You’re A Good Boy

To my first baby. The first being I had to care for other than myself. The first puppy who I could call my own. I look at you now and my heart breaks. Daddy tells me that you aren’t old but when I watch you get up- it’s slower, I notice those puppy bursts are becoming less frequent and the worst is that those big brown eyes are a bit more tired.

I worry about you all the time- everyone tells me that I need to RELAX and what will happen when we have kids? But I worry, I know you love the car but it’s getting harder for you to jump up. I just can’t take the thought of your body failing you and that you can’t tell me what hurts. You wait by the couch for us to lay down and you keep us company there. I just naturally drop my hand to reach for you. To pet you. To kiss the top of your head.

I have to remember to be present. When you nudge me to pet you but I’m too busy checking my Instagram or watching my SnapChat- I forget. It isn’t until you give up on getting some lovin’ that my heart hurts. I can’t tell you with my words how much you mean to me. You can’t like my status updates on your birthday or re-watch the videos I take of you. My actions towards you are the only love you know. I would cradle you in my arms forever if that’s what it took to make you feel better. I’d do that for you, I hope you know that. I hope my actions are enough for you to live the best life.

You have always been there for me. You’re the best boy- the most lovable dog I ever had. I remember (because Donnie doesn’t let me forget) how I wanted your brother initially but because he’s always right we got you instead.  Everyone who meets you instantly falls in love with the big polar bear.

You are always by my side first thing in the morning, wagging your tail, waiting to get your morning hug. You might be the happiest, most loyal dog I’ve ever met and I love you for it.

I’m sorry the thunder scares you and the fireworks seem like they’ll never end but I promise we will always do what we can to make you feel safe. I know that you hate going to the groomer and the vet scares you but it’s for the best. I will always be there to make sure it’ll be alright.

I know your hips ache and your body is getting old, but it still makes me happy when you start wagging your tail and put a big puppy smile on your face. And for that split second it makes me feel like you’re still that baby we brought home 7 years ago.

I know my camera is always in your face and I constantly am hugging you but I like watching you because I don’t know how much longer we’ll have. I want you to be the big brother to our children and I want you to see the home that we dream of building but I know that won’t happen. I can see it in the way you sigh and look at me. I hate thinking about it but I want to make every moment of your life happy.

Watching you grow old is one of the most painful things and it’s breaking my heart, but at least I know you had a good life when you became part of mine. I will sit by your side through every breath you take, my arms around you- like we’ve always done.

I know you can’t read this and you probably will never understand how much you mean to me, but I want you to know you’re so loved and I’m so thankful for you in my life. I won’t let a day go by where I don’t show you how much you mean to me because you’ve shown me love all this time.

You’re my best friend and I cry as I write this ode to you but I know that you’re only here for a short time. You put such an imprint on our family that will last a lifetime. Thank you for all of your love, your nudges and your cuddles. I never knew I needed this from you but it’s all I could ask for. Thanks bubba. You’re a good boy.

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Bad Habits I’ve Embraced

We live in a world saturated with self-improvement articles and lists. Despite my best efforts to follow everyone’s unsolicited advice about how I can improve my street smarts, book smarts, attitude, efficiency, wardrobe, eating habits, yoga postures, and conversation skills, I’ve held onto a few vices. I’m not a pathological liar. I don’t text while driving. I try to walk as much as possible. I floss. I cut up those plastic rings from soda cans to protect the dolphins. But I digress. Here is a list of things I could change, should change, but probably won’t ever change:

1| Hitting the snooze button

Sure, I’ve seen all the articles promising more energy, alertness, and maybe even a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of my day if I pop out of bed as the first chime rings. It all sounds great when I’m about to doze off, 100% committed to the integrity of my 5:45 wake-up call. Yet despite my best efforts, the doldrums of early morning combined with sleep-clouded judgment keep me begging my alarm for another 15 minutes…usually about four times in a row. Regardless, I still manage to get up, get dressed, and make it to work on time, so cut a sister some slack, m’kay? I may not look the best but I’m on time and that’s saying a lot because I usually only allot myself 45 minutes to get ready!

