Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

At the end of this week comes a very important day! It’s my wonderful father’s 50th birthday. I’m sure he’s mortified reading that I just posted his age on the internet, but in my opinion he just gets cooler with age, so what’s the big deal? So in honor of his birthday I’ve decided to post 50 reasons (in no particular order) why I love my dad   

1. He keeps up on all the celeb gossip and e-mails me when he think’s there’s something I might be interested in.
2. He used to bring me home boiled peanuts, even though he hates them.
3. He used to watch ER with me.
4. He balls up his hands and says “curses” when something goes wrong.
5. He went to every single dance competition, recital, cross country and track meet, and cheerleading competition for years and years and never complained.
6. He plays Monopoly with me on the back porch in the summers.
7. He brings me a pen back from every trip he goes on.
8. He tried to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon when I asked him to. Big mistake.
9. He likes cemeteries, like me.
10. When I say Hilshire, he says Farms. HILSHIRE! FARMS! GO MEAT!
11. He pretends not to like the stuff I watch on TV, but sometimes he gets sucked in.
12. He quotes the Funny Talking Animals video with me.
13. He agrees that my mom makes burritos that are too hot to eat.
14. We celebrate Sabado Gigante together.
15. He plays video games with me.
16. He calls me when songs from Guitar Hero come on the radio.
17. He tolerated my Spice Girls phase. He actually like it.
18. He sends me packages at school addressed to Brooke Trout.
19. He sometimes gets yelled at by my mom for something I did.
20. He pretends to be annoyed when my friends come take over, but he takes us places and takes pictures for us anyways.
21. He loves to go to the bookstore. And bring me with him.
22. He hides “poopy flowers” around my room in the spring. And then we begin a war.
23. He came for daddy/daughter weekends at Elon.
24. I am the only person he knows that is blood related. Which is special!
25. He always wins me little toys in the crane machines in arcades.
26. He taught me how to drive.
27. He scoops the guts out of my pumpkin cause he knows how much I hate it.
28. He still hides Easter eggs in the backyard every year.
29. He likes playing Sardines with us in the mountains.
30. Whenever he fixes my car, he always cleans up the trash too.
31. He still shakes every Christmas present to try to guess what it is.
32. He puts up with a lot of girl talk, living in a house with all girls.
33. Rope-a-dope, rope-a-dope.
34. He takes me and my friends out on the boat and drives while we tube.
35. He is often the voice of reason when I’m nervous.
36. He still sticks pennies to his forehead every time we play BINGO.
37. He drove around Greenfield Lake with me in 10th grade when I was pretty much homebound.
38. He played beer pong with me on my 21st birthday.
39. He saves all of my drawings and cards, even from preschool
40. He always eats Kilwins and sits on the courthouse steps with me.
41. He reads my blog.
42. We used to have a system worked out when I was little. He would give me a piggyback if I would cover and warm his ears.
43. “Goodnight my handsome prince.” “Sleep well, princess”
44. He still does the ‘cow’, ‘Christmas tree’, and ‘horse’ symbols when we go to the mountains.
45. He watches every episode of One Tree Hill that I’m on, even if you can barely see me.
46. He can reach tall things, change light bulbs, and carry heavy things.
47. He does the best Kermit the Frog impression of anyone I’ve ever met.
48. He sleeps curled up and rubs his feet together before he falls asleep. Just like me!
49. He runs really fast and wins “major awards”
50. He’s MY daddy and he loves me

This clip from ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ always reminds me of me and my dad. My dad’s not very loud and he’s not always up in all of the excitement. But he’s there for the quiet moments, when I need him. And that’s what’s important to me.

So happy birthday, Dad! I love you and I’m glad you were born!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Hunger Games

Sorry if I haven't been blogging lately, I've been stuck in Panem, vicariously living through Katniss Everdeen. Seriously, I started and finished the first book in one day. I know people say "I couldn't put it down", but for real, I couldn't put it down. If you haven't read the Hunger Games series, you are seriously missing out.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Things that I am too old for...

When you are younger, you dream of growing up. Driving, going out without parents, making your own decisions, eating whatever you want, whenever you want. Well, reality check…growing up is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Don’t get me wrong, there are definite freedoms and advantages that come along with growing up. But there are also a greater number of responsibilities. Plus, apparently after the age of 21 you are too old to do any of the really fun stuff (except rent a car, which is super annoying). So, I’ve compiled a list of things that, at the age of 22, I am now too old to do.

1. Be adopted by Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi. Because apparently when you turn 18, you are legally an “adult”. So I guess my dreams of sitting around the dinner table telling Ellen and Portia about my day at school is probably never gonna come true.

