Tuesday, December 1, 2009


As I look back over a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday, I am overwhelmed with all the many things I have to be thankful for but mostly for the numerous individuals that bless my life. It's no lie that my move to Dallas has not been the easiest transition for me and that I am still struggling with the adjustment. But as I stop and survey my position right now, I overwhelmed with gratitude.

My Parents, My Grandparents, My Brothers & My Aunts - Thank you for making me laugh, loving me during my freakouts, encouraging me, listening, etc. I feel your love constantly and it's a constant reminder that no matter what I am going through, you are always there.

Kate & Bethany - Thanks for making my time in NYC fabulous. It felt like going home. I miss you and love you.

Taylor, Kellie, Jay, Scott, Jess, Nallie - Thanks for being here for me in Dallas. Each of you have made an effort to welcome me back and included me in your day to day lives. You make me laugh. You all represent the things I love about Dallas.

Kristen - Thanks for listening and relating. It's nice to have someone who has been through the same transition.

The list could go on and on, but I must run to work (oh the real world).

O give thanks to the Lord for he is good. For his steadfast love endures forever.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mel's 50th Bday

Today is a special day. Today is the day my mother, the Melody Rogers, turns 50 – YES THE BIG 50!!

In contemplating what I should write to send her warm wishes for her birthday, all my ideas fell short to the amazing woman that she is. How could one birthday blog possibly contain everything I would want to say about the woman who has been my constant over the last 24 years? With this dilemma, I turned to Proverbs 31:10-31, the Hymn to a Good Wife. I pulled the verses that remind me of my mother.

Proverbs 31:10-13 (MSG)

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She is skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need.

she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says in kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them busy and productive.

Her children respect her and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many woman have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

MOM – Happy Birthday. I love you. Thanks for always being there; highs to lows, you are always in my corner. No matter where I am, from NYC to Hong Kong to London to Dallas, you are always with me. My life is blessed because of you.

Hope all your birthday wishes come true.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

New York, New York

I do not know exactly where to start or what to say regarding my move from the fabulous city.  In my mind, I'm still living there and just on a trip to Dallas.  I have learned that there is a HUGE difference between leaving a city by choice and leaving a city due to obligations elsewhere.  I am sad, but like normal, I've distant myself from the emotions and gone through the required motions to make the move.  I said my goodbyes quickly as possible (and probably offensively in the process) and kept myself super busy in the time leading up to my departure.  On the day my flight left, I looked for anything to occupy my mind - I read the entire NY Times in the airport, rearranged my carry-on bag three times and walked up and down terminal D at LGA.   I welcomed any distraction on the plane, including but not limited to the screaming baby three rows behind me, just to make it out of the city without tears.  Since landing, it's been one activity to the next.  My plan - to be busy and positive with the hope that all will fall into place.  (Sunday is dedicated to my mother's visit.  Monday will be painting the outdoor swing and sweeping the leaves from the roof.  And yes, I have a plan for every single weekend through the end of October.)

I could reflect back over my 13 months in NYC, but to truly do that I would have to face the fact that I am gone.  Without a doubt, it was one of the best years of my life.  It had extreme highs and lows (and I'm not just talking about the weather).  I had my heart broken only to learn more about myself.  I missed out on things in Texas but made life long friendships in NYC.  It is safe to say that I'm not that same girl that landed on August 7, 2008.  This past year was a year filled with new experiences, lots of laughs and many adventures. I have learned that I can roots and wings.  

That is all the reflecting that I will allow for now.  Right now I am looking forward.  I have a super cute house thanks to my roommate Bailey, I get to see my family on a bimonthly basis (if not more), I don't have to pay $5.50 every time I need to do laundry, I have many great friends that I get to reconnect with and the Baylor Bears did not blow their lead on opening day - what more could a girl ask for?  

Thursday, August 13, 2009

24 in 24

In honor of my 24th birthday, I've decided to make a list of 24 things I want to do while I'm 24. This list has been in the process for about 2 months now. There are BIG adventures, small pleasures and everything in between. Some are to be done with a big group of friends, some with family, some with strangers, some with individuals and some alone. Some can be accomplished in one day and others will require a longer commitment.

So here they are......drum roll please.

