Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not yet a local...

Welp, tonight I cried, for the first time in a long time. (Dad, I know you read this blog. I’m fine, I promise!) I had just left the movie theater, which is about 10 minutes from my apartment, and somehow I got lost. This was only the beginning. After looking more closely at my GPS, I finally pulled into my apartment complex, when said GPS, Delores, had the audacity to say just the wrong thing at just the wrong time. As I arrive at my apartment, Delores says “Arriving at destination. Home on right”. Technically, this would be correct since I did plug in my new apartment address as the home address to make it easier for me to get from place to place. But how could this be home? I can’t even find my way to and from the movie theater without getting lost. How can I be “home” in a place that still feels so foreign? In all honesty, being here is hard. Other than not knowing where I am the majority of the time, as of right now I only have classes on Wednesdays and Thursday, which leaves 5 days of the week to sit and do nothing. I would get a job, but I start my full time clinical hours in October, so I can’t really get a job for only a month. I also don’t really have my own friends here. My roommate is from the Charlotte area and is pretty close to home, and she has been great in letting me go home with her and hang out with her friends, but it’s still hard not having friends of my own. The few friends I do have in Charlotte live on the complete other side of town, which is proving to be slightly difficult with how much gas I am using to travel to and from school (and getting lost all over town). So, with all the being said, I finally cried. After Delores told me I was home, I sat in my car and cried for a few minutes, allowing myself to get it all out before wiping my tears and going inside. Now don’t get me wrong--I’m thankful for the experience, and I really do know that soon I will get to know my way and feel more at home. So for now I will just dry the tears, suck it up, and adjust.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Adjusting to the Move

8 days later and I think it finally hit me that I moved to a new city. Today was the first day that I was painfully aware all day that I live in a new city, where I know very few people and don’t really know how to get anywhere. I know that after a while I will begin to feel at home here and make friends. But for now, how nice it would be to be able to drive downtown and walk by the river, or call up my best friend and have her come over just to sit and do nothing?

Today kind of reminded me of a quote that hangs proudly on display at the fictional "Karen's Cafe" in Wilmington, NC. I love this quote because it rings so true and reminds me of home and the set where I worked!

My Week in Collage: August 22nd-28th, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Beginning of Classes and Hurricane Irene

Hello, hello, hello! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week! This week has been crazy and busy and unusual. First of all, I moved into my new apartment in Charlotte on Saturday. So far I love it, and I can’t wait to finish decorating and putting the finishing touches on it! Then on Wednesday I started my nursing classes. Why is it that even after 6 years of elementary school, 3 years of middle school, 4 years of high school and 4 years of college, the first day of school is still scary? Of course Tuesday night was filled with the typical pre-first day panic questions like: What should I wear? Will it be cold in my classroom? Will the teacher be nice? Will my classmates like me? Will I make friends? What should I pack for lunch? How long will it take me to get there? What if my alarm doesn’t go off on time? So after I finally turned off my brain, I got about 5 hours of sleep before waking up for my first day at 5am. You see, classstarts at 7 and I live about 35 minutes away (and I have a huge fear of being late), so my day starts at 5am! Then I had class until 3:30, got home at 4, and worked on homework until 1:30am. Which allowed me a total of 4 hours of sleep on Wednesday night. Needless to say, I was tired exhausted during class today. I have a feeling I’m going to be pretty MIA on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so I will have to make good use of my time on the other days! But overall, so far so good!
In other news, mother nature is insane. On Tuesday of this past week there was in earthquake in Virginia that could be felt all the way down here in NC. And if that wasn’t enough, my little Wilmington is now preparing for hurricane Irene! I know I should be glad that I’m safe and not there, but I can’t help but wish that I had school cancelled, or had to stock up on hurricane items, or was sitting in my house without power and with boarded up windows. There is just something about a hurricane that reminds me of childhood! I guess that’s what you get when you grow up on the coast!
I hope everyone stays safe in all this crazy weather! I’ll be back tomorrow for another Follow Friday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Follow Friday: The Sparkle Effect

Happy Friday, yall! This week has been crazy and busy with packing and preparing to move tomorrow, and since I will be without internet access for a few days, I decided to do my Follow Friday on Thursday!

This weeks Follow Friday is “The Sparkle Effect”. Back in 2008, two high school students from Iowa decided to use their popularity and status as cheerleaders for good. The girls formed their own squad that included children with disabilities. The team would come to be known as the “Spartan Sparkles” and includes 12 girls with disabilities, such as autism and Down Syndrome. The amazing thing is that the Sparkles team is completely youth-led! The team cheers with the varsity cheerleaders during games and get to be a part of a high school sports program. After a few years, other cheerleaders in other parts of the country began to take notice and decided to start a Sparkles team at their own school. As of now, the Sparkle Effect has generated 33 squads all over the country, and even in South Africa! How absolutely amazing is that? Two young girls had a vision and they did something about it.

