About Me Contact Sponsor Image Map

Friday, May 31, 2013

Confessional Friday: {Link-up}

Happy Friday! I'm joining together with the lovely Leslie again today! Make sure to check out her post here, as well!

I confess that I’m skipping the last day of the May Blogging Challenge. I already wrote something about a memory, so I feel like that one is just redundant.

I confess that I make delicious mint chocolate cookies that are incredibly difficult to stop eating. Seriously, they’re like Pringles… “Once you pop, you can’t stop!” This is not to brag about my baking skills….this is to confess my complete lack of self-control around these things.

I confess that sometimes, I have a drink in the middle of the day. Like I did yesterday. Honestly, there are times  when a little bit of alcohol at a completely inappropriate time really does make everything feel better.

I confess that I haven’t watched Pitch Perfect for almost two months now, and I actually miss it.

I confess that if ever given the opportunity to go scuba diving with sharks, I will absolutely jump at the opportunity, but would probably be completely terrified the whole time.

I confess that sometimes, I struggle with the notion of going to church, and with Christianity in general.

I confess that I really like making personalized crossword puzzles. I think they’re a really fun, unique way to do something special for a special person. If you want to make one for someone in your life (or me! *wink wink*), click here.

I confess that even though I am beginning to really enjoy going for walks in the morning, there are times when I straight up refuse to walk up the hills in the neighborhood. Yesterday, for example, I walked for two miles, but stayed on a flat course. I was told that didn’t count, but I don’t believe it.

I confess that I like hot chocolate enough to drink it even in the summer. Sometimes, however, it is too warm to drink it, so if anybody has a great recipe for frozen hot chocolate, feel free to pass it on!

I confess that I could happily eat Chipotle every single day. Good thing that’s what we’re doing for dinner tonight!! J

What are your confessions this week?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 30: Letting Go...

Letting Go: What does that mean? There’s the physical sense of letting go of something – of physically opening up your arms or hands and releasing that which you were holding. And there’s also the notion of letting go of something in the emotional sense, of giving up trying to fight for something, of accepting that something might not happen the way you had wanted, or of walking away from something that you want but know probably isn’t the best thing for you.

Personally, I don’t like to let go of things. I want to hold on to everything, because I don’t like the idea of giving up on something in which I have been emotionally invested. Plus, if we’re talking about material things, I might need it later, so why would I get rid of it now, just to have to buy it again later? That would be silly. But I digress…

Letting go is really hard. It sucks. It’s terrifying, because most of the time, at least for me, whatever it is that I am letting go is the very thing that is anchoring me. Sometimes the anchor is negative, yes, but it’s often easier to face the evil you do know rather than the evil you don’t.

One of my biggest flaws is that I worry too much, about everything. I am trying/learning to let go of those unnecessary worries, since they do me no good at all, and in fact, probably do the opposite instead. I’m trying to let go of things that are outside my control, and save myself the stress of trying to change things all the time. being in complete control of everything is actually kind of exhausting, so if I can just start to think about what a favor I’m doing myself if I stop insisting on worrying about everything, I think I’ll be doing pretty well.

What do you think about when you hear the term “letting go”? 

Day 29: I Got the Music In Me

To say that I love music would be a bit of an understatement. To that that I’m completely obsessed with listening to music might be a bit more like it, but still doesn’t quite cut it. I love the way music can completely transform a moment, how it can take you from wherever you are to another time and place in an instant. So when I saw that today’s challenge was to list five songs that “bring me back”, I was instantly excited! The only hard part is figuring out which five songs I want to use!

In an effort to make this monumental task a bit easier on myself, I decided to choose songs based on categories of my life – high school, college, after college but still in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas.

So without further ado…

High School: Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly

Even though I was home-schooled, I had a boyfriend my senior year, so I got to go to prom! This was not only his favorite song, but also his entire class’s favorite song, so they played it twice at prom, and it was practically on repeat at the after-party. Any time I hear this song, I am transported back to that night, and I feel again the magic of wearing the beautiful dress, and having my hair done, and dancing and laughing all night long.