1.) Read the entire Bible
2.) Learn to drive a standard
3.) Send Christmas cards
4.) Start a book club
5.) Run a marathon (White Rock - Dec 13th)
6.) Subscribe to the Sunday Edition of a major newspaper
7.) Cherish the blessings of my grandparents and great-grandmother (Goal: Go to Olney at least once every six weeks)
8.) Africa - support a child, go on a mission trip, find a charity or GO
9.) Bungee Jump with Reece
10.) Be involved in a children's ministry
11.) Volunteer
12.) Host a wine party
13.) Napa Valley
14.) Learn to sew buttons & tie a tie
15.) Grad School Reunion
16.) Play Fantasy Football
17.) Become ambidextrous
18.) Create a "to die for" recipe book
19.) Visit Raegen in Costa Rica
20.) Study Spanish
21.) Find a career passion
22.) Plant flowers
23.) Make a travel map that marks places I've been and places I want to go.
24.) Say "yes" (don't know to what, to where or to who)

Definitely not all inclusive, but it's a great start for my 24th year.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New York Love

Greeting readers! I know - long time, no post. But I'm back at least for tonight and I'm writing about something that I truly love: New York City.

It's addicting. The rhythm of the city that is: the constant on the go, something new, somewhere to be, something to experience. The fact that I have to leave seems unnatural and forced. As I walked down the 50th Street subway stop tonight, taking in the sights, sounds and scents of the city, I couldn't help but think this is where I feel most alive.

Tonight was a great night. One of those nights that you don't plan, but that you will always carry with you. Tracy, Jennifer and I went ventured to Spice Market to dinner where we shared laughs and life over wine, water and white rice. As I reflect back on this year, I realize what a blessing those girls have been in my life. I have learned from them and grown to cherish the time I have with them. They have shown me new perspectives and challenged the way I think, which makes me not only a stronger person, but a better person. I love Tracy because her background is completely different than mine. She supported herself through school and has faced situations that are beyond my imagination. She makes me realize how fortunate I am and I respect her for all the things that she has accomplished. I enjoy Jennifer because she tells me exactly the way it is. She sees me as I am, sheltered and all, and accepts me as is. These two friendships alone have made my year in New York memorable. Together they have seen me through each day, shared the pitfalls of work but also the laughs, plunged through adventures and ultimately developed friendships that I hope will last a life time. I will never be able to look back at my time in New York and not think of them. I can only hope that as our paths diverge into different directions, we will continue to be a part of each other's lives. They are friends that require no prerequisites - just me as I am is what they accept. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

So tonight, as I diagonally crossed 8th Ave dodging a yellow taxi cab back to my apartment, I thought about my move. Do I want to go? Not really. When I was a little girl, I watched a show on some cable channel where the girl froze time by pointing her two index fingers together. I would kill for that special power now and to be able to extend this stage of my life. I feel like myself in New York. Looking back over the past few months, I have had highs and lows, but I have grown as an individual. The thought of Dallas is bleak to me. Granted, there are many positives: my family, Jay, Kellie, many other good friends, a steady job, a great house with much cheaper rent, etc., but nevertheless, my heart seems to be filled with dread. I'm sure after a few months, I will adjust and be fine, but right now New York is all I want. The city is alive, and as I walk (or sprint walk) the streets, I just feel right. So tonight as I finish this blog and head to bed, I will dream of honking cars, bright lights, crowded streets and the sounds of subway trains passing below my feet - New York that is - the city that never sleeps, where dreams come true.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Subway Stress

Every major world city has a subway system. I have been from Boston to Barcelona to Bejing and have mastered the subways, often in a foreign language. But, and a huge but here, then I came to New York City. The New York City subway is by far the most complex in the world not mention that it is antiquated and has a horrible stench. There are trains that are express, there are trains that are local, there are even trains that are express in the lower part of Manhattan but local after Midtown. It takes an adjustment period to truly learn the system. And by learning I mean flying by the stop I needed because I was on the express train and it's only a local stop. But after a month or two, it becomes managable.

Well, that is until today. My coworker Jennifer and I are regulars at the Saturday morning bootcamp across the Brooklyn Bridge. The instructor was being feature on the local Fox news this morning and need participants. She offered a free workout if we would commit to be there at 6:30, so of course we jumped at the chance. Jennifer and I were to meet at the 42nd Street Station on the Downtown platform for the A,C train at 5:50 to head over to Brooklyn for the workout. I, of course, arrive early. At 5:55 the first A train comes along but Jennifer is no where to be spotted on the platform. Weird, I think to myself. Jennifer, also a type A accountant like myself, is rarely late. I start pacing and also receiving weird looks from all the construction workers waiting on the train also. I mean seriously, who wears complete workout gear and is waiting for a train at 6:00 in the morning. In my mind I am formulating a list of where Jennifer might be. The next train finally arrives at 6:07 AM. I decide to get on without Jennifer while the list of possibilities of here whereabouts continues to grow in my head. And then I hear it, "Uptown train to Queens. Next stop 50th Street." OH MY GOSH!!! I, me, RILEY - I'm the idiot here. The doors are already closed and the train is moving forward. I look at the window and see the sign I was standing right beside the entire time I was waiting. It reads "Downtown Train --->." It was a literal Jeff Foxworthy moment - "Here's your sign."

