest here, when a person has a family structure like the one listed above and sings praises while describing it there is another celebration in order, Jesus Christ and his redeeming gifts. My life has had many, many trials but God always finds a way to bring glory to every situation. He makes all things new. It’s pretty simple. He changes things and He does what He says He will do. There is no greater feeling of love than that from the one that IS LOVE. He is worthy to be celebrated every day. I love Him. More importantly He loves me.

So maybe I won’t get flowers from a Cutie Patootie this year but that doesn’t mean I’m short on love. I think it is best articulated in one of my favorite movies, Love Actually: “If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around.”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sometimes Heroes Wear Tie-Dye

August 1996, I walked into my first high school art class. As soon as I walked in THERE HE WAS, my hero. Standing there basking in the glory of his purple tie-dye jeans and Nirvana tee shirt was the rockstar that would change my life forever. I didn’t know who he was from Adam but I was about to find out. After meeting him my life was never the same.

The weirdest part about this friendship is that we weren’t really close friends. He was two grades older than me. It appeared to be the stereotypical freshman crush. I tried to talk to him almost every day. He made fun of me every day. His teasing was hilarious. He nicknamed me “total embarrassment”. My best friend was appalled by this but I never took offense. I knew he was just kidding. But what I didn’t know was how God was using this brilliant young man’s example to change my life.

If I were to describe him to someone who knows me now they might think I was describing myself. But this is the before part of the story. When I was younger I desperately and unsuccessfully tried to be “cool”. I wanted all the cool kids to dote over me. I just knew if I could be friends with them my life would be exactly the way I wanted it. So I waited and waited for that ship to come in. When it did I would dress, talk and act just like them. No matter what school I went to this never happened. I felt trapped. How could I be awesome without their friendships? It went against every social concept I had. Acceptance through compliance is the key to “awesomality”, right? That 17 year old junior flopping across the art room would forever shatter that lie for me.

Rockstar lived unapologetically. He loved Jesus and liked Nirvana. He loved his momma and drove really fast. He pushed every social boundary he viewed as ridiculous. He kept the boundaries that kept him true to himself. He did and said what he saw fit. Some people loved him and some did not but he didn’t change himself to suit each situation. He was one of those people that regardless of if you loved him or hated him you wanted to know what he was up to doing. He was himself from the minute he was born. I had always felt a little “weirder” than others. Before Rockstar, I always tried really, really hard to get people to like me. Epic fail. Watching Rockstar day in and day out inspired me. It was like he was handing me a ticket to be myself. I had never met anyone similar to me before. The other “originals” I had met before were rebels without a cause. Rockstar had a cause.

My transformation to “Rockstardom” didn’t happen my freshman year. But the concept was engraved in my heart. I moved after that year. I went to a school where I just knew this was going fit in. The coolest of the cool were going to love me: THIS WAS IT. It wasn’t it. Actually my popularity at my new school seemed to be a record low. I didn’t make any friends at all until November. Then I made a few friends but something didn’t feel right. They were wonderful girls. They accepted me as I was but my heart still felt really unsettled. I felt like I was living half my life. I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew I hated I had. I hated feeling like I was still waiting for my ship to come in, waiting to be myself. Then one day I really started thinking about it. What did I want? I really didn’t want to be friends with the kids I thought would make all my dreams come true. They were not that interesting. I loved my friends but they were not resolving this problem either. I still felt trapped. If I didn’t want what I thought I wanted, WHAT DID I WANT? Who or what was going to bring me the peace in my heart? I was trying so hard but I couldn’t even tell you why any more. I wish I could tell you the next moment was the Holiest moment of my life. I wish I could report that utterances of the Holy Spirit came out of my mouth in that art room (see the trend here). They did not. I won’t repeat what I said but it can be loosely translated “forget this”. At that moment something broke in my life. Whatever was holding back the full extent of the Shala Peeples experience died that day.

Boom, just like that freedom came to me. I was free to be myself. I began to live unapologetically. I served my God but was honest about my shortcomings. I didn’t hide them. I didn’t beat myself up over them. I just put them on the “to do” list for Jesus and myself. They were part of me and my journey. I also didn’t pine after friendships I didn’t have. For the first time in my life I felt free. Others began to notice. I began making friends everywhere I went. By the end of that year my life had completely flipped. I had engaged in a one on one conversation with almost every person in my class. The days of waiting to see what life brought me were over. If I wanted something I went after it. It was amazing. I was able to bless others with a part of me that before I was saving for only God knows what reason.

Another gift from my short lived friendship with Rockstar was the nickname. From age 15 to present every time I do something embarrassing I can hear him say “total embarrassment”. It always helps me to remember to take the situation lightly. Embarrassing moments come and go but knowing and loving who you are and who God made you to be is permanent, just like that brown paint line Rockstar left on the school building with his truck.

August 2010, 14 years later, Rockstar and I communicated via Facebook. He seemed exactly the same the way I remembered him. He still loves Jesus. He still cherishes his family, which now includes a beautiful wife and an adorable mini-Rockstar. He still makes art. He still says and does what he see fit. He still lives unapologetically. What I found interesting about our conversation is that he seemed to view me in the same way I viewed him. He commented on our kindred spirits. I guess he could see the rockstar in me before I could see it in myself.

I knew I picked a good hero.