Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Turning 20

On Sunday we had family over for a birthday dinner (my dad made me ribs, YUM) and then on my actual birthday my mom and M and I went shopping and out to eat. Here's what turning 20 looked like:

I really wanted cassata cake so my Uncle D surprised me with two! They were. so. good.
 E decorated her gift to me, it was my favorite nail polish and a cute shirt!
 My birthday chalk board :)
 I screenshot my special day (yep, still haven't updated...)
 And...feast your eyes on the best gift I may ever receive. M got me this SIGNED, authentic trading card of Shannon Miller, my favorite gymnast of all time. And so my autograph collection has begun!!
Happy birthday to me!! I loved this cake so very much, it is so me.
And that's a glimpse of what turning 20 looked like for me!
-G-

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Last of 19

I remember writing my birthday post from last year and saying that I was glad that I was turning 19 and had a whole year before I turned 20. That "year" felt more like a few months and here I am on the eve of my 20th birthday, still not ready. I remember turning 10 and being so excited at the double digits and being a decade old. When did birthdays start making me feel sad instead of excited? I know that 20 is still young but I find myself not ready to leave my teenage years, it feels like there are different expectations and stigmas associated with being in your 20's and I may not fit them yet.

My 19th year was alright, it wasn't one of those monumental years where a ton of stuff happens and changes. That was 12 and 18. For most of this year I felt I was in a sort of transitional period of my life and even though I give myself really high expectations of what I want accomplished in a year, I don't think anything changed over this past year. I'm going to try and not make those sort of goals for my 20th year, I'm not going to put that pressure on myself. I think the best things happen when it is natural and not forced. So my only guideline for this next 365 days will be to follow God, try my best and cherish every moment.

Here's to 20!
-G-

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Day I Skipped Class to Watch America's Next Top Model

Well, I've been trying to track down the first three cycles of ANTM for YEARS. They used to be on the illegal but wonderful site known as "megaupload" but literally got taken down while I was watching them. On TV they mostly air reruns of the far less superior later cycles, they never ever play the earliest ones. They are not on Amazon prime, they are not on Netflix, they are not on itunes. Finally I decided to just go ahead and ask for them on DVD for my birthday. I have seen the majority of cycles 2 and 3 but barely any of cycle 1 so I really wanted them.

Then yesterday I come to find out that Hulu plus has ALL the old cycles. Problem: we do not have a hulu plus account anymore. I called my dad and explained the situation and he got a free month trial for me which should be just enough time to watch. I started from the beginning last night and will easily finish one today. Why? Because I decided not to go to my morning class in favor of watching. I really don't regret it at all.

-G-

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Friends Forever

Every day I like to go back through my agenda and see what I was doing on that day in the months before. Today, as I went back to August I saw that 8 months ago was the day Claire and I hung out before we both left for school. I cannot believe that was 8 months ago.

On that day M went with us as we went to our favorite outdoor shopping plaza to eat lunch and then to our hair salon to watch Claire get her hair cut. It was a very hot day, sunny and perfect summer weather. At the salon E called and said she'd been bitten by a dog before band camp, proceeded to go anyway but was going to go home to a friends house. The whole things struck us as very funny and Claire and I still laugh about it.

When we got back to my house, we talked for awhile and I gave her a little going away present. I walked her out to her car and the last thing she said to me was "Be a sophmore!", I'm not sure exactly what she meant by it but I laughed and pretended to chase her car.

Time goes by so quickly, just like that 8 months are gone and I'm 13 days away from being a junior. This summer Claire will stay in the city she goes to school to work. I can't imagine a summer without her. Summer was always are time to really hang out since we went to different schools. It makes me really sad to think I won't be able to just pick up my phone and text her whenever I want to see her. No more swinging by her house before the movies, no more warm nights outside in my backyard. No family get togethers late into the night. Pretty much every summer since I was 11 has revolved around Claire. Yeah, I'm sad alright.

One of my favorite book series is the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. The fourth book takes place after the friends freshmen year of college and none of them are home for summer. One of the characters (I think Tibby) says something along the lines of "home was no longer a place, but a time." Referring to the fact that they may never be home together again and that those memories are behind them. I feel like that might be the case withe me and Claire. She plans on staying in Chicago after she graduates too and her job will likely take her all over the country. I have to wonder if we'll ever really both live in the same place again. I used to want to move to Rhode Island, it was a phase when I thought I'd rather live anywhere but where I do. Now I feel a sort of attachment to my hometown. All of my family is here, my job is here, my Church is here. I won't end up living in the same neighborhood I grew up in or maybe even the same city but I will be in the area I think. Claire has big plans, big dreams and so much drive and passion. I love that she is that way because I am not and we compliment each other. But at the same time, sometimes I'm afraid of being left behind. I know that Claire will always be my best friend and I know that she values our friendship as much as I do but I think she will always be the one leaving. And I will always be the one staying.

