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Day 21: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

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But make sure you check out my other posts too!

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The Struggle Is Real

Day 20: Get real. Share something you’re struggling with right now.

  • We have two cars for three siblings.
  • I lost a library book. Ok, two library books.
  • I can’t find Game of Thrones online and I don’t have Netflix.
  • I keep losing my chapsticks
  • I know my semester abroad suitcase[s] will be overweight and I haven’t even packed yet.

I’m Not That Innocent

Day 18: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

Here’s a funny story for y’all:

When I was about 13, my parents got my sister, brother and I a new puppy, Shayla (as seen in previous posts, she’s adorable). One day, my mother and sister went out shopping for the day, leaving me home to babysit my brother and Shay. Like some young puppies when they get used to a regular eating schedule and kibble, my lil pup got sick and threw up a few times. I cleaned up the mess, but continued to call my mother’s cell phone repeatedly, leaving approximately 4 or 5 frantic voicemails. My mother is notorious for not answering her cell phone, so a few hours went by, and the dog calmed down and everything was under control.

About 2 hours later, my brother and I were sitting down watching a movie, and we heard the telephone ring. My brother jumped up to check the caller ID, and sure enough it was my mom’s number. He got that wicked 9 year-old- boy grin on his adorable face and answered like this:

“Herro, dis Tea Gah-den. Can I take your or-dah?”

He had barely hung up the phone when I realized what he was doing and felt a mixture of pride and disbelief that my precious baby brother had been that quick on his feet. He chuckled and as the phone rang again a beat later, he handed it to me with a smirk and said, “Your turn.”

I scolded him fiercely and told my mom the truth got caught up in the clever game we had started and picked up the phone, again answering as if I was working for our favorite Chinese restaurant a town over.

“Herro, dis Tea Gah-den. Can I take your or-dah?”

“Oh, I’m sorry ma’am,” my mother said frantically, “I’m trying to reach my house I must have the wrong number.”

By then my usually good conscience and moral compass should have kicked in, but… Tom and I continued the “game” at least once more each, before it was my turn again, and this time my mom was really hysterical.

I hung up once more, telling my brother that we had had our fun and now the next time she called it would be the truth (Recall I had left 4 or 5 frantic voicemail messages about our brand new puppy getting violently ill all over the house more than 2 hours prior).

The phone rang yet again, and this time it was my dad’s number, so I answered with the usual:

“Hi Daddy”

“Hi sweetie, is everything ok?”

“Yes, the dog was sick earlier but she’s ok now.”

“Oh good. Your mother just called me crying. It seems she’s been trying to reach you guys, but she keeps getting the Tea Garden.”

“Haha! That was me and Tom pretending! Isn’t that funny?”

“You did WHAT?!”

“Uh-oh.”

Yeah. So that resulted in my only first experience being grounded. Although it was wildly funny until I felt HORRIBLE about it soon after, years later it is now one of my favorite stories to break out at parties.

[BTW My mom forgave us, God bless her, and the dog was fine.]

Many the Miles

Day 17: A favorite photo of yourself and why

I’m interpreting this to mean a picture of just me… Plus I already spent the better part of an hour looking through photos of my friends and I and it would be way too hard to pick just one favorite.

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OK so technically this isn’t JUST me, and you can’t really see my face (or body) very well, but you get the idea. The reason I chose this particular picture is that it truly not only represents a thousand words, but also emotions and accomplishments and adventures past, present and future.

This photo was taken the day I graduated high school in 2011. I was Class President (hence the stole & speech) and therefore had to address my classmates (all 96 of us), our parents, friends, teachers, and everyone in attendance. I was a little nervous, but thankfully you can’t see my shaking knees behind the podium.

I put a lot of thought and practice into my speech, and looking back two years (but what feels like a lifetime) later, I can’t believe not only how much I knew, but also how much I thought I knew [but didn’t].

Re-reading my old speech, I asked the audience:

With each passing day we are growing and changing, moving closer to our dreams, or to setbacks that will ultimately test our strength and our willingness to bounce back. Time will change us all in different ways, but these past four years have bonded us together with irreplaceable memories, experiences and friendships.  Remember each other, for we have all been a part of shaping each other’s lives in some way or another. Use these relationships not to limit your future, but to influence it for the better as your carve your own path in the real world. Standing front of you all today, I am both overjoyed and scared out of my mind. So much is ending, yet so much is beginning, and I know all of us have bright futures ahead.

Pretty astute for an 18 year-old if I do say so myself. But, the reasons I love this picture are that at this time of my life I was a big fish in a small pond and although I had accomplished a lot for where I was and what I had to work with, I would soon get a taste of reality when I left my tiny hometown. I would go on to take risks and work hard, but be humbled by the fact that not everything came as easily as before. I’d stay up all night studying for a decent test grade, have my heart broken a couple different times, and even face the facts that I may have to bounce back in order to see how strong I really am.

Sara Bareilles once sang, “There’s too many things that I haven’t done yet
, too many sunsets
 I haven’t seen.” Moving on, going on adventures, and pushing yourself to see that next sunset [and sunrise] is what separates the winners from the losers, those who will bust their ass and those who will make excuses to cover it. In another two years, I can’t even imagine what my 22 year-old self will have to say about this post, but then again, that’s the beauty of taking a blind leap of faith and making the most of where you end up.

First World Pains

Day 16: Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it.

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  • My iPhone 5 doesn’t fit comfortably in my pocket.
  • I’ve read every 90’s throwback article on Buzzfeed already.
  • Mad Men is ending & Pretty Little Liars is only on once a week.
  • Starbucks doesn’t deliver.
  • I can’t fast forward through On Demand commercials.
  • When all of my clothes are clean they don’t fit in my dresser.
  • I always finish shampoo before conditioner.
  • I can’t decide which car I want to take to work.
  • I missed that cool thing because I was tweeting about it.
  • I want to shower/work out/stay in tonight but I’m having a great hair day.
  • Twitter is only 140 characters.

358hge

Just Another Day in Paradise

Day 15: A Day in the life (include photos from throughout your typical day – this could be “a photo an hour” if you’d like)

Not quite a photo an hour, but here are the highlights:

10 am Good morning, beautiful.

Of course Starbucks in an Orange cup. Go Cuse.

Of course Starbucks in an Orange cup. Go Cuse.

12 pm Treat yourself.

Egg whites with salt, pepper and garlic powder with two strips of bacon, a slice of American cheese on Oat Nut toast. DEE-LISH.

Egg whites with salt, pepper and garlic powder with two strips of bacon, a slice of American cheese on Oat Nut toast. DEE-LISH.

2 pm The next Picasso.

Babysitting is fun.

Babysitting is fun.

4 pm What chu lookin’ at.

We have fun.

We have fun.

6 pm Special brownies.

Who knew vegan could be so tasty? Shout out to my friend Sage for the recipe!

Who knew vegan could be so tasty? Shout out to my friend Sage for the recipe!

8 pm  When Harry Met Sally.

Classic rom-com.

Classic rom-com.

10 pm A bit of light reading.

Sidney Sheldon is my new favorite author. This book was written as a sequel to his "Master of the Game." A must-read!

Sidney Sheldon is my new favorite author. This book was written as a sequel to his “Master of the Game.” A must-read!

12 am Bring back the 90’s.

Enough said.

Enough said.