2| Becoming A New Level of Lazy After Work

Not like every day, but if it’s been a long day…or it’s Friday…or Monday. I just become a part of the couch like the pirates were literally a part of the ship in whatever Pirates of the Caribbean that was. I don’t want to eat, drink, pee or move from underneath my blanket. I just want to drool on myself and watch Joanna Gaines remove load-bearing walls and add 20 vases to one room in such an eloquent manner.

3| Not Wearing My Seat-belt

I know. I know. Please don’t look at me like that. Or do. That incessant dinging stops eventually and I think I’ve found a playlist that perfectly drowns out the noise. It’s not safe and it’s something I’m working on. Especially when my fiance is there is remind me as much as much as my seat-belt is.

4| Anti-Friday Night Events

In all honesty I never had any intention of going to that dinner/happy hour/electro-reggae warehouse rave even though I was all about it yesterday. Friday nights were made for no pants, lots of snacks, Netflix, and reading lists such as this one. Plus I’m going to feel like a champion in the morning. Maybe I’ll go for a hike or yoga or a yoga hike. Maybe I’ll finally get rid of the six giant boxes in my trunk from when I moved six months ago. Maybe I’ll just read some more lists. Either way my mind is made up that I’ll be in bed by 9PM.

5| Eating my whole meal in one sitting

I was scrolling through my Facebook and one of those “Get Ready For Summer By Eating Ice Chips and Air” popped up- in all seriousness it was really just promoting eating more greens but your girl likes to have a Milky Way Midnight every day. One of the pro-tips I learned was to ask for a take-out container as soon as my food arrives so I can box up half of it and save it for later. It’s smart and economical and something I will never do. I was put on this Earth to live my life to the fullest and if that means eating my meal to the point where I can lick the plate clean then so be it! I understand that portion sizes at restaurants are two to three times what I should be eating in one sitting so will happily sign a waiver before my meal if it comes to this. Seriously, though—just let me live and yes I’d like to see a dessert menu.

6| Social Media

It all starts with one Ellen DeGeneres video and I’m 3 hours into Facebook and watching how candles are made in a small village in Switzerland. I begin to tag all my friends I think would find this funny (because it is) then proceed to ask them if they watched the video yet that I tagged them in. I’m like a 13 year who just got their first cell phone sometimes- I just can’t put it down. THE INTERNET IS JUST SO FUNNY!

We all have our things. Dare to share yours? I’d love to hear them so I know I’m not the only one out there!

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Have We Desensitized Ourselves?

When I was in the second grade I learned a valuable lesson that has stuck with me this far in life. So I am sure I’ll be the grandmother reminding her grandchildren of these wise words I heard so many years ago. I was told that “Booing is rude.” Simple enough. We were caught heckling other children on the playground as they missed the first pitch of the kickball game. My teacher was mortified- she scolded all of us for our rude behavior. A simple statement that meant so much more than playground contempt.

Making fun of someone is rude no matter how you cut it. A mocking comment and snide remark – they’re easy to make and impossible to take back. I might come off as lacking a sense of humor or being uptight but honestly I just don’t find it amusing. Nowadays (I say this like I have lived through the Great Depression) the internet is full of ridicule. A girl posts a terrible picture of her friend on Facebook that is shared a handful of times. A Reddit user takes this picture and turns it into a meme that is shared over 12 million times. She is now the new face of entertainment and is in the spotlight whether she wanted it or not. People for years will say “weren’t you that girl?”.

Growing up the internet was new. We learned to type, played simple games on simple systems on computers as big as my oven. There was no ability to share our lives- let alone every thought that came into our heads. We got updates and pictures from family that lived far away that they mailed- MAILED. If we didn’t like a product or service we just didn’t go back to that restaurant or order from that catalog. Word of mouth was all we had. A bad experience was never instantly uploaded in the heat of the moment. Opinions are like assholes no one wants any part of yours (unless you’re into that then this doesn’t pertain to you). Keep that to yourself and grow up.

People can hide behind a keyboard pretty easily but no one has the gal to say it to someone’s face. It’s easy for me to post a review and not think twice about a single repercussion. People love the instant gratification Facebook, email, and Instagram bring so they constantly think their opinion is gold.

