Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Unless you live under a rock, you know that yesterday was the royal wedding and I am not ashamed to admit that I was one of those girls who woke up at 5:45 to watch the wedding live! It was an absolutely beautiful wedding and you could almost see the excitement in the air. Kate looked gorgeous in her Sarah Burton wedding gown. It was classy, elegant, and timeless. It was fun to get to see Kate stand next to her sister, Pippa. It is amazing how much they look alike! Kate then entered the long walk into Westminster Abbey…seriously, it took her like 10 minutes to get down the aisle. I could feel the anticipation building as William had his back turned. Luckily, Harry turned around and spied on the bride-to-be for his brother and was seen mouthing the words “wait until you see her!” Oh William and Kate. Such a great couple. You really can see that they love each other.
When trying to explain to my dad, and all the other clueless males in my life, about the excitement and hype of the royal wedding, I found it was best explained like this: It is a Disney fairy tale that has come to life. An ordinary, but beautiful girl meets a handsome young prince. The two fall in love, however he does not want to pressure her into marrying into the chaos of royalty. She is too madly in love to be with anyone else and eventually accepts the prince’s hand in marriage. This “ordinary girl” weds to her love with nearly 1/3 of the world’s population watching. After stepping out onto the balcony and sealing the marriage with a kiss, or two, the ordinary Miss Catherine Elizabeth Middleton became Her Royal Highness Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Um, hello? What girl doesn’t dream of that? It’s like Disney, all grown up! And while the Royal schedule of events may have included arriving at Westminster Abbey, schmoozing with royalty from all over the world, and getting the entire Buckingham Palace cleared out, I did find a way to celebrate. Here is MY schedule of events on this royal day:

5:45am: alarm goes off
5:45-5:55am: lay in bed and wonder what I was thinking
6:00-7:30am: watch the wedding live on TV and wish I were there.
7:30-11:00am: go back to bed
11:00am-1:00pm: various morning routine activities
1:00pm-6:00pm: wear a plastic tiara everywhere I go, including the bookstore.
6:00pm-10:00pm: various college-like activities (IHOP, concert, ice cream, photoshop my face into a picture of the royal couple)
10:00pm-11:00pm: Watch the history of the royals on NatGeo
11:00pm-2:00am: Watch the story of Princess Diana
2:00am-3:00-am: rewatch the actual wedding. Again. In my crown.

So I’d say I celebrated in style. What did you do to celebrate history in the making?

Me and William...a girl can dream, right?

Friday, April 29, 2011

22 Days Left...

I have learned more in the past four years than I could have ever imagined. And yes, some years were better than others, but I can honestly say that each year and each set of experiences has really shaped me into the person that I am today. I have learned that I am better at change than I thought I was. I have also learned that I can be independent if I want to be, and that independence is actually very rewarding. I’ve learned that I am an extremely compassionate person and tend to take on the cares of the world, hence the Human Services major. Freshman year taught me that I can adapt. I can make friends and have fun and try new things. Sophomore year taught me that life throws you curve balls and bad things can all pile up at once and people are not a constant in your life, but God is. Junior year taught me independence. It taught me that I could be okay without a whole pack of friends surrounding me. It taught me that I am much stronger and resilient than I ever imagined. Senior year has taught me that it is okay to feel. It is okay to be excited and sad and frustrated and overwhelmed and nervous all at the same time. There is no right way to feel in any given situation. Senior year has taught me that time does not slow down, even if you want it to. You have to learn to roll with the punches or you will get left behind. But really, it doesn’t matter if you get a little behind. As long as you are still moving forward, that’s really all that matters. I have made friends that will last a lifetime and acquaintances who I have been glad to know. I’ve experienced late nights- some were spent climbing the roof of the business center or watching a meteor shower in the bed of a truck, some were spent having deep heart to heart conversations and crying, some were spent in the hospital, and some were spent laughing in the library. I have taken 24 hour road trips to both the mountains and the beach. I have filled trucks with popcorn, windows with peeps, and windshields with post-it notes. I have had an apartment fire and an apartment flood. I have been a Biology major, an Education major, and a Spanish minor, all before deciding on Human Services and Psychology. I have loved and disliked college. But with that being said, I will leave Elon in 22 days with a few regrets and a ton of precious memories.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just Run