2. Be a Disney Channel star. Okay, this one is debatable. Although I’m 22, I look pretty young, so it’s probably not my age holding me back from being a Disney star. It’s probably more my lack of talent. But I’m gonna go ahead and blame it on my age, for self esteem reasons.

3. Not have a boyfriend. I’m 22 and my biological clock (and mainly society) is telling me that it’s not okay to be single at this point in my life.

4. SCOUTED. I don’t know if you’ve seen the show Scouted on E! but it’s about girls who get discovered in malls and restaurants and then go on to New York for a photo shoot. They get their hair done and beautiful make up and fabulous outfits. All in all it looks pretty awesome. Sounds glamorous right? Well, apparently the age cutoff if 21. Because I guess after that you’re all dried up and wrinkly and old anyways. Now, I’m 5’4’’ and I’m definitely no model, but I like having my options, ok?

5. College. I would sell a vital organ to be in college again. But nooooo, I had to get all old and graduate. Lame.

6. Be excited about driving. Imagine this. You’re 16 and you just got your license. You are begging your friends and parents to let you drive them somewhere. Flash forward to 22. You are begging your friends and parents to drive you places again. Because driving sucks.

7. Ignorance. You know the saying “ignorance is bliss”? I guarantee that someone came up with that after watching the news a few times. Seriously, if you turn on the news all you hear about it murders, kidnappings, crazy gas prices, global warming, natural disasters, or our seemingly failing government. But because I’m 22, I can’t really just pretend these things aren’t happening. I have a responsibility to be a participating member of society, and I can’t participate well if I don’t know the facts. How nice would it be to be a kid again and not have to worry about all this junk!

So there you have it, folks. Maybe for my next blog, I'll post the good things about growing up. Just to balance it out.

“When you're young, your whole life is about the pursuit of fun. Then, you grow up and learn to be cautious. You could break a bone or a heart. You look before you leap and sometimes you don't leap at all because there's not always someone there to catch you. And in life, there's no safety net. When did it stop being fun and start being scary?” -Sex and the City

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Use Your Words Wisely

“Each word or thought of yours can be like a pearl that you drop into the secret place of another heart, and in some hour of need, the recipient finds the treasure and realized for the first time its value.”

I first heard this quote at the Team True Beauty event during a wonderful speech from Shantel VanSanten. However it didn‘t really stick with me until reading and rereading it a few times while searching for inspiration for my drawing for the TTB January newsletter. It’s amazing how simple these words are, and yet how much power they hold. The words that you say are important and powerful, whether you intend them to be or not. I used to do an activity with my campers. I would have them squeeze a glob of toothpaste onto their finger and then try to put it back in the tube until they became frustrated that the toothpaste wouldn’t go back to where it came from. The point is, once you say something, you can’t unsay it. It cannot be unheard. So your words are very important and they can be used to tear others down or to build them up. It is your responsibility to honor the voice that you have been given and to use it for positive change. Use it to be honest. To be passionate. To be inspiring, kind, and helpful. Use your voice in a way that makes others aware of their own voice. Use it to share your story and to be honest. To make connections and to share in life’s triumphs and struggles. Because using your voice to make a change and inspire others, showing what’s in your heart- that is the definition of beautiful.

Sick Day

Hello friends! I have so many things I've been wanting to write about; unfortunately, my body has a different plan. I'm pretty sure my sinuses are trying to explode through my face. But when I'm better and can form a clear thought, I'll be back and better than ever! Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Team True Beauty event!

My main reason for going to LA this past week (other than for an awesome vacation) was to attend the Team True Beauty 1 year Anniversary event. The event took place at the beautiful Avalon Bardot in Hollywood and included a red carpet, a meet and greet, dinner, and some fantastic concerts. I can’t even begin to describe how fun and inspiring the event was. There were so many people there and it was great to see some old friends and meet some new ones. It was also really cool to see so many people of different shapes, sizes, races, ages, abilities, and genders all coming together to support an amazing cause. Throughout the night I got a chance to talk to some amazing celebrities, including Josie Loren, Cassie Scerbo, India DeBeaufort, Alisa Reyes, Jodie Sweetin, Sara Paxton, Sharon Lawrence, Amber Sweeney, and the lovely Team True Beauty ambassadors Shantel VanSanten and Daphne Zuniga. I also got to hear performances by Everly, Annie Automatic, Andrea Merchant, Savannah Outen, and Jessie Payo. And while all of these things were great and added so much fun to the night, I have to share with you 2 of my favorite moments from the event.

