Wednesday, February 11, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Here it is, the famous list, I will post on Facebook later!
  1. I had a wonderful childhood, I lived in a quintessential suburban neighborhood where all the kids played together and the families all knew each other. I got to do so many wonderful things. I also have wonderful parents and this certainly helped. This all continued right into adulthood!
  2. I once had a homeless man sleeping in my car. I had purposely left it open because I hated driving it. A week later, I got my own car.
  3. I really love playing sports and wish I had more opportunities as an adult.
  4. I love reading and I normally am reading at least 3 books at any given time.
  5. My name is Melissa Howard and I am a theme-park addict. I absolutely love Disneyland and I am not afraid to admit it! I also love Walt Disney World and would be happy returning there every year. Some people I know are doing a Disney-Round-the-World trip in 2010 and I really want to go. It will be 3-4 weeks and go to Disneyland, Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disney and Tokyo Disneyland!
  6. I have been to Calcutta, India and Caracas, Venezuela; both on mission trips. I really hope to return to India some day but I would rather go to Antarctica than Venezuela ever again.
  7. I am pretty active on message boards and forums. I love meeting new and different types of people from all around the world.
  8. I am optimistic and always know that deep down God is in control.
  9. I like being a leader and being the one in charge.
  10. I love planning things – vacations, parties, dinners, you name it!
  11. I am deathly afraid of snakes, sometimes I can’t even watch them on TV.
  12. I am a firm believer in western medicine and taking pills.
  13. I get bored easily, luckily I have a pretty good imagination to keep my company.
  14. I very much look forward to being a wife and mother.
  15. I feel so lucky to have a pretty wide circle of friends. I can honestly say there is more than one person I can count as a best friend.
  16. I always smell my socks when I take them off. My dad does this too.
  17. One of my favorite foods is pickle, weenie and cheese. It is raw Farmer John wieners, cheddar cheese and sweet pickles all cut up and mixed together. YUM!
  18. When I was younger I was obsessed with creating haunted houses and carnivals.
  19. I have always respected the various women I have worked for.
  20. It irritates me when people with far less responsibilities than me complain about how busy they are.
  21. I love musicals and singing along with them!
  22. I deeply love my church.
  23. I have set it up where I should be able to retire when I am in my late 50s.
  24. I used to be very conservative, then I got real liberal and now I am heading back to conservative again!
  25. I cry with love for America every time I vote.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You - The Movie

Went with a bunch of girls last night and saw this movie, really loved it! Thought it was very realistic, except for the fact that I felt this movie somewhat promoted the exact idea that it tried to prevent because of the "happy ending". Enjoyed it a lot though!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Friend of the Week - Christine Ochoa

So, I realize that I am a little late on the friend of the week for this week, but I have had some pretty rough things to go through! My organization let go of 17 people on Tuesday, 1 of which I was fairly close to and will be deeply missed by all. I feel so lucky to have a job right now, these economical problems are really starting to hit home!

This week’s friend is Christine Ochoa. To say Christine is a friend seems like such an understatement. She is probably the closest thing I have or ever will have to a sister. I met Christine nearly 13 years ago when we worked together at Marie Calendar’s. I was about to move up to server and went in to find out who my trainer was going to be, I was praying that it would not be Christine or this other woman and was bummed to find out it was Christine! However, about 5 minutes into training I knew deep down that we were meant to be besties! We were work friends for the 4 years I worked at Marie’s. I loved working with Christine because I knew we would have fun and have some great conversation. One of the early things I remember about Christine is when I was going to Venezuela and even though she told me she didn’t really support the idea of my mission trip, she supported me and gave me a bunch of necessities for my trip! I just felt like that really marked her character. I also remember the time I kind of set her up on a double date with me and I was appalled that she wouldn’t let the men pay! She has wizened up though and that has changed! ;)

After I finished college, Christine moved in with Lacey and I into our tiny little Grand Terrace apartment. It was from here on out that we really became close friends. Christine started actively attending church with us and became cemented into our friend group. I will never forget those first 6 months we lived together, it was a time when I was completely questioning my faith and Christine was always so supportive and patient with me. It was also during this time that probably the biggest tragedy of my life, my grandmother suddenly having a heart attack and dying in my arms, happened. Christine was there for me the entire time and I was and still am so grateful to her.

Christine and I have been roommates for almost 9 years now! This is probably why she feels more like my family. Speaking of which, Christine is officially an honorary Howard now. She celebrates most major holidays with us and my parents get her gifts and love having her around. When opening Christmas presents I frequently panic when she opens something cute, worried I won’t get it too! No worries though, I normally do! Haha! My mom brags that she will get to watch both our babies while we work; which makes me happy because I know our babies will be like cousins to each other.

Christine has really grown since I first met her. I think I would say she has softened, but still maintained her realistic view of the world and humorous sarcasm. She is freaking hilarious and I enjoy her unique perspective on life. She fiercely loves her friends and will do anything to help them when in a time of need. We all know about her memory, and the love/hate relationship I have with it! I wish she could remember all the good things and forget more bad things! Just kidding, she wouldn’t be who she is without it. Christine now works for the Girl Scouts and I don’t think she realizes how important her job is and how in my opinion it perfectly lines up with her character. She is making a lasting impact on the lives of hundreds of girls! That is amazing!

It is so easy for me to be around her and she is by far my favorite traveling partner. Speaking of which, we have been to Orlando 3 times, New York twice, Vegas and San Diego a few times, Cancun, 2 cruises (one of which was the best vacation I ever took to the Caribbean) and probably some other trips I am forgetting. This summer we are hitting the Deep South and even debating driving up the East Coast! We just seem to work together as traveling buddies and I look forward to a lifetime of doing things with her. In the next few months Christine will be moving out and we will no longer be roommates, sometimes this makes me so sad and I just try not to think about it! I will miss watching random television (The Bachelor, Jon and Kate Plus 8, High School Reunion) with her and our late night conversations. I will miss pretending to eat healthy and every week saying we will start working out next week. I will miss co-hosting our friends for parties, dinners and just hang out times. I will miss playing random songs on iTunes. I will miss debriefing when we get home from things. I will miss not having someone to ask, “Does this look weird?” before going to church or work. I will miss her so much but I know that no matter what we will always be friends and see each other frequently.

Love you Christine!!!!