I jumped out of the train as soon as the doors open at the 50th Street Station. It's a local stop, so I have to get out of the subway and cross on the street and pay an additional $2.00 for my downtown ride. Luckily, a C train comes relatively soon which is roughly 6:12. The entire ride I'm frantic and fidgeting constantly, once again receiving unwanted stares. I passionately HATE being late. It seemed like the longest subway ride of my life, but I finally arrived at the High Street Station in Brooklyn at 6:34 and took off in a dead sprint and almost knocked over two bicyclist that were unfortunate enough to be in my way. I arrived at the Fulton Ferry Landing winded to say the least at 6:38. The instructor looks at me and says, "Perfect timing Riley. We are just now getting started. Get right here and start with 25 push ups." I'm so wrapped up in being late that I forget there in a camera there. I look up and there is the camera right on me and my sweaty, frizzy-hair self . All I could think was "I sprinted for this!?!?"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hamptons - Take 1

To celebrate Memorial Day, a group of friends and I ventured out to a special place in the Hamptons called SeaCrest. It was fabulous to say the least and there are numerous stories that I could share but for now, just the one with the most bang - literally.

We got two rental cars from Budget Rental on the Upper East Side at 8 AM and hopped on FDR to escape the crazy pace of Manhattan. My car carried four lovely ladies. Everything is going great - we are driving in the HOV lane enjoying the radio and the wide open spaces of 495. We take the Hwy 27 with a feeling of ease due to the lack of traffic.

Around East Hampton, we hit it. The crawling traffic of five miles per hour going bumper to bumper. But no worries on the home front, we are out of the city and there is a super hot guy in a Range Rover behind us, shirtless with a great hair swoop. We are all swooning over here and toying with the idea of putting one of our phone numbers up in the window just like we did on junior high field trips. Life is good at this point.

But then we hear it. "What's that noise? The radio?"
"No, it can't be. Here turn it down."
"Ya'll that's the car."
"Riley, stick your head out and see if you see anything."
"OH MY GOSH! We have a FLAT!"

We pull our tan Toyota Corolla rental to the side of the rode and find that we have not one, but two flat tires on the passenger side. LOVELY. Oh and Mr. Hottie with the great swoop well he drives by then pulls over on the other side of the road. "Ok, this might now turn out so bad after all," we say to each other. But just when it seems we might get to interact with the mysterious man in the Range Rover, he turns his car around and takes off. So much for being a knight in shining armor.

We have too much going on at this moment to be heartbroken, so we decided to leave the discussion of Mr. Lacking Southern Manners for another time (aka bedtime chat). We have a situation at hand that needs our attention PRONTO. Two flat tires and one spare - not going to work. We have the other rental LOOP us (oh the joys of an iPhone) because we had been separated at some point on the journey. At least this vehicle (a Pontiac that was nicknamed the GTO by the end of the trip) had three boys and surely one of them could change a tire.

Let me say this. Before the GTO arrived, we, as in the four girls, sat on the side of the road obviously needing help while NO ONE, no not a SINGLE car stopped to help us. Cars just idled on by gawking at us. This would NOT happen in Texas.

Finally the GTO arrives and we decide will use the spare from their car also. We run into a problem with the first five minutes of the tire change. The spare given to us in the Corolla will not fit. What kind of rental place is Budget? I mean seriously? There is no need in wasting time anymore. We go up to the closest house and find a sweet lady who was very helpful. She helped sort out everything with the tow trucks and let us leave the car there rather than make us wait from one to three hours for the Budget Roadside Assistance. In her graciousness, she redeemed her fellow Northeasterners from my opinion of being rude and unhelpful.

So here we are. There is a plan in place for the Corolla, but what about it's passengers. Well we weren't left with much of a choice. We all cram and I mean CRAM into the GTO. Did I mention I was claustrophobic? Nice, very nice.

We successfully make it to lovely SeaCrest about 45 minutes later. We head straight for the beach. Needless to say we need some space to stretch out!

Oh road trips...always an adventure in some form or fashion! :)