College: Shake Ya Tailfeather – Nelly ft. P. Diddy and Murphy Lee

This song was so hot my freshman year of college! It was right after Bad Boys II had come out, and everybody was talking about it. I loved the movie, so of course I loved the song, and I used to blast it in my dorm room like nobody’s business. I was probably really annoying to my roommate everyone on the floor, but any time I hear that song, I go back to freshman year, my tiny pie-slice shaped dorm room, and remember how liberated I felt because I had unlimited internet access *gasp* and could listen to whatever music I wanted! Also, I would like to point out that I liked this song before I really came into my own musical tastes, which have become considerably more refined since then.

After College but Still in Chicago: Cosy in the Rocket by Psapp

I couldn’t find an official video for the song, but it’s played on this one, so I think it counts the same. Anyway, after I left college but was still living in Chicago, I spent a lot of time alone in my apartment. I lived pretty far away from where I worked, and where any of my friends were, so I didn’t have much of a social life. I started watching “Grey’s Anatomy” on DVD just to give myself something to do. Hearing this song always makes me think of my tiny little apartment in Roger’s Park, with the dark blue carpet that I loved, and the ridiculously tiny kitchen with no counter space that I hated. It makes me think of long nights of not sleeping, lounging on the futon in my living room because I was lonely and my brain wouldn’t shut up. It’s not the best song memory I have, but it’s a pretty defining one for that time in my life.

Minnesota: She Will be Loved – Maroon 5

I was never really a big Maroon 5 fan, but my best friend in Minnesota really loved them has an unhealthy obsession with them, so we listened to them a lot. This was one of the songs she would always put on the jukebox when we’d be hanging out at Buffalo Wild Wings, drinking beers and eating “Nate fries” (which are basically the best kind of potato wedges ever, in case you were wondering). I never hear a Maroon 5 song that doesn’t make me think of her, and remember with fondness all the nights we spent together at BDubs, laughing and talking. 

Las Vegas: Runnin’ – Adam Lambert

Shortly after I moved to Vegas, I went through some pretty intense personal struggles. One sleepless night, I was laying on the couch in my living room, listening to my iPod on shuffle. For some reason, this song really stuck out to me that night, and I ended up listening to it about ten times in a row. I don’t know how I missed it before, or why it helped so much that night, but it was the only thing that calmed me down. I still love this song a ridiculous amount, and could probably listen to it on repeat for days and be completely happy about it. There’s just something about it that makes me feel strong, like I can handle anything that gets thrown at me.

What are your favorite songs? 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The ABC's of Thankfulness {Link-Up}

I’m so excited to participate in this link up with Marquis from Simply Clarke today! This is such a great idea, and apart from everything else listed here, I am quite thankful to Marquis for sharing this idea and giving me the idea to stop and really take some time to be grateful!

A: Advil! Seriously, sometimes those little pills save my life. God bless whoever came up with that chemical concoction.

B: Bubbles! They’re fun and playful, plus they make my little nephew giggle, which makes me incredibly happy.

C: Caleb! With an age difference of only twenty months, my brother Caleb and I have always been close. As I have gotten older, though, I have gained a whole new appreciation for his love, protection, and wisdom. We don’t always agree on everything, but I honestly don’t know where I would be without him.

D: Daddy! I am one of the luckiest girls on the planet, I think, because I really do have the world’s best father. He is always available to me when I want to laugh, cry, ask advice, or even when I just need to hear a friendly voice or see a smiling face on Skype. My daddy loves with the love of Jesus, and I am forever grateful for God’s blessing in the form of a perfect example of His love for me.

E: Eggs! I don’t really like to eat eggs by themselves, i.e. in the form of omelets, scrambled, or on a sandwich. However, I love baking, which is tough to do without eggs, so I’m glad they’re around. Also, I made crepes this morning, which were delicious if I do say so myself, and that would have been impossible without eggs.

F: Food Network! I’m obsessed. Like seriously, it’s probably unhealthy. I could literally sit and watch Food Network all day every day. I get totally inspired by the shows, and have actually used a lot of ideas I learned from various shows in my own cooking.

G: Gum! Is it silly to have this on here? Maybe, but I don’t care. I love chewing gum, it’s true. I love Orbit Wintermint, or Eclipse Spearmint. I love trying new flavors, too! I just think gum is really fun.