I remember sitting with my grandfather and he would be mumbling/ swearing under his breath when he didn’t like someone that came on the TV. No one outside of the room knew he did that. Now people take it to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. So you get that abuse from every living room in America and make it publicly available to everyone who wants to see it. It makes us look like we are much worse than before but I wonder is it just because we now just make it more visible? There’s another thought to this argument- are the people who were assholes in 1989 just assholes with an iPhone? Is it now just that we have a visible platform to stand upon? Where before if my grandfather got going on politics I could just leave the room- now everyone has that racist relative you can’t help but cringe when you see their name pop up in your newsfeed.

Social media has given us the ability to say what we want, how we want, when we want. It has given us the ability to upload a photo within seconds that also gives us the inability to “take it back”. We hide behind the keys of our phones- crude comments about people or businesses the that can be shared worldwide. Businesses have succumb to pleasing the craziest of thoughts and suggestions just so they don’t become the next Cracker Barrel.

There are people who have, to kindly put it, A LOT OF FUCKING TIME on their hands- so they can ruin you in one fell swoop. It’s easier to appease these people than it is to defend your company, your product, your employees.

The mentality has become “I don’t like this so I need to tell everyone.”

Do people not understand what they are doing to others? Have we become numb to what we are saying? (That is definitely a lyric of a song). All I’m asking is think twice before you take your thoughts to the World Wide Web.

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Valentine’s Day: Harry Potter

To My Future Daughter

My friends (and I guess myself technically) are at the age where they are having babies and raising these perfect little beings. While I am not ready to take on such a task I found myself thinking how important it is to raise good people. I remember when a good friend of mine got pregnant, it’s been amazing seeing her and her daughter together. It got me thinking about my future children, especially if we have a girl.

Being sensitive, even though I’m pushing thirty, there are things my mother always told me but of course from the age of 13-17 I knew everything there was to know in the world so I never listened. My mom never stopped trying- telling me over and over, being that person I could always run home too. So here are a few lessons I want to teach my future little girl- even if you don’t listen in the here and now, you will eventually.

1. What Susie says about Sally, says a lot more about Susie than it does Sally.

Girls will be girls will be girls will be girls- even when they’re 40. There are people you think you need in your life but eventually you learn to who is needed and who isn’t. Some people only bring negative energy that is more toxic than uplifting. Girls are mean. For some it’s a stage, for others it’s a lifestyle. You cannot control what they say about you, but you can control how you respond. Silence is the best weapon. From someone who’s been there, trust me, no response is the best response.

2. When you’re upset, stay away from your cell phone.

Nobody ever says anything nice when they’re mad, sad, or hurt. Nobody ever posts anything nice on social media, either. If you need to vent, write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away or come to me! You’ll still get it off your chest, but your hurtful words won’t linger in the aftermath. There’s no sense in giving someone else the power of getting the best of you. When you wake up in the morning, don’t check your phone for a text that probably won’t be there. Get out of bed and stay away from the phone. I am aware that this is much easier said than done, but I’ve been there, and hurtful words won’t make the hurtful actions disappear. Breathe in, breathe out, move on.

3. You are more than your body.

When a boy only calls you at 2am after a few beers, it’s not because he thinks you have a really nice personality. He likes what he sees, and that’s the only thing on his mind. The attention might make you feel good, but seriously, respect yourself. It doesn’t make you anymore of a grown up. It won’t gain you any friends, in fact, those people you think you will gain- stay away from. Never give a part of yourself away to someone who doesn’t deserve it. You are valuable, and you are more than your body. Be intelligent enough to differentiate between love and lust. If you find yourself questioning their intentions for even a moment, walk away. YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT.

4. I know you’re not really sick.

You’re either avoiding someone at school, avoiding a test at school, or avoiding waking up. I practically wrote the book on excuses to get out of school. You’re not fooling me, even though I’m sure you’ll put on quite the production trying to convince me otherwise if you’re anything like me. It may seem easier to lay around the house for the day and hide from the world, but avoiding what you don’t want to face typically just makes it harder. Also, things are never as bad as they seem. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and be thankful for another day; you are blessed.