At my graduation party...


-G-

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Sunday

Easter was the nicest day we've had this year by far. The weather was warm, the sun was out and I was SO happy about it!! Sunday morning we headed to church where my parents were teaching Sunday school so it was M, E and my grandma in our row in the sanctuary. The music and sermon were fantastic and I am forever blessed by my church. I love it so much.

After service we went home to finish up some last minute things such as cooking our contribution to dinner and assembling the Easter baskets for our cousins/cousins kids. Unfortunately my dad had to work so he stayed behind as we left to go to my grandpas house. We took the scenic route and that drive is one of my favorites.

It was nice to sit outside with my family, eat, talk and just bask in the warmth! My sisters and I filled the eggs with change and hid them for my cousins kids who are 2 and 3. It was fun to watch them look for them and actually be outside for once.

My grandma also had some exciting news that she and my grandpa are buying a condo somewhere warm and it will be open for any of us to come to whenever we want!! This is great news for someone like me who has really begun to hate the winter months. Some respite will be much appreciated, I am so psyched!

Of course, the best part of the whole day was that Jesus lives!! I don't think I understood this fully until recently but God is not dead. Jesus rose from the grave, lived on earth for 40 days and then ascended into Heaven, He is not gone. Death cannot hold Him down!! Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and for being the LIVING God!!
-G-

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Want the Word's Toughest Job

I have been doing really well in school, much better than expected and I am proud of myself but I struggle with motivation every day. I often wondered why I wasn't as dedicated or excited about the whole college things as other people. I think I've figured it out. I am not a career-driven person, I have not fantasized about my dream job or even had a dream job. For me, college has just been the natural progression of things. I look at people like Claire or even M and they are so driven by their career. They work as hard as they can to make it reality. Claire cannot picture herself doing anything else, she has a plan laid out for exactly where she wants to go in life.

I have that plan too.

It's just different.

I have never been driven by a career. Don't get me wrong, I am excited by the idea of being a speech therapist but I do not dream about it. I do not really see that being the end all be all. No. All I ever want in life is to be a mother. That's all I've ever wanted since as I long as I can remember. I have daydreamed about taking care of my future children from the time I was little. I think about it every day. I would jump through hoops, go leaps and bound to make my dream a reality. If there was a school where you came out a mother, I would do all I could to go to it and graduate with honors.

There's a problem though....

My goal does not depend on just me and all that I would do...it's not enough for me to just want it or to practice by babysitting and what not.

My plan is actually completely out of my hands as it depends on someone else falling in love with me...

...and me falling in love with him.

And this is why it's hard for me to be too into college or to put all of my heart and soul into my work. My mind is elsewhere a lot of the time. My mind is on a little blond baby name Polly and wishing she could be mine soon.

I don't know if this whole thing comes of as weird or desperate but I don't care. People are allowed to go on and on about women in careers and women in power and women doing this or that. Well, this woman wants nothing else but to be a mother and I'm not going to feel bad about it.
-G-

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Birthday to Ruby!

Today my little Ruby is 6! I love my furry friend so very much.

The day I took this picture El was over and she decided we needed to have a birthday party for Ruby (last December) so we dressed her up and gave her some gifts. She was a good sport about it but needles to say, she wasn't that impressed:

Why is this happening to me?? I have fur, I don't need winter wear.
Maybe if I turn to the side and look disinterested you'll leave me alone.
Ruby is my best friend, I love having her around the house and taking her for walks. I love her name, it was so uncharacteristically easy for my family to decide on it and it suits her perfectly. I love telling it to people.

Happy 6th birthday Ruby-roo, I love you!!
-G-

Click here to read Ruby's birthday post from last year and see how we ended up together. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Favorite American Gymnasts

I have been wanting to do this for a long time, so now it's finally here! Enjoy!