H: Heat! I absolutely hate being cold. If I could live on a tropical island for the rest of my life, I probably would, only making the occasional pilgrimage back to cool weather.

I: Ideas! I love love love idea sharing. I love getting to talk to other people about their thoughts, and learning from them. I love writing ideas for the blog. Ideas are the springboard for everything, I think, so I am grateful for the ability to think and share and brainstorm, even moreso when I get to do it with others.

J: Jergens! I love Jergens lotion – the smell, the hydration, everything. Yay for Jergens!

K: Keyless entry! It’s a small thing, but I am thankful for the ability to lock/unlock my car with just the push of a button, instead of having to manually unlock it.

L: Learning! I am beyond thankful for the fact that I grew up in a country that not only allows education for women, but also encourages it. I know there are a lot of women in the world who are less fortunate than I in this, am I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given to learn and grow and expand my horizons.

M: Money! I hardly ever have any of it, but I’m not destitute, either, and I appreciate the fact even though I may not have much, I have enough.

N: Negative feedback! Obviously, I don’t love hearing negative things about myself, but the thing is, without that kind of honest feedback, it would be a lot more difficult for me to identify areas for growth and improvement.

O: Ovaries! I’ll be the first to admit that I hate getting periods, but I am grateful for the opportunity I will have to be a mother. Obviously, it’s not going to happen for a while yet, but I am looking forward to when it does, and goodness I couldn’t do it without the good ol’ ovaries.

P: Pants! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy wearing skirts every now and again, but I really like being able to curl up in a cozy pair of sweatpants (usually stolen from Boyfriend…I do wear my own sometimes, but I mean, really, what’s the fun in that?!), and who doesn’t love a pair of perfectly broken in jeans?

Q: Quarrels! This sort of goes along with the negative feedback part. I don’t like fighting, but sometimes when in relationships, whether familial, friendly, or romantic, quarrels are a necessary evil. And in my experience, a good, honest quarrel has always been the stepping stone to a much more peaceful and settled relationship.

R: Roads! Driving is one of my favorite ways to clear my head, so I appreciate long roads leading to random, unknown places. Also, I have a strong appreciation for well-kept roads, since in Minnesota, roads tend to be either covered in snow/ice, or under construction.

S: Sleep! Sleeping is awesome. ‘Nuff said.

T: Treats! There’s just something about a treat, be it a delicious snack in the afternoon or a pedicure that stretches the budget, that has the ability to brighten up my day. And since they’re not something I get all the time, that makes it even more special. And um, does this picture look delicious, or what?! ---->>

U: Underwear! I may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with Victoria’s Secret, so I am very thankful for the fact that I live in a time and place where undergarments are a normal part of getting dressed.

V: Variety! Life would be really boring if everything was the same all the time, don’t you agree? It’s quite true, I think, that variety is the spice of life, and I love the fact that there is always something new to see, hear, read, think about, etc.

W: Wine! Ahhh, a glass of red wine at the end of the day is an amazing thing. It’s a great way to relax, and if you get good stuff, it’s also delicious.

X: X-Rays! I’ve gotten a lot of x-rays in my life, and I’m very thankful for the fact that x-rays gave doctor’s the ability to properly treat my injuries/set the broken bones.

Y: Yelling! Sometimes, yelling just feels good. I don’t really like the anger that usually comes along with it, but yelling is often cathartic, and I like that part of it.

Z: ZJ! I know that I have listed two family members already, and obviously I am thankful for everyone in my family, but boy oh boy, I sure do love my first nephew a lot. He is just so cute, and sweet, and loving, and smart! There has never once been a time when I’ve been around him and he didn’t make me smile a hundred thousand times. I love him more than life itself, and I count myself blessed to have that little bundle of joy in my family. 
Seriously, how could you not love this little guy?!

What things make your "ABC's of Thankfulness" list?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 28: Photos

ZJ and Grandpa playing peek-a-boo at the Ethel M company 

My brother in law lifts weights, so of course ZJ has to do it too...

I am obsessed with this kid's smile.

My favorite puppy - Ridley aka Snarfles aka Farfel. Love.

Pugs are so stinking cute. 

ZJ's mad face literally always makes me smile. 