Have you ever been told you can’t do something, and then wanted to do it more? That has been happening with me lately. For the past week I have had a strong desire to go for a run…which would end up being a short jog. I know that with a heart condition and an autonomic nervous system disorder it is definitely not a good idea, but I still can’t shake the desire. I want to lace up my New Balances and just run, without thinking, without feeling like I’m going to die, just run. Unfortunately that is not going to happen anytime soon. So for now I will sit and think about running. Maybe I’ll even imagine myself running a 5k while I’m leisurely strolling through campus, working up a sweat and causing my heart rate to skyrocket!

Lame post, I know. But I had to vent. And I will update again soon. Graduation is in 23 days! YAHOO!
So now I will leave you with a horrible picture of me. This was freshman year of highschool, aka 2003, at one of my cross-country meets!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Being a girl is hard. If you have ever overheard a typical teenage girl conversation, it probably sounded a little like this: (watch here). Unfortunately the nitpicking and self consciousness doesn’t magically disappear with age. As a woman, why is it so easy to see the beauty in other women and so hard to see the beauty in ourselves. I really do believe that a large part of being beautiful includes being self confident. So why is this so difficult? Why do we focus on the ‘my fingers are too fat, my eyes are too small, my butt is too big, my thighs are too fat, my bellybutton is too high’ kind of thoughts? How exhausting. For me personally, it is the easiest thing in the world to encourage other girls and speak of true inner beauty. And some days I find myself believing it. And then there are days like today. The days where you try at least 15 different outfits and find yourself sitting on your closet floor in a pile of clothes and frustration. When you feel like you can’t stand to look at your reflection in the mirror for one more second, and yet you keep looking for flaws. When you find yourself comparing yourself to everyone else. These are some of the hardest days, and the days that I really wish I could just crawl into bed, snuggle into my cocoon and magically wake up and emerge as a beautiful butterfly. Unfortunately, this is not a realistic option. So on those days when you are feeling the need to find every possible flaw on your body, know that you are not alone. Also know that you are beautiful. We all are beautiful in our own unique ways. But I guarantee you, there is something beautiful about everyone. So go youtube “Skin Deep” by Zoegirl and really listen to the words, or think of 3 things you like about yourself, and remember that you are more than the numbers on a scale, the tags on the clothes you wear, or the size of your pants.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Growing older, growing up? Could it be??

Wow. Things certainly do happen fast. At this time yesterday I still had absolutely no idea what I was going to do after graduation. Yet in a matter of 12 hours, things seemed to literally just fall into place. My friend Lindsey got into grad school at UNC Charlotte and a few hours later I found out that I met the requirements for the nursing program in Charlotte. So, after talking with the head of the nursing department and with my parents it looks like I will be moving to Charlotte in August! How crazy is that?! With graduation being exactly one month from today, things are actually starting to feel real. It is weird to think that I might be moving away from Wilmington for an indefinite amount of time. I have lived 21 years of my life here. My family is here. My friends are here. I know this city like the back of my hand and I love it with all my heart. And yet I have to move on, which is not to say I won’t be back. It is just strange to be growing up and moving on, which includes moving out. So many things are running through my head. Charlotte is 5 hours away from Wilmington. Will I ever go home on the weekends? Will I go home for holidays? Will I still consider my parents house my home?
For now I am just gonna stick with the basic questions like when can I register for classes or which apartment are Linds and I gonna live in. So here it is folks, growin' older, maybe even growin' up?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hypocritical advice?