  1. Shannon Miller: Shannon is my favorite gymnast, ever. Coming from the best era of gymnastics (the 90's) and being the most decorated American gymnast EVER, Shannon was equally powerful and artistic. This is a combo that you don't see anymore. I love Shannon's beam routine from the 1996 games. If she hadn't been hurt in 2000 I think she may have had a chance to make a third Olympics and that would have been amazing! 
  2. Shawn Johnson: The way Shawn worked the beam has not been done before or since. Honestly there was never a waver and Shawn was a true all around gymnast, even if some would say she was weak on bars, in actuality, her difficulty was low but she executed her skills flawlessly, with her legs glued together and she had good swing. In my humble opinion, Shawn should have won the all around in 2008 but that's neither here nor there :). 
  3. Chellsie Memmel: It's pretty impressive to be a competitive gymnast for just 1 Olympic cycle but Chellsie stuck around for 3!! I love that Chellsie is so consistent and defied so many predictions by always performing better than anyone anticipated. I so wish that she would have been able to compete at the 2012 trials but it wasn't to be. Really though, anyone who can do an illusion turn on a balance beam is quite impressive. 
  4. Courtney Kupets: Everyone was buzzing about Carly Patterson in 2004 and make no mistake, Carly was amazing. But I prefer the style of Courtney and her consistency. Her bar routine was beautifully executed and although her floor choreography garnered some harsh critiques, I thought it was super fun. 
  5. Kyla Ross: Kyla needs to upgrade, plain and simple. If she does, she will definitely continue to be a force to be reckoned with. Kyla's style is tentative but her form is amazing compared to other athletes these days, down to her hands. Everything always looks perfect. I have high hopes for Kyla to be actually able to make a second Olympics if she stays healthy and increases her difficulty. 
  6. Kristin Maloney: Kristin was a silent competitor, her gymnastics was not showey but it was strong and you could count on her hitting all four events. I really enjoy watching her because she always seemed so calm and collected. Even though the Sydney Olympics were a disappointment I was still happy that Kristin could be part of them.
  7. Terin Humprey: When Courtney McCool was pulled out of the team event in Athens, no one was sure how Terin would do in her place but she totally rocked it. Terin had awesome form on bars and great technique as well. 
  8. Bridget Sloan: I love that Bridget got here moment in the sun after becoming world champion in 2009 because after that she was struck with injuries and unable to make a go for her second Olympics in 2012. She was able to make an amazing comeback before being hurt and surprising everyone with how great she looked. But she did have a way of outperforming the favorites when no one expected it! 
  9. Dominique Moceanu: Who couldn't love tiny Dominique at the 1996 games? I always enjoyed her beam mount and her floor routines post Olympics. She really had a promising comeback before she was injured but she left a lasting impact on the sport. 
  10. Tabitha Yim: Tabitha is kind of a wild card because she's the only one on the list not to go to an Olympics. But Tabitha is one of very few gymnast who really sells her floor routine to me. She actually felt the music and was dancing with it, not just to it. She was a great all arounder and if it weren't for her being hurt I think she had a shot at Athens. 
Honorable Mentions;
  • Aly Raisman
  • Hollie Vise
  • Jordyn Weiber 
  • Courtney McCool
  • Elizabeth Price
  • Morgan White
-G-

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Beginings and Guess Where I'm Going on August 2nd???

Well, as many of you may have read during last weeks, "Talk Tuesday" that I have switched my major for the 4th time. Let me give you a little recap:
  1. I started college as a nursing major, this is what I had anticipated doing for YEARS. So it was really surprising for me to realize that I really didn't want to do it anymore. 
  2. I switched to Child Life Specialist which is a sort of social worker and therapist wrapped up in one. The program at my school is ridiculously competitive and there aren't many job opportunities so I wasn't really feeling it anymore. 
  3. SO, I changed to Psychology on a sort of whim. I could see myself as a therapist for kids but I did not know that I would need a doctorate for that. I also am not a fan of secular psychology or therapy and as a Christian it would be very hard for me to counsel people without being able to bring God in the picture
  4. Currently: I will be going into the fall semester at a different school as a Speech and Hearing Major. As in, I want to be a speech therapist. I'm really excited for this. When I realized that psychology wasn't going to work out I started praying that God would reveal a new path for me. And low and behold I was driving in the car with Claire's mom and she brings up speech therapy, saying I would be good at it. A few months ago the mother of my favorite family suggested the same thing. I started thinking about it and was sold. 
It wasn't a totally smooth road though, because the school I had applied to I had put down psychology as a major and then I came to realize that they don't even have a speech and language major. I was pretty much set to go to this school, I had gotten a pretty good scholarship and was excited for a smaller campus. I was crushed, I considered just staying a psych major so I could go to my dream school but I knew that would be stupid. So I've now applied to a larger school in my area and I'm not too excited about going to school in another city. It's exactly what i didn't want. But I know that God has a plan for my life and I trust in it. I think this whole experience has shown me that I am not in control, I don't always have the perfect plan and I need to listen when my prayers are answered, even if i don't always like all the details.