Awww. I love it when my baby sister takes pictures with our nephew and sends them to me. 

Baby yawns are the best.
Navy Pier from really far away. I walked all the way there from where I took this picture. Yep. That happened.

Thinking about getting mad....
...and now definitely mad. But still so cute!!

Quick side note... I'm finally caught up!!!!

Day 27: A Letter To You

Dear Reader,

First of all, thanks for being here. I appreciate your willingness to give me and my writing a chance.

Thanks for sticking with me even though I’m new to this, and completely inexperienced, and even though sometimes I write things that are probably awful, because I secretly have no idea what I’m doing.

I started blogging because I needed some kind of outlet, a way to get out of my own head and redirect my thoughts when I started to get stressed. I thought that maybe, starting a blog would be a good way for me to accomplish the goal of distracting myself from stress while also providing a cool space to meet people, and maybe even develop some new friendships.

And I was right.

I have connected with some wonderful women, and look forward to getting to know more of you! I’d love to hear from you, through a comment, or even an email. I want to get to know you!

Thank you for being part of such an amazing community. I’m excited to see what happens!


Day 26: A Little Light Reading...

I really enjoy reading. I love the smell of ink and paper and binding glue. I love feeling the gentle weight of a book in my hand. I love literally being able to watch myself get through books as I turn each page, and the right side gets thinner and thinner. So other than some a lot of blogs, I don't do a whole lot of reading online. There are, however, some sites that I go to on a regular basis. 

PostSecret. I first learned about this site probably four or five years ago, and I've been legitimately obsessed ever since. I love the idea of letting go of secrets, of being able to tell the world your secret and keep it, all at the same time. I love the sense of community that site has been able to build, and the way that people's lives have been altered. I myself have never sent in a postcard secret, but maybe I will someday. Until then, I will just read everyone else's, and enjoy the small moments of camaraderie. 

Pinterest: Yes, I know that technically, you don't read Pinterest. But I check it out all the time anyway, and pin stuff. Plus there are sometimes really funny memes on there, and I read those. So it counts. And yes, this was me when I first discovered Pinterest, back in the day. ---->>> 

Also, I really like my Kindle (even though it's different than reading real books), so I read a lot of ebooks, which means I spent a lot of time on the websites of libraries to which I hold cards, or on Amazon, reading descriptions and recommendations of books. Reading is the bomb.

Day 25: When She Said...

I have been through a lot of difficult stuff in my life. Nothing terribly earth-shattering, like a potentially terminal medical diagnosis, or the death of a parent, but some pretty tough things, all the same. There have been a lot of times when I really didn’t think I’d make it through the crisis of the moment, and I certainly never would have thought that the way I handle things would have had any kind of positive effect on anyone else. I always felt like I muddled through stuff, and the only reason I would come out the other side is because, well, life moves on, and that’s just how it works.

But there was something especially traumatic and difficult that happened in my life just about five years ago. I was talking to one of my girlfriend’s about it (we’ll call her Ani), a friend who knows about pretty much all of the other rot I’ve experienced in my life, and she made a comment that has stuck with me to this day. She told me that not only did she think I was handling the situation extremely well, but also that I am “one of the strongest people” she knows, and that if anybody could deal with all the mess and come out shining, it would be me.

I was shocked by that. There I was, struggling to get through every day, wondering how I’d get to sleep at night and then how I’d get out of bed in the morning, and she tells me that I’m strong. I had felt anything but strong up until that point, but her words helped me find and recognize in myself the strength she saw.

Sadly, my life has not really settled down too much since that point, but her kind words have remained in my head through every calamity. I am forever grateful to Ani for her sweetness, for her faith in me, and for recognizing in me a quality I didn’t see on my own.

Day 24: The Top Three....

Today’s challenge is to name my top three worst traits. Does that actually sound fun to anybody? Figuring out my three biggest flaws and putting them on display for the whole world isn’t really at the top of my list of great ways to spend an afternoon, but I suppose I’ll give it a shot. Don’t judge.

