Life Lessons

This week I have learned:

  • Being honest is really the only way to communicate
  • Sometimes I need to face my problems instead of ignoring them
  • It's okay to do things for myself.
  • When you have a real best friend, even if there has been a lot of time spent apart or with other people, things will never change. Ever.
  • Do not try to itch a bug bite with a razor
  • Being productive isn't a bad thing
  • Drink water and re-apply sunscreen when out in the sunshine


photo series part 1

So one of my goals for myself is to become a better photographer. So I decided I am going to have a mini photo series during the rest of summer break, so I have a motivation to practice my picture taking art. Today I had a photo shoot with my two beautiful sisters, who I styled and did hair and make up for. These pictures are completely unedited, but I might do some fooling around with some of them later. Anyways. Here are some of my favorites from today's shoot, which I think I would call Field of Dreams:

What do you think? favorites? Suggestions or comments would be appreciated!

Last week of July. Enter.

I just made a Hamilton Therapy Mix cd that finalized the very late birthday package to be sent to California as soon as my paycheck comes in this coming week. My credit card bill came in and it's not pretty. I paid a large chunk of it right away, and hopefully can save the rest of my monies for the rest of the summer and not have to worry about the next bill until I get a job at school.
I need to stop buying music off of itunes. It's killing me. READERS: Send me mix cds of new music so I stop spending money! AHHH!
Two weeks of work left.
This coming week has four days of field trips, and everyone in my family will be gone at camps. Juli is coming to stay with me so I am not by myself. 
Next week is the last week of work. 
The week after that, Hamilton goes into the shop to get the brakes done and a new power steering pump.
Then comes family campout and beach week right in a row!
Then one week of packing, cleaning, trying to make some extra money, and then BAM! In the car on the way out to school.

time has been going by pretty fast. I feel like I was just leaving Idaho. and now I only have a few weeks until I am packing to go back.


money must be funny in a rich mans world

Oil changes coast about 40 dollars these days. No fun. That was supposed to go towards my credit card! 
I finally filled my time card today and I will be getting paid for 63.30 hours. about time! That will be close to 450 right there! 50 to my mother, 50 to the credit card and everything else to savings. At least one more big paycheck before camp ends, if not two. And then I will pray that some baby sitting/yard work will come into view in my last three weeks here so I can make a few extra bucks before heading out west.

I get a new phone next week, and although I would really like something high tech and wonderful, I know I need to make the sacrifice of not spending a lot of money on the newest phone and get something that I can deal with and works. I have looked at a few that I can afford and I think I will be able to manage.

My cd drive in my Mac is fried and I am bringing it in tonight to get it looked at. Hopefully my apple care will take care of it, and there won't be anything needed to be spend there. Fingers crossed.

I really need a job at school. I have a couple in's and I've been searching via the web for a few weeks now, sending my resume here and there and sending a few emails as well. Please pray that I find something or have at least a good lead to go to when I go back to school?

On the brighter side of things, life is going okay here. I'm driving Hamilton 24/7 now and I absolutely love it. I can't wait to have him out at school. Paying car insurance will be so worth it. right now, he's the only man in my life I need to take care of, and I think I like it that way.

Money woes are stressful, but I know I will figure it out. I like earning money and knowing that I worked hard for what I earn.
But sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to be rich and not have to worry about this kind of stuff at all.


Music's in my soul

I love new music and have felt the need lately to indulge into finding new things to listen too.
This is what/who I have found recently:

Owl City: Vanilla Twilight
Sounds like: Postal Service

Boys Like Girls: Love Drunk
Sounds like: The Atari's meets Jimmy Eat World meets Relient K?

So They Say: Antidote for Irony
Sounds like We the Kings meet The Atari's

Kate Nash: The Nicest Thing
Sounds Like: She and Him/a little Regina Spektor

Music is in my soul and I'm always singing something. I love new music. I love delving into different genres and sounds and textures and chord progressions and words. 
So if you have new music for me, you should share. 
Just saying.


forgot me not

I don't like being forgotten.

Sometimes I feel like I am doing all of the work when it comes to my friendships and no one will meet me half way. It's really frustrating. 

Lately, I've been burring myself in work. I really enjoy my job and the kids I work with. And I am starting to really like the people I work with too. I find that if I keep myself occupied with work and put all of myself into it, then I can come home feeling accomplished and tired. I can go to sleep and not watch my phone waiting for someone to text me out of the blue or call me; or sit in front of my computer waiting for someone to message me. I feel like I'm always the one reaching out, which isn't a bad thing at all. I just wish someone would reach out to me once in a while.

As much as I love my home and New England, being across the country from a lot of my friends definitely has it's drawbacks. It is easy to forget the girl who is in a different time zone and on a different coast.  Even my friends here seem really preoccupied with other things. Everyone has someone they would rather hang out with or spend time with. When I do hang out with my friends, I often feel like a third wheel. I love that my friends have other friends and are so happy. Don't get me wrong. But after a while, it begins to wear down at your soul to hear your friend go on about their friends, or to try to make plans with someone and then have them shortened or cancelled so that they can spend that time with someone else.The other day, one of my friends who I absolutely adore but don't see often, even though we are in the same state for the first time in a year said: "I'm sorry, I feel like I've been neglecting you."
I brushed it off, and said not to worry about it, and to not feel bad because we were hanging out right then! I felt so bad that she felt bad about me, and I didn't want that!
but truth is...yeah, I feel neglected.