5. You will get your heart broken, and it will hurt.

Boyfriends sound like a lot more fun than they actually are. Sure it’s fun to have someone to go see that new movie with, someone to pay for your meals, and someone who makes you feel special. When you find your first love, you will feel on top of the world. Seriously, you will feel like you’re floating on clouds. You’ll think you’ve found the one, and honestly some people do (good for them!) I am begging you to not get so caught up in him that you forget how to make yourself happy, by yourself. Once you venture down the road of depending on him for happiness, it’s a long way back. Your first love won’t be your only love, but the breakup will rock your world. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be sad. It’s not okay to feel like you weren’t enough. It will take time, and it might take a lot of time, but it will get better.

6. When you find “your person,” don’t lose them.

There’s going to be someone who can finish your sentences, tell you the truth when you don’t want to hear it, and stand by you when you make really stupid decisions. This person is more than your best friend, they are your person. You are going to fight but don’t go months without talking. Don’t make this mistake, just say you’re sorry. You’re going to have other really good friends, too. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their friendship; they are important, too. But your person will connect with you on a different level. They will understand you when you don’t understand yourself, and you will form a bond that nothing can break. It is possible to find a soulmate in someone other than the person you marry, and it’s pretty awesome.

7. It’s okay to stay home.

You aren’t lame for choosing your bed over a party on a Friday night. There will be other parties, and I promise you aren’t missing much. It’s okay that you want to be alone. It’s okay to stay home and watch movies. It’s okay that you’re not in the mood to go out. It’s okay.

8. If they miss you, they’ll do something about it.

Still hung up on that break up? It takes time. “But Mom, I really love him.” I’m sure you do. I know that nothing I say will take away the hurt, but my arms will always be wide open, and I’ll keep plenty of Kleenex boxes in stock. I know what it feels like. I’ll make you an ice cream sundae, but I’ll understand when you don’t have the appetite to eat it. I will tell you this, if he misses you, he will do something about it. Because if he’s missing you and doing nothing, he’s not the one. Even if he finds the courage to say he misses you, it’s okay to not want him back. Your heart will heal. Do not settle. You’ll make a million excuses for him, I know. But please remember this; if he wants to be with you, he will prove it.

9. People make mistakes, especially the people you love.

I will make mistakes, so will your dad, so will your brother or sister, so will your friends. Your teachers and coaches will make mistakes, too. Everyone will make mistakes. You will make them, too, lots and lots as a matter of fact. Do not stop loving people when they screw up. The people you love and that love you will probably make some of the worst mistakes. Learn to forgive, especially if you expect others to forgive you. Part of growing is making mistakes. Part of loving is forgiving. My dear, the ugliest people are the ones who do not know how to forgive. Don’t carry around grudges, and always, ALWAYS, be the bigger person.

To the woman who helped shape me and made me who I am- I hope to be half of the mother you are.

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Feelings You Forgot Are Wonderful