The first came when I got a chance to sit down and speak with Shantel. We met back in Wilmington about a year ago, but I never really got a chance to talk with her until this past summer. Over the summer I got to know Shantel a little better and talk to her personally about her story and the messages that she shares with Team True Beauty. However, I know she meets and talks to a million different people, so I was happily surprised when I got to the event and she knew who I was. Once some of the chaos of the meet and greet calmed down, I got a chance to sit down with Shantel and talk to her a little bit more. As usual, she was so sweet in sharing a little more of her story with me. We talked about how important it is to be confident in yourself so that others can see you as an example to be confident in themselves too. We talked about how it’s okay to have struggles and to ask for help because we all struggle and it’s those challenges that bring us together and make us who we are. We finished off the chat with a great big hug and a few tears and moved along with the night. Having those few minutes to talk one on one with Shantel was really special to me, and I am so thankful to have her to talk to.

The next best moment of the night came when it was time for the ambassadors to give their speeches. Shantel and Daphne both had some amazing things to say! My words can't really do it justice, so I'll let the video speak for itself!

There are so many parts of this speech that really stood out to me, I will be blogging about the entire speech in a different post. But for now, enjoy the video and the pictures!

Me and TTB Ambassador Daphne Zuniga

Me and the always sweet Shantel VanSanten

Me and the gorgeous Josie Loren

Me and my travel buddy/roommate, Lindsey

PS- I am so thankful for Megan, Lindsey, Brandi, Julianna, Lolly, Richard, Dana, Amy, Kristen, Michelle, Nicole, Brittany, Morgan, Megan, and Meriam. You all made the night so fun and I’m so glad to know you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

LA Vacay!

Hello friends! It’s been a while and so much has happened. I did it! I overcame my biggest fear and flew on a plane. I flew across the whole dang country! Other than extreme anxiety and surprise, the feeling that came with this accomplishment was one of the best feelings of my whole life. I know it’s just a plane ride and may sound small to you all, but to me, I climbed one of my biggest mountains, jumped one of my greatest hurdles, and it was totally worth it. I feel like I can do almost anything now. Fear and anxiety don’t have such a strong hold on me, and as far as travels go, the sky is literally the limit.

As far as my trip to LA, it was amazing! I could write a few different posts about it, but I decided to be concise and make 1 great post.

Day 1: Day 1 was really only part of a day, since it was a travel day. We got to the airport really early, got checked in, grabbed some impulse buy snacks, and played Scrabble until our flight boarded. We then flew from Charlotte to Memphis and then to LAX. Flying into LA was really cool. The whole city was so bright! When we got there we waited for our bags, and Anthony came to pick us up. We got back to his apartment, fixed our “beds” (aka the couch and the floor) and went right to sleep.

Day 2: On our first whole day there Anthony told us we could use his car for the day, but he needed to get an oil change first. So we took his car to get an oil change, and walked across the street at a little hole in the wall place for some surprisingly delicious breakfast. We then decided to take full advantage of having a car, and drove down to Santa Monica. This was my first experience really driving around a crazy place like LA, and it was certainly interesting. I think everyone in the city hated me for my driving. What can I say, I like to err on the side of caution. Once we got down to Santa Monica, we walked along the beach and explored the awesome pier, as well as Muscle Beach (which is very appropriately named). Being an East coast girl all my life, it was awesome to see the Pacific. After leaving Santa Monica, we drove around Beverly Hills looking at the big houses and looking for Sprinkles Cupcakes. After a parking garage/personal garage mix up, we found Sprinkles and enjoyed the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever had in my life. Ever. We then hit up the grocery store for a few necessary items and went to dinner at a place called Salsa & Beer in NoHo.

Day 3: Day 3 started off with Anthony dropping us off at the metro station, where we then took the red line to Hollywood & Highland. Once there, we explored the outside of the Kodak Theatre, which has all of the cool cement hand prints and foot prints, as well as some interesting “characters”. After walking around for a few, we impulsively bought tickets to the wax museum. It was awesome once you got past the initial creepiness of being in a room and not knowing who was real and who was fake. After the wax museum, we walked around Hollywood some more and stumbled upon Boyz II Men getting their star on the Walk of Fame. Oh the things you run into in Hollywood! We then took a nice scenic 4 mile walk to the Grove. There were lots of interesting things to see on the way, like Pinks, the Jim Henson studios, and LA ink. The Grove was amazing. Within minutes of being there we saw Lindsay Lohan and ran into a taping of Extra. We watched them film for a while and grabbed a cheap lunch at the Barnes and Noble, before continuing our walk around the Grove. They also had an awesome Farmers Market! Oh and we saw Christina Aguilera out shopping around. Then we began the long 4 mile hike back to the metro. Once back at the apartment we had a few failed attempts at making dinner before we headed down to Ventura and had a few failed attempts at finding a place to eat dinner. We finally found a Panera and a cute little Barnes and Noble to hang out in. We then decided to make the drive back down to downtown Hollywood to a place called Millions of Milkshakes. Even though we drove through the winding Hollywood hills without headlights for a little while and couldn’t find parking anywhere, the scary journey there was made totally worth it by the most amazing milkshakes I’ve ever had in my life. Seriously. (Sidenote: Millions of Milkshakes was just featured on Kourtney and Kim Take New York this past Sunday! What a coincidence, right?!)