1.)    I overthink everything. And I do mean everything. Whether it’s a school paper, a fight with a friend, or whatever else, I am always thinking and re-thinking about it. I can talk myself into the worst possible scenario every time, which probably wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I could at least manage to talk myself back out of them. But I haven’t quite mastered that art yet, so right now, I just overthink. Apparently, this is my life's motto -->

2.)   I have a very difficult time trusting people. And also, I trust people too much. And even though those two statements probably seem mutually exclusive, or at the very least contradictory, they’re both very true. I am a pretty nice person…I’m never mean on purpose, I am not vindictive, I really try to treat people nicely all of the time (I fail at that, a lot, but I do try). So being devious, dishonest, or mean doesn’t really occur to me as something I could do, or something that someone else might do to me, which is how the whole “trusting too easily” thing happens. However, since I trust easily, as one might suspect would happen, I am often mistreated, which only serves to make me start to expect it. So I trust people, hoping that I’ll be proven right, but still expecting to be hurt, which is a weird kind of circle/non-circle in my head that shouldn’t make sense to anyone because it’s kind of crazy, but somehow makes sense to me. The problem is that sometimes, due to my overthinking and general distrust of most people, I think I bring some of the problems I experience on myself, because I tend to go looking for trouble where there is none.

3.)   I have been known, at times, to act like I’m perfect, and everyone else is wrong. It was recently brought to my attention that sometimes I act like a victim, which stung because a.) no one really likes to hear that about themselves, and b.) I think it’s actually true. Obviously, I don’t mean to do this, but the fact remains that I do have a tendency to think of myself as being always right, and anyone who disagrees with me or wrongs me is always wrong. Such is not actually the case, however. 
Sometimes I really need to just get my head out of my own behind and take a good long look in the mirror before I start pointing fingers at everybody else. I am not always wrong, but neither am I always right, and I really need to make sure I don’t come across to people like I think I am better or more right than they are. And I need to seriously examine my own behavior before I confront anyone else about theirs, so I don’t end up accusing someone of some terrible “crime” without realizing that I myself do the exact same thing.

What do you think are your biggest flaws? Leave me a link to your post in the comments!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 23: School's Out!

I was home-educated all the way up until college, and was blessed to receive a pretty excellent education. However, when I got to college, I quickly learned a lot of other things that I did not learn in “school”. And, subsequently, when I left college, the education-by-necessity continued. Ten years later, I’ve learned a lot of things, and even though I’m sure it would have been a lot easier had I had the knowledge ahead of time, I’m still grateful that I know it now.

-          Parallel parking really isn’t that hard. I know we all learned it in Driver’s Ed, but seriously, there is nothing like trying to get a car into a space that is maybe five inches longer than the car itself to teach you how to do it. Add in some packed snow in the streets, and, if you’re lucky, a speed bump smack dab in the middle of the only empty space within a six-block radius, and you’ll become a pro in no time flat. Promise.

-          It really is possible to survive comfortably on a steady diet of Chipotle and pasta with tomato juice. Not only possible, but delicious.

-          Watches are entirely unnecessary. Planners, on the other hand, are not. Get a good planner, and stick with it, otherwise your life will blow up in your face. (I've been using a basic planner I found at Barnes and Noble for the past few years, but I think next time I buy a planner, I'm going to buy an Erin Condren one, since I've read a lot of rave reviews!)

-          Showering every day, while always preferable, is definitely NOT required. Keep some wet wipes, deodorant, dry shampoo, and a hair tie and a headband with you, and you can handle anything. A little bit of perfume never hurts, either, so long as it’s not overpowering.

-          Box hair colors are really silly. Save up some money and get your hair done right at a salon if you really want it, or better yet, save all the money and just leave your hair the way it is. (I feel like in the interest of honesty, I should confess that even though I know this, I have still never gotten my hair colored in an actual salon, and always use box dyes. It’s terrible, I know.)

-          Being able to type fast is a really, really, really good thing. There’s never a time when being able to fly across a keyboard will be detrimental.

-          Knowing how to take good and efficient notes is an absolute MUST, whether you’re taking notes in a lecture or from a book. Find a method that makes sense to you, and use it. Always. Also, learn how to make efficient to-do lists, perhaps in the very necessary planner that was mentioned earlier.