  1. When you’re running super late for work, but you still somehow manage to get there before your boss, so it doesn’t even matter.
  2. The moment when you’ve had to pee all night, so you finally get up and do it and then you get to crawl back into your warm bed.
  3. Taking off your bra after a long day.
  4. …and your pants.
  5. When your plane lands safely on the runway and you can let out a sigh of relief because you’re back on the ground.
  6. Getting out of the shower after a much needed scrubbing- nothing quite like that freshness.
  7. When you’re thinking about someone and then they text you in that same moment.
  8. Waking up after a night of drinking and realizing you’re not as hungover as you feared that you were going to be.
  9. When you have plans with someone and you really don’t feel like going, and then they text you and cancel.
  10. Finally getting that thing out of your eye that’s been irritating you for the last half hour.
  11. Waking up from a really lovely dream and remembering it!
  12. When you can’t play your music when you’re running errands, because you don’t have the right equipment, but then your favorite song comes on the radio.
  13. Opening your fridge after you went shopping the day before.
  14. When you accidentally leave the shades up, so you wake up with the sun shining on your face.
  15. Unexpectedly experiencing a pleasant scent you haven’t come across in a long time, especially if it’s one that reminds you of your childhood.
  16. When someone is really good at scratching your back.
  17. Hearing someone laugh to the point that it makes you laugh just by listening to them.
  18. Feeling your heart rate come back down to normal after you ran to catch a bus or a train or a plane and you get to sit down in your seat and relax.
  19. Changing the clocks ahead one hour in the spring and knowing that those super short, dark days are over for the time being.
  20. When there’s something you needed to get done that you really didn’t feel like doing, but you did it anyway and now you get to cross it off your list.
  21. The rush of relief you feel after you throw up from a bad stomach bug or hangover. So gross, and yet so much relief.
  22. When you’re in public and you remember something funny and you can’t help but start laughing to yourself.
  23. Discovering a new song you’re obsessed with and playing it over and over and over.
  24. Opening your underwear drawer and remembering that you have a bunch of different options because you just did your laundry.
  25. Watching something on tv and remembering you can fast forward through the commercials because you recorded it.
  26. When your boss asks you a question and you’re actually prepared with an answer and don’t sound like an idiot.
  27. Thinking you forgot to bring something important and then finding it in your bag after a brief moment of panic.
  28. When you’re sleeping next to your person and they hold on to you so tight.
  29. Seeing someone familiar when you’ve just moved to a new city.
  30. When you put on a song at a party and it seems to be the exact song that every other person at this party wanted to hear in this moment.
  31. Pouring a cold beer into a frosty mug.
  32. When you find out something really exciting, but you’re by yourself, so you kind of just make a tiny little squeal or flap your arms around.
  33. Going to sleep in your own bed after you’ve been out of town.
  34. Taking a sick day from work when you’re not really sick.
  35. Walking down a pretty street in the springtime when everything is blooming and the air is warm.
  36. When you wake up and think it’s time for work but then you realize it’s only three in the morning and you can go back to sleep.
  37. Taking off your wet socks after coming in from the rain or snow.
  38. Sitting down on the couch or taking a nice, slow walk after you just had a really good workout.
  39. Climbing into your bed after you washed your sheets and everything smells like fresh linen.
  40. Finding a crumpled twenty dollar bill in that jacket you haven’t worn in months.
  41. Getting a hand written note in the mail.
  42. Walking into work on the day before your vacation starts.
  43. Being in a social situation with a bunch of different people that you love being around.
  44. When you couldn’t decide between several different meals at the restaurant and then your food comes and you feel like you made the right choice after taking just one bite.
  45. Drinking a glass of wine at the airport bar, while you’re waiting for the trip you’ve been counting down to for months.

Put Your Cell Phones Away!

I’ll set the tone. Donnie and I have been together for the better part of 10 years (almost). Comfort levels have been well established — but instead of wanting to know how my day went, he wants to know the current standings of the NFL and instead of me asking how his big presentation went I check to see how many likes my staged picture on Instagram got. We just spent an hour making a beautiful meal (that I’ll Snapchat later) and have opened a bottle of my favorite wine to appropriately complement it. We sit down at the table with a candle lit and our iPhones remain as the third wheel. I’m eating with a fork in my right hand and scrolling with my left (I am not ambidextrous so you can imagine this is an easy task). I struggle, but manage.

But seriously! Do we ever fully return our undivided attention to our companion, or is half our brain still scanning the digital world for information? There is no rest for the screen-stimulated brain.

The more we allow our device to control our attention, the more we feel like we are missing out on something, and this is certainly not a feeling we welcome. Aside from life-and-death emergencies, and other such situations where we require instantaneous feedback, the information will be there whether we address our device every ten minutes, every hour, or once a day.

Have we totally forgotten our manners? Disengaging from the people you are sitting with at a dinner table is something our parent’s would shame us for.

1. Cell phones have become our crutch.

Not many people will argue this. Who wants to live with something you are utterly dependent on? Think about what we use our phones for now. Directions, browsing photos of strangers, checking the weather two weeks in advance, texting our friends, scheduling our lives, playing games, using Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, the list goes on and on. Basically, our cell phones have become a one-stop-shop for everything we need to do in life.

Don’t get me wrong, all of the aforementioned things are essential to any person living a modern day life, but there are other ways we can go about completing these tasks. Ways that a more directly connected generation (reference your parents) had managed to live with.

Taking Pictures. Does anyone keep a photo album anymore? What if Facebook were to suddenly crash and all of the precious photos from your high school days were gone forever? I’d like to hold on to my memories of a 2007 toga house party, and that time I spent with my friends after prom!