Maybe I'm just having a random pity party. I know that my friends care about me and love me and I am grateful for everything that I've been blessed with. I have sisters and a brother and parents who I can spend time with when I am lonely. I have my books. I have my writing. I have my car. And I know I have God, who is always with me and looking out for me. I am grateful.

It's just lonely lately.


Families, Fires and Bats

lately, my eyes have been opened more and more to the wonderful family I have. Being home this summer after being away for so long has been a really good thing for me. Even though I miss school and my friends out in Idaho, I've realized in my time being home that my family members can be my friends as well. 

I've taken the time I've had in the last few weeks to really spend time with them, and it's amazing to me how much fun we have together now. Maybe it's just because all of my memories of times past are filled with bickers and arguments because I was a teenager who thought that siblings and parents were created for the sole reason of disagreeing with. But this newfound realization that families are for friends has made my time home so much more enjoyable. 

Anyways. Here is are some pictures from our fire pit adventure tonight. Mom's project finished and in all of it's (and her) glory:

Mom whittling her own stick and defending her whittling skills:

"ooooh, look at this one. it's PERfect."

Mom taking a giant bite out of her s'more:

"I'm foaming at the mouth! I have rabies!"

"I'm all sticky!"

Candid of Jake and Ashley cracking up at my mother's s'more eating experience:

Me: oh look, a bat!
Mom: BAT!!!!! WHERE?!!?! I WANT TO SEE A BAT! OO! THERE HE IS...OH! oo! LOOK! He's eating all of those 'skitos!

Dad: Does this have a draining hole!
Mom: YES!....what's a draining hole?

a full hour of no bickering or arguing, marshmellows and s'more eating adventures, Petrie, Pookie, Marvin and Jitters (our backyard bats) CHITS not SH***, and genuine happiness. 

Thank you God, for such a wonderful family.


Tempos on Thursday: Screaming Infidelities

A lot of people think Dashboard Confessional is overrated. And maybe they are. But I discovered Dashboard in my own time, instead of jumping on the band wagon when it came along. I love them. I love how many of their songs are acoustic guitar driven, how the vocals are layered and almost texured and how it is so easy to sing along with your own harmony. And I love their lyrics. So different from your typical love and lose love lyrics.

Screaming Infidelities has been one of my favorite Dashboard songs since I began listening to them. I loved the melody, the harmonies, the guitar, and the lyrics. But this song hit a home run for me the other day while driving alone along some of my favorite roads at night.

Thank you Dashboard, for helping me cry.


Check Ups and Check Ins.

I was thinking to myself today:
"Self, you have been doing really well on following through with some of your goals that you made for yourself this summer."
and then I thought:
"I think you are right, self! I finally feel like I am focused on plans for the near future and that I am really working on myself and that I know where I need to go and I'm actually working and committed to get there."

So now I am going to revisit a few of my lists of goals and really check in and check up with myself.
okay self?

Goals for working on myself:
1. Work on being Selfless, especially when it comes to my family-I can't really judge improvement on this just yet.
2. Attitude. Always try to be positive. Every unhappy situation that comes around, try to find the silver lining. I'm trying, I promise.
3. Being Active. Stop laying around and sleeping because I feel like I'm going nowhere. I am going somewhere. I am working now and the kids have me on the go all of the time. When Mike and Symone were here last week, we were always on the go seeing things and doing things. I haven't been lazy in almost three weeks. I take any opportunity to go on car rides and errands with my parents so I am not stuck in the house, even if I don't want to leave.
4. Don't believe in limitations. Accept that I need to make adjustments, but do not look at them as limitations. I am not limited.
I learned how to belay rock climbers on Monday. I walked around the Kancamangus, the MOS, Boston, and the beach in one week and even though I was swollen, I didn't let my knee slow me down. I don't let myself make any excuses to participate in any activities with the kids at work unless I am physically unable to do it or it isn't safe for me. I am beginning to feel less and less limited every day I prove to myself that I am not.

And here are the goals/plans I want to accomplish this summer:
1. Work as hard as possible and save as much as possible so that I can be as financially secure as possible when I am back out West. Check. I am working right now and I only buy gas.
2. Take Hamilton out to school. 97% sure about this being a yes, but waiting to hear back from insurance on Monday.
3. Eat healthier and work out. Lost some weight. I am snacking more then I should and I need to swim more, but I am definitely working out more then before.
4. Play my flute more often so I am ready for flute chior in the fall. I still need to work on this and take my flute out. maybe this weekend when I have time?
5. Read. I am trying to read a chapter of my current book every night. I am half way through re-reading the Harry Potter series. I have a list of books I want to read by the end of this summer. Beach Week will be of great assistance for this goal.

