Giving and Getting

My Dad always used to just love watching while my Mom and I opened our gifts on Christmas day. I mean, he would open his, but then just look even happier when my Mom and I opened our gifts. Like being able to give something to someone and make them happy was the best thing in the world.

I thought he was crazy.

I mean, I just loved getting gifts. It was so great! Like I was just being appreciated for being a great person all the time (yeah Mom, I know I wasn’t perfect all the time-save the sass). I pretty much liked getting gifts a whole ton better than giving them.

Then came college. I got appreciation from people in the form of cards, emails, chocolate, etc. It made me feel so good because the appreciation almost always came just when I needed it.

For one of my organizations on campus, they encouraged us to write Of the Month awards, short essays detailing how someone had an impact on campus over that particular month. I wrote my first one for my Resident Assistant because she was someone who made me happy and helped me get through the tough times. She thanked me profusely for the gift and gave me a hug. I felt so good for making her feel good.

I think somewhere around here was when I realized that maybe, just maybe, my Dad was not crazy. Maybe he was right and giving was the way to go.

I started giving more. I started trying to make other people happy by thanking them for what they did for me. I wrote notes and sent texts and thanked others in person.

Today, I got to give a friend a card and I think I made her day a lot better.

I also got to give my friends some nice little treat boxes. They just had random stuff in them  that my Mom helped me pick out, but I felt so happy when I saw their faces as they opened the boxes.

I guess I was just like my Dad.

And now I know that giving is the way to go. That giving might actually make me feel better than getting! (Imagine that, little Oksana who loved opening Christmas gifts.)

So off I go, to appreciate more people. To love to give, just like my Dad.


WWMD/WWDD and Teenagers

I like using the question, “What would Jesus Do?” when  I am in a tough spot and have to make a decision. This question can be really helpful as long as I know the right example or verse from the Bible to apply to my situation. Sometimes I do, and other (most) times I have no idea what Jesus or one of his followers would do in a similar or parallel situation.

At this point, I switch it to “What Would Mom/Dad do?” My parents are both people I want to grow up and be like. They are great Christian examples and I probably use WWDD/WWMD a lot more than they think. Sometimes it is subconscious, but I definitely follow their example more than their words.

After reading this, I would think parents are thinking something to the effect of, “That is really sweet but then why did my kid do this? What about that other situation?

I’ll give an example: Teenagers are often known to dye their hair and get tattoos/piercings.

Parents often don’t understand this. At all. Parents wonder why their kids would do all these crazy things to their body.

The angle parents should consider is thus: Sometimes the changes kids make to their appearance are reflective of the changes going on inside of them. Changes such as the fact that they are losing some of the childishness, going through puberty, trying to fit in, making important decisions.

So while teenagers are going through these changes inside them and noticing inevitable ones around them, they may need a way to express themselves. They may need a way to get across to the world that everything is not the same as it used to be.

These changes are probably making the children more like their parents.

So it is possible, in a more potent situation, that a tattoo can mean a child is just one step closer to becoming like their parent. Maybe that piercing means that the child is becoming older. Probably that new hair color is just one of the ways teens are expressing themselves.

All the while, when these changes are being made, the teenagers just might be thinking, “What would my parents do?”

Sickness, Stress and Thankfulness!

I am currently sort of sick. I have a tummy ache and feel crappy but haven’t puked. It’s like the awkward stage between being healthy and being sick, except it has lasted for a few days. Using Harry Potter as a way to explain my situation, I managed to splinch myself between sickness and health.

I am also a little stressed from finals. My final load isn’t too bad, but the atmosphere here makes everything worse. Everyone is stressing about finals and it sort of rubs off on me somehow.

Fortunately, these things remind me to be THANKFUL. I am thankful that I am only ‘sort of sick’ and not really sick. I am thankful that the majority of the people I know are healthy. I am thankful that I have finals to stress about, that I got the opportunity to come to college. I am thankful that my parents taught me to strive for good grades which means a little stress is imminent.

I am thankful for the bad things because they remind me of the good things.




This weekend was the first weekend I came back to my lovely house to spend time with my fabulous parents. I made it over a month before coming home. Now that I am home, I have done the following:

  • Slept in my own bed. I was able to stretch out and be comfortable at the same time!
  • Sat at a kitchen table. The cafeteria tables just don’t add up.
  • Done my laundry. Boring.
  • Went to garage sales with my Mom and our neighbor-friends. I bought a bunch of name brand clothes for more than reasonable prices. I also got a journal, which is brilliant except for the fact that I don’t want to write in it because it looks so nice.
  • Eaten home cooked meals, a nice change from cafeteria food.
  • Spent time with my meritorious parents. I love being with them.
  • Prayed to God and read my old devotionals.
  • Read my Rick Riordan book.

It’s been a stupendous time.


I’ve only ever tried coffee once. I thought it tasted like dully flavored dirt crumbs. In other words, coffee has never really been my thing, I’ve seen people who are overly addicted to the stuff and it scared me off at an early age.

Funnily enough, I may give coffee another shot. The reason for this is that I have been watching Gilmore Girls, where (for those of you who are out of the loop) the mother and daughter go through coffee like I go through jaw breakers. I’ve also been reading Janet Evanovich, in which the main character drinks a lot of coffee, not to mention eats a lot of doughnuts.

Why should this matter to me? Well, I sometimes try things that sound fun in movies or books. I wanted to start public school because I read a book about a girl in school and it sounded fun  (I would like to note that homework sounded way better in the book). When I saw Step Up for the first time I went to the library and found a bunch of dancing movies so that I could become a professional dancer. When I saw the baseball movie called Field of Dreams, I told my Mom that I wanted to join Softball. Many similar stories litter my past.

Some of the things that I’ve tried from books have been amazing ideas! Others, not so much, but it was worth the try. Soooo…

Coffee, here I come. Again.