-     Drink water like you’re getting paid to do it. You’ll never regret being really hydrated, but you will, at some point, regret not being hydrated. That point of regret might come after a night of heavy drinking, or it might come at 10:30 in the morning when your head hurts so bad that you want to stab yourself in the eye with a pencil. Either way, water is never a bad thing.

-          Eating at midnight really is okay if you’re hungry. Or sometimes even if you’re not. You may not have the world’s hottest body, but in the event that looking like a Victoria’s Secret model after the pictures have been airbrushed is not at the top of your list of things to do, then eat up.

What do you know? 

Day 22: Ranting and Raving..

Quick note: I decided I'm going to skip a few days in the blogging challenge. Partly because I'm already ridiculously behind and don't really have the time to catch up (okay, technically, that's a lie..I do have the time), but mostly because they're either similar to things I've already done, or because I just don't want to do them. So here are the three that I'm skipping:

Day 19, Sunday: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them - because I already did something exactly like this on Day 5, and I'm not particularly in the mood to do it again. 
Day 20, Monday: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now - this one I'm skipping because I just shared a difficulty!! How many of my secrets do you people need to know?!
Day 21, Tuesday: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives - and this one I'm skipping because I don't think I have enough posts to pick out my favorites. Maybe one day next year. 


Today's challenge is to rant, about anything. I was thinking about doing only a singular rant, and then I realized that a lot of things annoy me, so I’m just going to rant about a bunch of annoying things(in no particular order). I’m embarrassingly excited about doing this.

-          People who don’t park straight. I mean seriously. You can’t take a second longer to make sure your car is straight in the space, and you’re not overflowing into the spaces around you? Sheesh.

-          People who talk loudly on their cell phones in libraries and book stores. I’m a bit more wiling to forgive it in a book store, since that is a retail location, but I’m not at all willing to do forgive that sort of nonsense in a library. I do understand that sometimes life happens and calls need to be made/taken but for crying out loud, keep your voice down.

-          When people refuse to take responsibility for their own behavior, or admit that they’re wrong. There is never shame in accepting responsibility. On the contrary, accepting responsibility for your behavior and admitting when you’ve made a mistake takes bravery and strength. I wish more people could see that.

-          When people refuse to accept another’s persons tastes/opinions as valid. So what if you hate romantic comedies or shopping or the color pink, or think more liberally than I do? Your different opinions are no less legitimate to me than my own, so why are mine so wrong to you?

-          Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Honestly, Kim and the whole family just need to show themselves to the door already, and be done. And while I applaud Kim’s ability to parley her sex tape into fame and fortune for her whole family, I’m really sick of them.

-          People who can’t manage to learn basic spelling and grammar, and are always spelling words incorrectly, or using the wrong one entirely. Some of the worst ones – your/you’re, their/they’re/there, pair/pear….and when people spell it “definately” instead of “definitely”.

What things make you crazy?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Confessional Friday: {Link-Up}

Today I am linking up with Leslie from A Blonde Ambition for Confessional Friday!

1.)    I confess that I am borderline terrified of passing semi-trucks on the road. I get scared they will run right over my car and kill me in some really painful awful way, since they’re huge and I’m not. When I was working for a law firm a few years ago, we worked on a case where a semi-truck had done exactly that – changed lanes over onto another vehicle. The top of the car got ripped off, and everybody in the car died. Yuck.

2.)   I confess that I don’t like to subscribe to the whole “food for fuel” notion. I mean, it’s a great idea in theory…being healthy, only eating the things your body needs, instead of stuffing it full of things it doesn’t… but the truth is, so many of the things that my body doesn’t need per se taste really good. So I eat them. And I love it.

3.)   I confess that I still read Cosmopolitan. There’s no real reason for this, other than that somehow, I have been subscribed to the magazine for almost seven years now, but have never once actually purchased a subscription. I’m not sure what that’s about, but either way, I still get it in my mailbox every month, so I figure I may as well read it. It’s really like getting the exact same magazine every month, just with a different celebrity on the cover, though, so that’s annoying.

4.)   I confess that I have gotten really lazy/terrible at putting things in my planner. I feel like right now, while I’m out of a job and everything, that my life is just very ho-hum, and there’s not really much differentiation between my days, so I don’t write stuff down. I should really start doing that again, and making myself do interesting things with my days, lest I succumb to couch-potato-ness.