This cause really hits close to home with me. In high school for my senior project we each had to choose a topic, write a research paper, and produce a physical product. My topic was Down Syndrome (which was chosen because of my experiences with my aunt with Down Syndrome) and inclusion in schools and I chose to put together an inclusion carnival for my physical product. I rented out space at our local YMCA and planned a night of snacks, games, and prizes, and invited children with and without disabilities. The object was to get both children with and without special needs to have a night of fun where they could interact and hang out with one another. We all ended up having a great time and it was so cool to be a part of the inclusion process.

So how can YOU help the Sparkle Effect? Here are some ways:
-Start a team at your school! (Or encourage someone you know to start a team)!
-Visit the official Sparkle Effect website!
-!/SparkleEffect on Twitter!
-Move towards inclusion. Understand that we are all humans, with desires, wants, and needs. Be kind.
-Spread the word to end the word. The R word.
-Check out my post “Label Jars Not People”.


Have a great weekend! And get out there and DO SOMETHING :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Currently I would like to be doing this...
But instead, I am doing this...


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Love Letter to Wilmington

“Every ending is a new beginning waiting to happen”.

In a little over 48 hours I will be moving. This transition in my life is much different than the transition from high school to college (and I’d have to say that that one was much more difficult). This transition is just strange. Yes, I moved away from home 4 years ago to live at Elon, but this time feels different. When I moved into college, I knew I would be home on weekends and for every break. This time feels more like I’m moving on and moving out. Of course I will still come back to Wilmington, the place I have lovingly called home for all 22 years of my life. But when I come back will my bedroom still be here? Will my parents still be living in the same house? Will my friends be here? I feel like I will be coming for visits rather than coming home, and that is so strange to me. So, as a little send off, I decided to write my love letter to Wilmington, as my way of saying ’tah tah for now!’
Dear Wilmington,
22 years ago I was born at the NHRMC Hospital. 22 years later, I drive past that same hospital quite frequently. I’m thankful for the Wilmington winters; the mildly cold temperatures, slight chances of snow, almost definite school cancellations and delays, the world’s largest “Christmas tree”, and Santa-led horse and carriage rides. I’m thankful for the Wilmington springs; the flowers blooming everywhere, the chance to walk along Wrightsville or Carolina beach, and the Azalea Festival and all the traditions and beauty that come along with it. I’m thankful for the Wilmington summers; the numerous delicious ice cream shops, the beauty of the beach and the history of downtown and the riverfront, cruises in the Henrietta, the most amazing 4th of July fireworks (which are best seen from the rooftop of the Murchenson’s building), the Sounds of Summer concerts, the hurricanes (accompanied by a fabulous hurricane party), and the many opportunities to spot local filming. And I’m thankful for Wilmington autumns; the relief from the heat, the Poplar Grove fall festival, the fall coffee specials at Port City Java, the Pendergrass Farms pumpkin patch, and the smell of the caramel apples and cider lingering around Kilwins. You are the perfect town, not too big and not too small. And as much as I love you I will not miss your traffic, the constant smell of sewer on Greenville Loop Road, the ridiculous and often pointless road construction, the smothering heat and humidity, and the crappy mall. I may be moving and leaving you now, and I may not come back to live here for a while. But no matter how far I go or what I end up doing, you will always be my home- the place where I have had my absolute best and absolute worst memories. The place where I met most of my best friends and the setting for my amazing childhood. So, this is not goodbye, sweet Wilms, but rather “tah tah for now”.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School, Back to School

I saw this the other day and couldn't not repost.
Special request to all you kids returning to school in the next few days: If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because he/she doesn't have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most "in" clothes -- PLEASE step up. Say hi or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone's life!
Happy back to school time, yall!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lessons of the Week

This past week has been crazy. I have had friends in town, packed, unpacked, road tripped to Maryland, and performed bridesmaids duties! Here are a few things I learned this week:
1. ‘When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long’ is a fitting quote in almost any situation.
2. Mapquest and the GPS have very different routes. Trust the GPS always.
3. You'll never know if you don't ask.
4. It’s almost never okay to wear a shirt that matches the exact color of your pants.
5. Playgrounds are fun at any age.
6. Emotions catch up to you at the strangest of times.
7. I can’t deal with fake nails. At all.
8. Sea turtles are precious. But maybe not the smartest.
9. Do not leave things til the last minute. It just causes stress.
10. My tilt table test was pretty accurate and I probably shouldn’t stand for more than 4 minutes at a time.
     10a. Bridesmaids actually do pass out at weddings. It’s not just something you see on TV. Oops.
11. Always eat and never lock your knees.
12. Roadtrips are designed to make people fat. All you do is snack.
13. I have a bladder the size of a pea.
14. Moving is exciting and stressful.
15. There are few things better than seeing your hometowns skyline after a long car trip.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Year Without Bailey...