Life comes with many unanswered questions, so today I ask you this- WHY is it so easy to give advice to others and not take it for yourself?? Why Why Why?? This may be the counseling major in me, but I find it so incredibly easy to help others and give them advice, and yet when it comes to myself, I rarely, if ever, take the advice that I give others, even when it could totally benefit me too. Hypocritical? I guess that’s what you could call it. I do it with the best intentions though. So who the heck knows…just some food for thought.

Life Always Knows the Right Moments...

“There are certain people who aren’t meant to fit into your life no matter how much you want them to.”

I found this quote randomly a few weeks ago and it has really stuck with me. When I first read it, I sort of felt like I was being punched in the stomach. Wake up call? Definately. As you could tell in one of my last posts about memories, I enjoy holding on to the past. If I meet someone once, I try to keep in touch. If something good happened to me 5 years ago, I continue to think about it. It’s a blessing and a curse, really. But I have always found the concept of letting go very hard, whether it be an object, a memory, or a person (in fact my fear of abandonment could be a whoooole different post, but I will spare you the details). However, more and more I am coming to realize that I cannot and will not stay in touch with everyone I have ever met. It is not possible nor healthy. There are people who come into our lives, serve their purpose for a time, and go. I have a hard time with that last part-the going part. I think that I am finally starting to realize that it is okay to let people go, especially if they have already let you go. It does not mean that the memories you share from the past are going away. It means that this person has come into your life for a reason, and cannot remain in your life for a reason as well. In my life there are some cases where I have to be okay with letting go of some people because I am holding on to a relationship that I have valued far more than they have. And in some cases, it is mentally unhealthy to keep hoping that this person will attempt to fit in your life, when they have showed you no signs of trying.

Anyways, I know this all sounds like rambling and beating around the bush, but if you get nothing else out of this post, just know that it is okay to let go of something that isn’t there anymore. Just because it isn’t good now, doesn’t mean it wasn’t good then.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Monkey Monkey Underpants

Have you every had so many thoughts going through your head at the same time that you actually feel like your head might explode? Cause I have. Don’t they make some kind of medication for that? It is NOT fun. Currently my brain is going a little like this:

Group project meeting. Is Desperate Housewives new tonight? I’m starving. I need to go grocery shopping. I have a psych test tomorrow. I need to study. I have a sign language test tomorrow. I need to study. I’m going to fail my ASL final. I wonder if I can sign Brown Bear, Brown Bear for my final? I’m hungry. I need to print my senior seminar paper. I need to make my senior sem powerpoint. I present on Tuesday. What should I wear? How will I make it 45 minutes long? Dang it, I still haven’t finished reading the novel for my marriage counseling class. That book is awful. I wonder when that paper is due? Ah, I have a presentation in that class on Thursday. Is it almost Easter break? Oh man! I almost forgot about my psych research paper due Wednesday. I need to call CPCC. What is the number? When will I have time? I need to remember to RSVP to Paige’s wedding. Oh, I should call Brenna. She just got engaged. How exciting! Oh, a new One Tree Hill on Tuesday. I should text Caitlin. I need to call Amy. Where am I staying this summer? What will my schedule look like? Who will I be living with? That’s so soon after graduation. Oh my gosh. I graduate in 34 days. I’m so excited. I’m so scared. I’m so nervous. I’m so sad. I’m so happy. What am I doing after graduation? How am I going to move all this furniture out? Where am I going to put it? I only have 1 more weekend that I will be at Elon before we graduate. I need to buy a new sweatshirt from the campus shop. I wonder how expensive that is? Should I work on homework or should I nap? If I work on homework I will be so sleepy, but productive. If I nap, I will wake up refreshed and then I can be productive. I think I will nap. It’s hot in here.

Here is a funny, great, and very accurate example of how my mind works:

So, that’s pretty much the jumbled web of thoughts going through my head lately. It is very exhausting to think ALL the time. Where the heck is the temporary off button?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Memory Keeper

I would not call myself a hoarder, necessarily. I am a memory keeper. I remember everything and most of the time I like it that way. This leads me to be an extremely sentimental person*. When I was little, my dad showed me his memory box and gave me the idea to start my own. My little box has now grown into a trunk and is filling up quickly. So, I decided to share just a glimpse of the things that I save!