5.)   I confess that I love driving long distances. I roll the windows town, turn the music up, throw my little foot up on the dashboard, and cruise. I like the feeling of the wind in my hair, I like singing at the top of my lungs, I like watching the road disappear beneath me. Going for a long drive is my favorite way to clear my head.

6.)   I confess that the Blog Every Day in May Challenge is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Not only is it tough for me to come up with posts for some of the prompts, but in the off chance you haven’t noticed, I’m somewhat terrible at consistent posting. Hopefully I’ll get better at it as we continue here, but I won’t hold my breath. I’ll probably be finishing up the challenge in June.

What are your confessions? 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Days 17 & 18: Read It. You Know You Wanna.

Why am I so bad at keeping up with this? Honestly, you'd think I'd be doing better, especially since one of my goals for May was to blog four times a week. Ha. Fail. 

Anyway, so I'm trying to catch up again, even though I'm a whopping week behind, so I'm combining two posts into one. Cheers. 

Day 17: A Favorite Photo 
This gem is of me and my littlest baby sister, taken at family Christmas 2012. She and I actually hosted Christmas in our apartment last year, which sounds a lot more intense than it was. Basically,one of my brothers and his wife stayed with us, and the whole gang helped out with cooking (although I made the pot roast...delicious, by the way). The hardest part of the whole gig was finding a place for everyone to sit, and keeping our mini Christmas tree upright on the coffee table. 

I love this picture because I look so happy, and because I was having so much fun that day! And also, I love the look on Jolynn's face. She is basically one of the cutest people in the world, and she makes any picture better just by being in it. :) 

Day 18: A Story From My Childhood

I swam competitively on a summer community swim team for my entire growing up life. It was great... I got a chance to get out of the house, make some new friends, spend time in the sun. Honestly, I loved it. And I was actually pretty good, too, at least until I hit puberty and all of a sudden didn't know how to handle my body in the water. It took a couple years to figure that out, but that's another story. 

Anyway, I always competed in five events at every swim meet - I swam butterfly in the medley relay and participated in the freestyle relay, and then swam freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly (my favorite) in the individual events. Sometimes I'd compete in the individual medley, too, but I am terrible at breast stroke, so I would always lose time on that stroke. Anyway, the point here is that by the end of the meet, after four other races, I was usually pretty tired. 

One time, we were competing against Richland Center, and the meet was really close. I was 13, and was swimming anchor in the freestyle relay. Our team had always had a pretty intense rivalry with the RC girls, so we really wanted to win. I was tired from my previous races, but was determined to still do everything I could to win the relay. 

By the time it was my turn, my team was about one body length behind the RC team. We were conveniently assigned to lanes next to each other, so I was able to keep an eye on my competition. I dove in, and gave it everything I had. By the turn, I had almost caught up with Megan (the really tall, really lean, really good anchor for the RC team), but was still just a little bit behind, and I was exhausted. After I finished the turn and started back the other way, I was breathing towards the spectator side of the pool, where all the parents were sitting, and where my coach was running along the side of the pool. Somehow I could hear everybody cheering for me, even through the noise and splashing. 

All of a sudden, I had a surge of energy. I started kicking harder, and I could feel the muscles in my arms working harder with each stroke. I caught up with Megan about halfway across the pool, and it was ON. 

The energy in the pool area was electric. I could hear people screaming and cheering, could feel the adrenaline coursing through my body. I stopped breathing... I just dug in, kicking and moving my arms as fast as I could. I watched Megan, and sensed that she was experiencing the same thing, was motivated by the same energy as I was. 

We both gave it everything we had, and Megan and I touched the wall at what looked to be exactly the same time. We both lingered in the pool for a minute, catching our breath and congratulating each other on a great race while the timers conferred. It seemed like the whole place was holding its breath. 

And then.... the timers determined that I had won the race by one one-hundredth of a second. My team, my coach, my parents went crazy, screaming and cheering and clapping. It was incredible.

There were other dramatic races in my years as a swimmer - some that I won, some that I lost. But that race has always stuck out in my mind as special. I don't know if its because of how close it was, because of the rivalry we had with the other team, or if it was something else. Either way, it's one of my favorite swimming memories.