My hopes are that I didn't apply too late and I can still get into the classes I need, that I can enjoy being at home and reconnecting with some friends, that maybe this new school will lead me to my future husband. I can dream :)

Onto even more exciting news!! As yesterday I am officially going to attend the 2014 Secret US Gymnastic Classic!!! This is a televised competition that's the final qualifier for nationals. I am BEYOND excited, my whole family will go to Chicago for a few days and my mom is going to watch the competition with me. And an added bonus??? Claire goes to school in the city so I will get to see her! I'm totally geeking out, I really hope I can get some autographs, I hope my seats are good. I really can't wait!!!
-G-

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Word Wednesday

Ok so I'm going to do something a little different than a writing prompt. Today I'm going to look back at some notes I did on Facebook from 5 years ago and compare my answers then and now.

Oh this is going to be fun!

*My current answers will be bolded.

100 truths

February 16, 2009 at 1:24pm
BASICS:
001. Real name → Grace
002. Nickname(s) → Ugh, Gracie-Yep still is
003. Status → single- Unfortunately still true
004. Zodiac sign → toures
005. Male or female → Female
010. Hair color → blonde
011. Tall or Short → SHORT- And you'll stay that way...
012. Loud or Quiet → fairly loud- Volume will increase with age
013. Sweats or Jeans → jeans- Yoga pants
014. Phone or Camera → camera- Phone, now that I'm hip with the times and have an iphone
015. Health freak → kinda- Kinda??? You grew up on Newman O's, own it
018. Eat or Drink → eat!- Both are pretty fabulous but eating still tops it
019. Piercings → twice on each ear- Plus a cartilage piercing
020. Tattoos → Never- Still true
021. Water or Fire? → water
022. Love of your life or 4 Billion Dollars → love- That's a toughy, both.
FIRSTS:
023. First fear → getting kidnapped- Not just first fear it's "THE FEAR"
024. First best friend → Melanie
025. First award → ballet trophy
026. First crush → idk- I so knew who it was, a boy named Chris who I was afraid would read this.
027. First pet → my hamsters blueberry and pineapple, rip- RIP
028. First big vacation- new york- I make it sound glamorous, it wasn't just a cabin by the a lake.
030. First big birthday → seven i got my hamster then!- Why was I not punctuating or capitalizing???

CURRENTLY:
049. Eating →none
050. Drinking → Water- True!!
052. I'm about to → drink more water- Probably go to the bathroom.
053. Listening to → my guinea pig drink from his water bottle- The heating/cooling system hum
054. Plans for today → going to see my sister get her hair cut- Class, homework, TV, repeat
055. Waiting for → 3:30- CPR man to call me back, grrrr

YOUR FUTURE:
058. Want kids?→ definitely
059. Want to get married? → definately- For sure!!
060. Careers in mind → Pediatric nurse/respiratory theripist- Speech therapist (surprise, surprise)

WHICH IS BETTER WITH A GUY/Girl?
068. Lips or eyes → eyes, lips are kinda gross- Agreed
070. Shorter or taller?→ should probably be taller then me- Um, no, should DEFINITELY be taller than me.
072. Romantic or spontaneous → romantic- Romantically spontaneous
073. Nice butt or nice chest → do i have to answer that?- Nope
074. Sensitive or loud → both- Yeah really, the two are not opposites
075. Hook-up or relationship → Relationship- Yep

HAVE YOU EVER:
080. Lost glasses/contacts →YES- Amen to that
081. Ran away from home → for like five minutes- Hardcore
082. Held a gun/knife for self defense → no way- Thank goodness no
083. Killed somebody → that would be a no- Why are they even asking this???
084. Been heartbroken→ yes.- Um when, 14 year old Grace, when??
085. Been arrested → no
087. Cried when someone died → always- Ok well not always but sometimes

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:
089. Yourself → not yet, but i'm working on it- Yes, I do, I believe in what God has planned for me.
90. Miracles → yes- Yes!
91. Love at first sight → absolutely- Sometimes but not always
092. Heaven → for sure- Yes
093. Santa Claus → not for years- Did I ever really??
094. Sex on the first date → no way, not until marriage- Pretty bold, still true.
095. Kiss on the first date →no- Eh, maybe a peck on the cheek
ANSWER TRUTHFULLY:
098. Are you seriously happy with your life? → Yes, i am so blessed- I'm happy with it but a little unsettled with all the unknowns.
099. Do you believe in God → yes, there is no doubt in my mind- Absolutely
100. Post as 100 truths and tag 10 people or more → we'll see- AKA nope 

That was fun! I might do another one next month!
-G-

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Truth Tuesday

Q: What TV shows do you watch?
A: Well, I love reality TV, I don't know why but I always have. So I do watch a lot of reality shows but also some other stuff: Dancing with the Stars, Dance Moms, The Little Couple, 19 Kids and Counting, Teen Mom 2, Cupcake Wars.