On August 10th, 2010 my family lost one of its best members. Our Bailey passed away. He has cancer and had been declining for a while, and after a few set backs, my family decided it would be most humane to let him go. We have some family friends who are vets and they agreed to come over and put him down at our house- we figured it would be less scary and more comfortable that way.
It was horrible. Saying goodbye and knowing that I wouldn't play with him in the yard, rub his belly, cuddle with him on the couch, or hear him grumbling in his sleep- that was hard. Sitting with him on the carpet in the living room and watching the vet put him down was hard. Seeing both of my parents cry hysterically when they loaded his lifeless body into the car was hard. The house never felt so quiet and empty.
I miss my Bay, and I think about him almost every day. But I'm glad he's no longer here and hurting. Sometimes you have to learn to let go, I guess!
“If it should be that I grow weak, and the pain should keep my from my sleep; then you must do what must be done, for this last battle can’t be won. You will be sad, I understand. But don’t let grief then stay your hand. For this day more than all the rest, your love for me must stand the test. We’ve had so many happy years, what is to come can hold no fears. You don’t want me to suffer so the tim...e has come, please let me go. Take me where my needs they’ll tend, but please stay with me ‘til the end, to hold me close and speak to me until my eyes no longer see. I know in time you will agree, it was a kindness done for me. Although my tail its last has waved, from pain and suffering I am saved. Please do not grieve that it was you who had this painful thing to do. We’ve been so close, we two, through the years; don’t let your heart hold any tears."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Follow Friday: Team True Beauty

Okay fellow East Coasters, I know it’s technically Saturday, but I haven’t gotten around to my Follow Friday until now! So for my West Coasters, Happy Follow Friday. And for my East Coasters, Happy Follow Saturday!

There are so many amazing organizations that I feel really passionate about, so it’s really never hard to pick one for my Follow Friday. But this weeks is special. This weeks Follow Friday goes to Team True Beauty. So here’s a little background and a little bit about Team True Beauty.
Back at the beginning of 2011, there was a man on Twitter who was promoting so called ‘managed anorexia’ and basically telling people that thin was the only way to be. I saw this and was personally shocked and saddened by this. I immediately knew something had to be done. Luckily so did some other young ladies. Five AMAZING ladies, Megan, Kristen, Brittany, Morgan, and Meriam, all started a campaign on Twitter called Team True Beauty. The girls created the campaign to spread the word that beauty is more than just what is on the outside, and that true beauty comes from the heart! The girls are also trying to raise awareness about the dangers of eating disorders.
Almost exactly 7 months later, Team True Beauty has close to 6,000 Twitter followers, over 400 ‘likes’ on Facebook and have done an absolutely tremendous job of spreading awareness and providing support. The cause is so amazing and so uplifting it has caught the attention of celebrities such as Jena Sims, Amanda Schull, Dallas Lovato, Eliza Dushku, Josie Loren, Sarah Paxton, and many many more. Two huge celebrity supporters of this movement have been Daphne Zuniga and Shantel VanSanten. These 2 ladies have been kind enough to share their own personal stories and experiences, and they are SO powerful.

You can read more of these ladies stories, plus find out more information by:
-visiting the official Team True Beauty website
-following them on Twitter, @TeamTrueBeauty
-‘liking’ them on Facebook.
-Joining them on Crowdrise (if you haven’t heard of Crowdrise, you should really check it out)
-checking out Ms. Daphne Zuniga's personal website
-JOINING in the conversation!

These girls are amazing and friendly and the message that they are trying to send is so so so important. Eating disorders and over all poor body image are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. What are we teaching the younger generation? We have the power to make a difference. These 5 girls certainly did. Now how can you help make the change?

Friday, August 5, 2011

A True Inspiration: Ben Comen

In life we will face many challenges. It’s how we handle those challenges that really shows our true character. Before tonight, I had never heard of Ben Comen; yet after watching this video, I don’t think I will ever forget him.

Ben was dealt what some might consider a difficult card in life. However, Ben refused to be defined by his circumstances. He refused to be confined by his limitations. Ben pushed through, and when things got touch, he pushed harder. You see, all Ben wanted was to be a part of a team- to feel loved, appreciated, and to belong. And his perseverance, attitude, and, no doubt, personality, made it easy for others to respect and appreciate Ben. There are so many things I could say I’ve learned from this young man, but I think the most important is that your circumstances do not have to define you. You can be who you want to be, with effort, strength, courage, and perseverance. So what’s stopping you? What’s stopping me?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Cold

A cold. In the summer. Cold. Summer. Contradictory, ironic, and not even a little bit fun. I have literally sneezed so many times that my legs are shaky. My nose is runny, my throat is scratchy, my eyes are puffy, I can’t stay asleep, and I‘m pretty sure my nose is beginning to look like Rudolph from all these tissues. Isn’t it funny how you never appreciate easy breathing until it’s not an option?