Talking to friends. Call them, go visit them, have lunch or coffee with them. Conversation is stimulating. Wouldn’t you rather see their lovely face then read the words they sent you via text message? We too often pass up these opportunities to go be with our friend’s because of the simplicity there is in just texting them.

Scheduling. Write in a planner like your 10-years-old again. Call it an experiment.

Playing games. Go play Scrabble or get aggressive over a game of monopoly. There’s more competitiveness in it when you play with people and not just yourself.

Disconnect, I dare you.

2. Our poor children don’t stand a chance.

As technology continues to advance our children will become less connected on personal levels and more connected on technological ones. I think we’ve all made the joke by now that our kids will see an iPhone 5 the way we see Zack Morris’ prehistoric device. If that’s the case, what kind of unimaginable piece of technology will our children be using?

When I needed to do a school project, I went to the library on my bike and made copies of books and encyclopedias to paste on my poster board. My mom would patiently wait as I meticulously would hand write captions under my photocopied pictures. There were no easy answers that Google could provide.

If I wanted to see a friend from school, I picked up my home phone and called their home phone and asked their parents if they could come out and play. Or even better, I’d walk to their house and knock on the door. I feel like everyone knows a family now that doesn’t even bother with home phone because everyone in their unit has a cell phone instead. We don’t have a home phone- I wouldn’t answer it just like I don’t answer my door when someone knocks on it unexpectedly.

God knows my children are going to think I’m a fossil, or worse, they won’t even be able to comprehend why I would encourage them to do such things because by then cell phones will be so second nature. How can we be examples for our children when it comes to personal interaction if we don’t value these ideals ourselves?

3. There is so much natural beauty in the world that we are missing.

Vacations have become a way of clogging Instagram feeds that make non-vacationing people feel awful. You’re supposed to do that when you get back, remember? Vacations were designed for us to get away from our stresses and relax. My fiance once yelled at me for wanting to pull over the car on a road trip so I could take a photo of something. The response I got was a pained, “Ugh, can’t you just remember it?” The answer is yes, yes we can.

Go ahead; take some vacation photos for the previously mentioned photo album but please, can we  spend more time going for walks, enjoying the company of our loved ones and soaking up the aura of beautiful landscapes with nothing more than our minds.

4. Nothing is private anymore.

Imagine our parents and their parents before them. They knew who they knew and that was it. A new face came with a one-on-one interaction. They went about their days for however many years and everything they ever did was for them, their families, and their friends to know about and remember. There weren’t 1,000 other people watching their every move. Unless you were of celebrity status, a life was a private thing. They had no idea what their sister’s friends girlfriends newborn looked like, nor did they care. They had no idea what the person in their English class looked like half-naked unless they took them on a date first. There was a whole world of things going on around them and they were blissfully unaware. Call it a mystery but look at this way, there was more to discover.5. We don’t know the last effects.

If it’s not enough that cell phones are unhealthy addictions, how about that they may be unhealthy to us in a physical sense. They create electromagnetic fields, and we haven’t lived with them long enough to determine the long-term health effects they may have on us. The hypochondriac in me panics a little every time my boyfriend puts his work phone and his personal phone in the SAME pocket. Here’s to hoping we aren’t making the same mistake we made with promoting tobacco 65 years ago.

I challenge you to put your phone down for an entire day. If you manage to live through it, put it down for an entire week. At least give yourself the opportunity to be independent and not have to succumb to a device for 3.9 years of your life.

As We Go On,We Remember…

You do nothing but talk about how great things were in the 90’s and how there will never be another decade like it. You can’t help but think your age group is superior to others, because it is. You know the 90’s decade was a fundamental piece in our history. You’ll never stop living in the 90’s because, why in the hell would you? Enjoy the nostalgia.

1. At one point, you were the proud owner of a bean bag chair. Or two. You may have even had some blowup furniture from Spencer’s (looked killer under a black light).

2. You probably had a blue, purple, green, or red transparent cordless phone. Mine was purple- green was sold out.

3. You still remember watching VHS tapes and the struggle of rewinding them. Blockbuster was a regular pit stop on your way home from school on Fridays. Also it was always a great night out walking up and down the aisles looking for something new to watch- only to get the same old movies you watched 100 different times.