Q: What kind of psychology do you want to do.
A: None LOL, I changed my major again, for the last time. I don't want to say more until everything is certain.

Q: Are you a natural blonde?
A: Yes! I have never dyed my hair.

Q: Thank you for sharing your struggle with OCD, I have it to in a similar way that you do. Have you ever seen a therapist for it?
A: No, I am actually able to deal with it pretty well with diligence and prayer. :)

Q: Why did you cover up you and your sisters face?
A: I'm anonymous.

Q: Why can't we see these comments?
A:  I stopped posting them for awhile but I think I'll start again soon.

Thanks for all the questions!
-G-

Memory Monday

Today I get to tell about one of the best days of my life (so far)

It was my last day of 9th grade and I had only one exam in the morning. My English exam, I remember putting on my new green Hollister tank top and feeling pretty cool. The exam ended at like 9:30 and I remember being disappointed that the weather was gloomy while I waited for my mom to pick me up. I had plans to sleep over Claire's that night but I got home so early I wondered how in the world I was going to occupy my time. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and thinking that it didn't really feel like summer yet.

That evening I went over to Claire's all excited about school being over and M's graduation party that would be the day after the next. First we played Sims on her computer, a favorite thing of ours. She had just gotten Sims 3 and I wasn't all that impressed. As we were making our family SOMETHING AWFUL HAPPENED. We were having some fun clicking on the parents and seeing what they looked like when they were kids. As we clicked the adult figure, to make our dad character a man again as opposed to a toddler, the game glitched in the worst way. The body of our adult man Sim appeared but stayed down in the toddler position which was sitting on the ground with it's legs out in front of it. But the dad was flailing his limbs around with his head bent down like a giant spider. It lasted just a few seconds and it wasn't until it was over that Claire and I started screaming for her sister Lee to come quick! We tried to explain what had happened but couldn't quite. After that we didn't play Sims for much longer. Ha.

My had sent me over with a long roll of white paper and had given us the duty of making M's graduation banner to hang at the party. Claire and her family are extremely artistic so she had high hopes. We rolled the paper all the way across the living room floor and into the dining room. Claire's mom Mary helped us draw out the letters and we were in charge of picking colors. Claire and I both agreed on summer colors: green, blue and yellow. We decided to alternate the colors and have each of us be in charge of a color. Neither of us wanted yellow so Mary took it and then we both wanted either blue or green, I can't remember which. I think Claire won in the end and I used green so we must have both wanted blue. We took great care painting the inside of our letters and when we finished we thought it needed some extra pizazz so we sporadically added large shiny blue and green sequins as if someone had blown them onto the banner. To finish it off, Mary outlined the letters to make them pop. We were so proud of ourselves.

To finish off the night Claire, Mary, Lee and myself decided to watch a movie. I think we picked Juno which at the time was a favorite of ours.

The next day I remember being a little upset because my family was doing some graduation party prep stuff in the morning without me. But Claire and I made ourselves a nice breakfast and set up the table as we always did during sleepovers so I was happy. Eventually my mom picked me up and we headed to my grandpas neighborhood (where the party would be held) and picked out some flowers and set up a few tables at his house. That evening my my mom and M and my grandma were going to a wedding shower but I opted to stay home with my dad since I was kind of tired. I took a shower and then perched at the end of our old green couch to watch some TV. First I watched the show "Raising Sextuplets" which had just premiered and I had taped. Then I watched a House episode where a dad is sleepwalks and does drugs and him and his daughter have some sort of condition that make them really boring.

I remember saying goodnight to my dad and deciding to go to bed early for the next days events. The next morning I was so excited to put on my new dress I had ordered form American Eagle in size XXS (though we still had to take in the straps), mine had purple flowers on it and M's had blue flowers. The party was so much fun and I spent the time hanging with Claire and my other cousins.

Happy April Everyone!!
-G-