Here is my trunk, where I keep all my memories ;)

Top Row: Music box from a Carnegie Hall ballerina, movie stubs
Bottom Row: Red hair ties (which I have been wearing as bracelets every second of every day since I was 15. long story), a picture of my Poppy, and an ice skating bracelet me and my best friends had when we were younger.

Top Row: my super sweet autograph book from Disney, newspaper clipping from my first time in the newspaper, one of my Lambchop slippers (which I basically lived in)
Bottom Row: My tooth pillow where I put my tooth for the fairy to come get, my Raja figurine, and my spy notebook that I brought literally everywhere with me

Top Row: My first pointe shoes, my first platinum ribbon from a dance competition, a tag from a Christmas present that says "To: my sister. From: Iza", and the first e-mail I got from Iza
Bottom Row: My Cheer-Off plaque from my cheer days

Top Row: my freshman and senior highschool ID's, my voting sticker from my first time voting, my highschool orientation map, my letter, pin, and bib from cross-country
Bottom Row: my highschool parking pass, junior prom ticket, my highschool graduation program, the ribbon that came on the box of my first cellphone

Various letters from my parents. Note that they never address me by anything other than a nickname. These nicknames include, but are not limited to: Trout, Ms. Trout, Brooke Trout Toffolon, Chicken, Chicken Little, and Rockstar

Various letters from...
Top Row: Dad, Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma
Bottom Row: Grandma, Mom
If you are super interested in why these particular letters mean so much to me, you can probably read them if you enlarge the picture

Top Row: scavenger hunt note from Linds, door dec from freshman year, tattoo card from my first (and currently only) tattoo, Duke ID badge
Bottom Row: Lilly's birth certificate, a rude post-it note from Amanda, my first over 21 bracelet, a newspaper clipping from the Carolina gas leak, my car pass from SBP'08, my WalMart badge from SBP'08, my cap and gown receipt, and my string bracelet from our HUS senior internship class

and last but certainly not least:
the first is a letter from my mom. The parents had to write letters to their kids at freshman orientation. The catch was that we weren't allowed to read these letters until now, as seniors.
the second is a note from family friends. It talks about having fun and embarking on the college journey. It honestly seems like just yesterday that I got this note and now college is almost over and I am ready to embark on a complete different journey.

So, sorry that was slightly lengthy, but I felt like it would be fun to share those few things with you guys. Do you have a memory box? What kinds of things do you save?

*being such a sentimental person is not always a good thing. I have to try really hard to not live in the past or miss things too much.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Cinnamon Challenge

There are no words for this video: Click Here to see the amazingness that is my crazy family.

The Bruise Fairy Strikes Again...

I’m gonna go ahead and cut straight to the point on this one. I believe that there is a fairy living in my room. And not just any regular Tinkerbell…this is a magical bruise fairy. I swear I find a new bruise somewhere on my body everyday. Luckily, they are rarely painful. Unluckily, I have no flippin idea how they got there. There are times when I find myself saying out loud “WTF. Where did this bruise come from? I don’t remember running into anything!?” And it never fails that some sorority girl or fratty guy then says “ohhhh. You must have had a pretty wild night.” Why yes, yes I did have a wild night. After I did my 700 pounds of homework, I watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians (guilty pleasure) and then went to bed. However, instead of exposing my awesomely lame/comfortable lifestyle, I nod my head and pretend to laugh. But seriously. Where are these bruises coming from? I think that in the middle of the night while I am in a deep sleep, the bruise fairy comes in, finds the perfect location on my upper arm, lower back, or somewhere else where it would be hard to get a bruise, and points her magic wand, sending black, blue, and purple flying at my poor skin.
Okay, so maybe that’s a little far fetched and dramatic, but in my head it sounded like a good explanation for a hot second. Really though, does this happen to anyone else? Let me know!
This is how I imagine the bruise fairy, so I thought I would share this rather accurate visual with you all.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

no one tells the president what to do...