Let's check in with my New Years Resolutions:

1. When I need help, ask for it or accept it. I got better at this towards the end of my winter semester. I think I digressed a little after April though.
2. Don't spend my money on things I do not need. I am either really good at this or really bad at this. I spent a lot of money when my friends were visiting last week, but it was either on food or gas and nothing else. And since then, I have been really good at not spending money on anything I do not need.
3. Get off of academic probation. CHECK
4. Call my sisters more often. Well, I tried to call them once or twice a week when I was at school. I am switching this to spend more time with them for the summer, which I am trying to do a lot.
5. Go to California. CHECK X2, maybe three before the end of the year.
6. Make my parents proud. I got off of probation and I am working for the summer. These two things definitely keep them happy with me. I hope that means they are proud too.
7. Learn to do what is best for me, even if it isn't what I want. I am working on this still.
8. Keep in touch with my friends back East more. I need to work on this too. I need to spend time with my friends here more while I am home.
9. See the beauty in everything. I try to every day
10. Sleep more. I have gone to sleeping three to four hours every night to sleeping a healthy 9-10...sometimes a full 12 or 13. so i consider this a CHECK!
11. Tell the people who I love that I love them more. I end every phone conversation with I LOVE YOU BYEEEE! CHECK!
12. Don't let distance come between the people who matter the most. This was a check for some people and a fail for others during the winter semester. But I feel like I am doing well with this now. I am keeping in close contact with my friends who are in different places frequently and a lot of my relationships and frienships have grown stronger over the distance. 
13. Let people care about me. I have gotten a lot better at this. CHECK!
14. Learn to accept my flaws and imperfections and understand that the people who can't accept them do not matter. this is on going and a huge struggle for me at this point in time.

okay. I am going to come up with some new goals to add on to my list this afternoon but I am running late, so i must go.

Kids say the darndest things...

today at work:

"SO? what is your mom like?"
"DUDE! My mom is ugly!"

I enjoy my job and the kids who I spend time with. Today consisted of obstical courses, friendship bracelets and Alvin and the Chipmunks with a phone call to Alexandra before taking Hamilton the long way home. It's still raining and it's like the sun completely forgot about shining in New England. Sole instrumental driven songs with layered vocals is my current musical preference. Songs like Screaming Infedelities by Dashboard Confessional, Happiness by The Fray and Warning Sign by Coldplay.  A list of phone calls to make is piling up and I finally downloaded a "to-do list" application on my iPod, which is once again playing music through the headphone jack. I've settled with a blog lay-out and spent longer then I should have editing my header picture on picnik.com because my mom came into my room and started to list off old high school friends and asking what they are doing right now. When told how each person was either busy or not in an hour radius of Hampstead, she moved to the next name. I think she feels bad for me and the fact that I am alone a lot, and that I'm having a tough time on my own right now. 

Tea and blankets and open windows with cool rainy air coming into my room and Lord of the Rings sounds like a perfect way to welcome the evening.


This or That?

I don't know what I want right now.
I've been fooling around with the layout of my blog for the past two days and I am still not happy with it. (so bare with me)
I am this weird spot where I am doing the things that I am supposed to be doing, I am staying busy, I know what I need to do and where I am going, I have direction, but I don't know what I want when it comes to a lot of every day things. I want to nap, I don't want to nap. I want to take the car out, I am not sure about taking the car out to school. I want to write letters, I can't handle the thought of letters. I want to read, I want to sleep. For some reason, I just can not find a groove right now. Am I just going through a bought of indecisiveness? Maybe because I have so many things solid and planned out, I am looking for choices to stress over? With work in full swing now, am I just adjusting and figuring out how to function with a full time job for the next six weeks? Maybe because Mike and Symone have left and I really don't have anything huge to look forward to besides beach week in a month and a half, I am just stuck in a stupor.

I do not know what is going on, but I am in a weird funk and I need to snap out of it soon.

On a completely different note, I want to visit a blog entry I wrote at the end of May/Beginning of June about focusing on myself this summer and learning new things and not shying away from anything because I'm scared. Today I learned how to belay ropes courses and rock climbers and I am really proud of myself. I tried it, I was good at it, and I didn't let my "limitations" get in the way. I made a few adjustments, but I was in no way today, limited. I feel accomplished today.

Bed time though. work in the AM. coloring with five year olds all morning. My favorite. 


Come back, I miss you

This last week was absolutely amazing and so much fun!
My two best friends from school, my little family, the people who take care of me
here, in my beautiful and beloved New England.

A break from everything that has been going on in all of our lives,
comfort, carefree
love, laughter
fun, friendship

refreshed, recharged and ready to go.

Thank you for always being there for me,
for laughing at me and with me,
for pushing me forward when I wanted to stop,
for listening to me, 
for giving me a shoulder to cry on,
for being patient with me,
for picking me up when I fall down (physically and emotionally).

Thank you for being my friends.

I love you guys forever.

Come back, I miss you.

p.s. Happy 100th post, There and Back again. I am a fan of you.