4. You easily recall the sound of dial up internet and the hours it felt like trying to get online. Patiently waiting to hear, “you’ve got mail.”

5. Signing onto AIM was a daily regimen. Only so you could make a cool “away” status.

“if u WeRe hOmEwOrK, iD b doin U rite now ;)” Lord.

6. Britney was and is your hero and Queen. You still own all her albums as well, or at least you should. #teamBritney

7. You had the coolest collection of gel pens. They were absolutelyessential to your notes passed to your friends in class. Especially when you had a tablet full of black paper.

8. Your bedroom ceiling was decorated with glow in the dark stars and planets.

9. Pogs and slammers were life. I even had some from Ponderosa and Hillside Farm.

10. The Walkman was a staple piece in your outfit. I knew what clothing I could fit my CD player in or if I needed to grab my JanSport.

11. You’re still listening to Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, Alanis Morisette, Jewel, Pearl Jam, The Verve, Goo Goo Dolls, etc. because 90’s music is the only music worth listening to.

12. Your favorite Christmas movies: Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Nightmare Before Christmas, To Grandmother’s House We Go, Die Hard 2, and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original).

13. Your favorite t.v. shows include (but are not limited to): The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Friends, Saved by the Bell, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Full House, Dawson’s Creek, Beverly Hills 90210, Clarissa Explains It All, and The Wonder Years.

If you were born in the late 80’s to early 90’s, you know you’re one of the lucky ones. There are a multitude of things that made the 90’s the best. And since Y2K didn’t wipe us out, may your mind live in this era forever.

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My Thoughts: Tanning

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to the beach, or been in the sun at all for that matter this past summer. I work full-time and my legs are so pale that they’re actually reflective on the rare occasions I do go outside during the day. I often get the itch to look like I spend eight hours a day sun bathing, never burning, and becoming as close to a “bronzed beach babe” as I can get.

When one of my bests was having her bachelorette party I tried to catch up to everyone else’s normal skin tones. I haven’t tanned in close to 10 years because my infant like skin tone doesn’t really like the sun. But I know that we would be outside A LOT and since the last thing I wanted to worry about was the sun-I decided tan. While I don’t condone this at all I needed a quick fix.

When you’re enclosed in a human microwave, left with nothing but your thoughts and the smell of your burnt skin- things can get pretty weird.

How many bare bottoms have been here today?

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“I wonder if they ACTUALLY cleaned the bed?” It’s always a question but it never seems to stop me from laying my bare body onto the potentially infected surface. It usually pops into my head as I begin to feel the puddle of sweat forming underneath me- to the point where I worry if I need another towel.

Ew, why is the bed still warm?

Something about a cold bed is more comforting than an uncomfortably warm reminder that you weren’t the only naked person to lay here in the last 5 minutes.

What if I got stuck in here?

Whenever this thought crosses my mind, I have to lift the bed a little bit to make sure it’ll still open and will let me out. I don’t want to be the girl from final destination.

How long have I been in here?

I know only the first verse of Shake It Off is still playing but 8 minutes has to have gone by? At this point I start to get a bit squirmy- I never understood how people could doze off. Could you imagine if the had to wake you?!

Is it weird that I like the way tanning salon’s smell?

My calves are literally burning. And there is def a mix of burning skin and coconut radiating from my room.

Can the woman at the desk hear me talking to myself?

Yes- she can. She can also see that you keep opening the lid (like a can of tuna) checking to see if your stuck.

What would happen if there were cameras in here?

Someone would be really entertained- even though that is 100% illegal.
Maybe MTV will do show about it….

I hope I put enough lotion on. Maybe I should get out and put on more!

No matter how much you think you used, you should always use more.
Somehow its better and you get more tan. I feel like it’s like marinade on chicken.

If I lay facing left for a minute then I’m going to have to lay facing right for a minute, right?

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Tan symmetry.

Am I golden yet?

I’m a little less bronze goddess and a little more newborn baby pink but hey my little palm tree on my hip says that it’s working!

If I put my face closer to the bulbs will it tan faster?

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NO! This theory is not a concept anyone should try.