Day 4: Anthony gave us his car again for the morning, so we drove to Burbank for the WB Studio Tour. Driving on the 101 was slightly insane. The tour was awesome and we even got to visit some of the FRIENDS sets. After the tour, we stopped in Studio City for lunch and brought the car back to Anthony. Then we took the metro down to Hollywood & Vine for some more walking around. We went in the Kodak Theatre and to the Hollywood Bowl. It was such an amazing place, and kind of looked like a mini Vegas inside! We came back kind of early and went to bed. Jet lag was still an issue.

Day 5: Day 5 was the day of the event. I plan on writing a whole separate blog post about the event, so I’ll just share the basics here. We started off the day with Anthony’s car again, so we headed to the Griffith Park Observatory to see the Hollywood sign. It was a nice park and would have been even nicer if it weren’t so smoggy. But we enjoyed the view and even went in the planetarium for a little while. We then stopped at a Subway, where we saw someone being arrested, and then home to get ready for the event.

Day 6: Day 6 was the lamest of all the days. We woke up, packed up, and headed back to LAX, where we flew from LA to ATL back to Charlotte. (During this time period, Lindsey proceeded to anger all of the people in first class by commenting on how small their area was, while standing next to them. I do believe she used the word quaint and then tried to backpedal by saying it would make for a nice "community" feeling.) The time change was really confusing. We left LA at 2ish and got into ATL around 10, and then into Charlotte around 12. So we pretty much lost a whole day. Oh well!

Anyways, that was my trip. In detail. Phew, feels good to get that off my chest ;)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome To Midnight

Happy NEW YEAR! Adios 2011, and hello 2012! I can’t wait to see what this year brings. For right now, it brings borrowed words of wisdom and a good nights sleep.

So to set the tone of this post, I want you to go ahead and turn your speakers up and click play on the video below and listen as you continue to read along.

The first thing I want to share with you is a post from Jamie Tworkowski from To Write Love On Her Arms. This is what Jamie had to say:

"Five .Four. Three. Two. One. The ball drops and fireworks. Resolutions are made. People scream and people kiss and is it possible to change? Is it really truly possible to leave the past behind? Welcome to Midnight. Another year comes to a close. Another year begins. With a moment in between. Why the fuss? Why the fame and fireworks? Is it more than hype? More than something else to sell us? Is there something to this holiday? Something true inside it? Because isn't there something inside us that aches for change...Dreams it to be possible…To let go. To hold on. To leave it behind. To start again .To be new. Is it possible? If you're reading this, if there's air in your lungs, then you're alive today tonight right now. And who can know how long we have here...And is it a gift? Was it ever a gift? Did that ever feel true or could that one day feel true? Are there things to fight to live for? Moments and people... Weddings and children and all your different dreams... Love...Is your life more than just your own? And are there broken things you were made to fight to fix? Broken families, broken friends... Injustice. Will you move for things that matter? Wouldn't it be nice if change took just a moment? Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy? Midnight and we're new. Midnight and the past erased. Midnight and we're free. It seems to come slow. It seems to be a surgery. Forgiveness. Healing. Sobriety. Letting go. Starting over. It seems to happen slowly over time. One day at a time, the choice made new each morning. Will you fight? Will you fight to be healthy? Will you fight to be free? Will you fight for your story? Will you fight to get the help you need? Change takes more than a moment, but maybe there's also something to this celebration of a moment, something to the way it speaks to us, something to the way we fear it, and dream it to be true. Maybe it's the most honest moment of the year .It's possible to change. Welcome to Midnight. Here's to the possibilities."

And the last thing I wanted to share was a quote from the movie “New Years Eve”. It says:

"The Times Square ball is suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New Year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps - our promises made, and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures - or closed ourselves down, for fear of getting hurt. Because that's what New Year's is all about: getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about 'what if' and start embracing what would be. So when that ball drops at midnight - and it will drop - let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long."

Happy New Year, friends! I really am very excited about the thought of a new year, a clean slate, a year full of opportunities!