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be president of the USA? I know very little about politics, and what I do know I do not want to get into in this blog. But I still wanted to make a list of things I would do if I were president.
*disclaimer: I am completely aware that half of these things are not feasible.

1. All animal shelters would be no kill
2. Watching Jersey Shore, having Jersey Shore parties, or being on Jersey Shore would be a crime punishable by law.
3. The work week would go from Monday to Thursday
4. There would be a kid’s day…much like mother’s day and father’s day. After all, who do you think turned these people into mothers and fathers?!
5. The White House would be fully decorated by Anthropologie. As would my wardrobe.
6. Lady Gaga would be forced to explain to me her thought process behind all of her music videos.
7. School lunches would be healthy and yummy
8. All public schools, regardless of their location, would have up to date buildings and text books.
9. Gavin Degraw would sing me to sleep every night. Creepy? Maybe.
10. Sophia Bush and I would have dinner every Wednesday while discussing world events.
11. There would be more hospitals. That way people could have more jobs and there’d be less of a wait in the emergency room.
12. The eagle would not be a national symbol. A lemur would be.
13. There would be a whole channel on TV dedicated to Clarissa Explains It All, Hey Arnold, and Rocket Power.
14. There would be nap time in high school
15. The American Flag would be pink, white, and green instead of red, white, and blue.
16. Snakes would not be allowed as pets. Ew.
17. There would be no more circuses. Because clowns are scary and elephants are not meant to be in tents.
18. There would be another holiday between St. Patrick’s Day and Memorial Day (which is not even a real holiday anyways) because there is nothing fun in those months!
19. Tom Cruise would not be allowed to speak ever again.
20. We would have a president (me, duh). And a Queen (Lindsey Dirkse).

So folks, vote for me! Brooke Toffolon for POTUS 2012!
What would you do if you were el presidente? Seriously, I wanna hear! Who knows, if I like your ideas I might just make you Vice Presidente!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Simple Wants

Enough said.

let me tell ya 'bout my best friend...

Best Friend (noun): someone (singular) with whom one shares the strongest possible kind of friendship(s).

Well, I agree and I disagree. Really, who is to say we can only have one best friend? What is this elementary rule that we can only pick one person to share our secrets with? I believe that a person can have more than one best friend. However, I believe there is a fuzzy line somewhere between a best friend and a good friend. I think of a best friend as a person you can call at any time of the day or night for any reason at all. I think of a best friend as being the first person you want to call with exciting news or a crisis. I think of a best friend as someone you can imagine being friends with when you are both old and grey in the nursing home. (My best friend and I have plans to take our HoverRounds to the Grand Canyon when we are old).

When it comes to best friends, I consider myself the luckiest girl in the entire world. I have friends that love me for me and who are loyal, dependable, funny, and smart. I love the at ease feeling I get when I am with my best friends. I feel comfortable and at home in my own skin. Best friends can either go out and have adventures together, or sit on the couch and watch TV; either way, I can guarantee you there will be plenty of laughter. For example, this morning me and my best friend sat on the couch together, eating Lucky Charms and ice cream, watching Spongebob, and making fart noises with our mouths. Yes, we are 21 and seniors in college. No, I wouldn’t have rather spent my Sunday morning any other way. I have talked with some of my friends about best friends and we have decided that we feel really bad for people who have lots of friends or acquaintances but no true best friend. I don’t know what I would do without mine!
So, I don’t know how many best friends I would say I have. Maybe 6? Maybe 2? Who knows, and really who cares. The label of ‘best friend’ is just that, a label. All that I know is that I have the BEST friends in the world, and for that I am truly blessed.

“You know as well as I do- it’s not about what you look like, or your job, or how successful you are. It’s about having people in your life that you love and who love you- that’s all that matters.”