I hope I don’t get that white line under my butt.

So I wiggle down a little bit to make sure my whole tush is tanned and toasty. Nothing like a burned booty to make you wish you had gone in the stand-up.

Who even invented Wink-Ease?

Eyewear for peasants

I love being tan!

I have to admit- it’s my clandestine lover.

I confess the depths of our relationship guiltily, in secrets. I know it can hurt me. I know our love may not end well. But I’m addicted. It feels so good I just keep coming back. Nothing can please me quite the same way. Nothing else knows just how to relax me, seduce me, slow me down. I feel so much prettier in the glow of our love. I radiate health. I look like I’ve just returned from a lazy sunny vacation.

BUT come summer, those of us who remain pale — by choice or by genetics — are going to be the lepers of the pool party. People will mock our pasty thighs and pink shoulders, and we’ll have to take it like adults because society still thinks we would be more beautiful if we sat in the sun until we were nice and golden-brown.

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It’s the Joy, the Pain and the Roar of the Crowd

The whistle blows, double overtime is about to start, second round of sudden death. You’re exhausted but you know that you just need to give it your all a little while longer. The field looks bigger when there are only 7 of you. You’re wide open, receive a perfect pass, beat the defender and slam the ball into the back of the goal. You smile, jump high in the air and can’t wait to run over to where you know all of your teammates will be eagerly awaiting your arrival. The celebration is about to begin.

However, instead of playing for the gold at the Olympics, it was your final intramural game, winner gets a t-shirt that usually doesn’t fit. Your teammates have mismatched tees on- Nike isn’t sponsoring this and ESPN definitely isn’t covering your game winning goal but something inside drives you to compete to the best of your ability. It’s your love of the game- no one can take that away from you.

You will never have this feeling again, the rush of receiving a ball you never thought you could catch – your heart won’t beat with that type of adrenaline that comes with flying out on a corner after the final whistle blows. Nothing will feel like scoring that game winning goal taking your team into post season. For all of those who have loved and left our sports behind- this is for you.

I see you running your heart out on the field, your braid bobbing, your face all kinds of determined to win. You love to play and compete, and each game gives you a reason to stick with it and learn more. That’s your competitive heart—the desire to be the best. I have two important words for you.

Keep going.

The end comes quickly- I hate to sound like your mom’s weird friend but these days will go by fast. I miss the feeling of walking onto the turf, playing under the lights, hearing your name ring throughout the stadium, the genuine applause when your team takes home the win. I can remember it like it was yesterday- the rush of the wind as I stood on the field, adjusting my turfs and spandex, getting ready for that first whistle. I can hear the muffled mouth-guard shouts, the cheers, the voices surrounding me, pushing me forward. I remember the way the sun felt on my shoulders, the first major play I made, the jolt in my arms as I made contact with the ball as it floated perfectly to my teammate, my sister. It takes place now almost in slow-motion, coming to the realization that it’s all in the past.

Though it feels like you’ve been playing your whole life, and that you will keep playing forever, this is it. It isn’t bad, it’s beautiful. The memories, the games, the pain, the tears, the exhaustion, the fights, the friendships—they’re all meaningful.

Remember the rush you get as the ball hits the backboard, the ache in your body as your push yourself for just a few more minutes and flying as high as your wings will take you after a well fought victory. When you’re passing, receiving, hitting you’re unstoppable. You were never the best, the fastest, the most skilled but you loved this sport- it was a part of you. You won’t forget those days and the relationships you made with those girls you called teammates because at the end of it all they made you into the person you are today.

I never will forget how my stick feels in my hands- it’s like an extension of my body. I know it better then I know myself. The feeling when you step onto that pitch, you will look at the lights, memorize the way they glow on the faces of the crowd who are cheering for you, believing in you. It’s catching those familiar voices saying “that’s my girl!” there will never been another feeling like stepping off that turf and playing a flawless game.

My days are done now. I have played, I have practiced, I have pushed myself physically and mentally beyond my limits, I have succeeded, and I have failed. I gave everything I had to a game that could not be mine forever, but I don’t regret a single second.

Play with confidence. Play with heart. And don’t ever forget that these days will soon come to an end. So give it your all because these feelings don’t last forever.

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