When I was growing up, I had a best friend named Annie. Annie is not relevant to the story and she is not the trauma. That is my disclaimer. Annie and I were goofballs. We were rarely serious when we were young. We looked goofy and we acted even more goofy.
I remember one day that a dentist must have come into my room and released laughing gas, because Annie and I laughed and made a decade long inside joke over something completely not funny. I am not sure why we were playing with my hair dryer. I feel like it was probably a microphone or a gun. Knowing us, it was probably a microphone and we were probably debating who could sing NSync or Backstreet songs better. For the record, Backstreet Boys were always better unless 98 Degrees were around. NSync was all Timberlake. I still love me some Justin Timberlake.
Anyways, we were playing with a hairdryer and suddenly ants come charging out. The hair dryer falls to the floor. First reaction, EWWW! Second reaction, THE ANTS HAVE ATTACKED ME AND I FEEL SO VIOLATED! Third reaction, what the hell does that even mean?!
Fast forward about twenty years, I'm fatter, my hair is darker, and Annie and I haven't spoken in over 10 years. So I was driving to work and per the usual, my nose is almost always a little stuffy in the morning. I always used to keep my tissue in the center console, but I found these cup holder sized ones I could keep in the door. They weren't lotion, but hey, chances are I would use a used one that was in my purse.
I was innocently just driving to work, listening to Glee like I do many other mornings. I grabbed one of these terrible sandpaper tissues and blew my nose. Because it is winter, I expected it to be bloody when I pulled it way from my nose. No. It was a spider though. I freaking spider was in my tissue.
My panic was intense. While driving, I do a little freak out dance and send him flying across the car. He lands dangerously close to my purse and I grab that and send it to the back seat. After about 10 seconds of panic and distracted driving, I decide to pull into a parking lot. I found the spider and killed him. It wasn't until I was driving again did I think, why didn't I squish him in the perfect death trap, the tissue? Was he always in the tissue? Was he really in my nose and I blew him out?
Even as I write this long blog about absolute nonsense, I sit hear sniffling and wondering where that asshole came from. As soon as I got to the stoplight, I snap chatted my intern to tell her what happened. I called my mom and left her a voicemail. My mom in turn played the voicemail for her best friend. My intern has now dubbed me #motherofspiders because I am always the one that finds them at work. I love Khalessi, but she has something cool to be a badass about. Dragons rock. Spiders kinda suck. If I saw a dragon, I would dance for joy. Spiders are a violation, a horror, and a true trauma.
Lessons learned from this blog:
1. Don't buy crappy tissues
2. Inspect your tissues
3. Don't sing into hair dryers
4. Don't Google spiders or trauma.
5. Strive to be Khalessi
My favorite TV show growing up was Scooby Doo. I always wanted to be as pretty and cool as Daphne. It came as no surprise that when my niece was named Daphne Elizabeth, I was in double heaven. Number one reason, Scooby, two, Elizabeth is my middle name. I finally had a perfect pretty princess little niece and no one could take away the excitement that I felt. I didn't care that people didn't want her to be girly or princess like. I felt like I had a princess title growing up as the baby and I had to pass on that torch .
I am always going to be thankful for the opportunity to have such a cool niece. I bet no one else has a niece that is 3 and can identify car logos. If I could give Daphne one gift, I would give her the gift of security. As I get older, I learn more and more how hard it is being a girl out in the world. I hope she gets a chance to do what she wants to do and do it on her own terms. I hope she always knows that she is a princess to all of us.
I honestly didn't think my brother and Lisa would have kids, let alone two perfect kids. I am so thankful that they have these two kids and that they occasionally let us bug them.
Working at a university often makes me feel old. I see so many you kids that, appear to get younger, attend every year. I've mentioned before that through our book club in Alumni Relations, we have the chance to meet students and alumni and connect them. One student who came to the first meeting and has brought more, is An.
A few weeks ago, I brought An to Speed Networking, After many conversations with her, it hit me why I am so interested in making sure she is taken care of. You see, An is a freshman here from Vietnam. She has four long years ahead of her. At the end of the day, she reminds me of my German sister Fred. Fred is fearless. She came to America to live for a year, left friends, a family that needed her, and she had to tolerate me. Trust me, I was an asshole. It wasn't until her returning visits that we went from ehhh sisters-ish people to SISTERS *HUGS*! Jackie Fred is just as much part of my family as anyone else. I see the same bold spirit in this young Vietnamese girl.
Tonight, I was driving An back to her dorm and I asked what her plans were for Thanksgiving, even though I was fairly certain that I knew the answer. She was sitting in her room and studying. I know that they don't have Thanksgiving in Vietnam, but this is freaking America, and she should have some freaking turkey! I told her that she was welcome to come to my apartment to have Thanksgiving with my mom and me since my dad was leaving for Brazil. We talked a little more about her culture and religion, and the short ride was over.
An went to get out of the car and she gave me a big hug. Sometimes you just need to show someone that you care and that they are not alone. It is a big world. Sometimes your germy germ makes it seem small with all of her hopping around, but when you are 19 years old, it is a huge place. Sometimes, a friend is all you need.
I have really enjoyed making various soaps and cleansers. Over the past few months, I have learned how to make tons of different kinds that will help save me money. Last night, I found yet another. This one was a little different than the others.
Items needed: Frankincense, purification, lemon and lavender (I also added tea tree)
First step: Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Step 2: Add your oils
Step 3: Place on your face for 1-2 minutes
Step 4: Wipe off with a cotton pad
My friend Jessica and I did this on a break between episodes of Alias Grace. It was super easy and the amount of crap that came off of both faces was sick. I wear makeup so mine was mostly that, but hers was stuff she encounters in a hospital. She doesn't wear makeup and she still had a good amount come off. I was really impressed. My face still feels soft and clean 12 hours later!
One of the greatest non-secrets in the world, is that I adore my niece and nephews. I don't have kids so I lean on these kids to make me feel young and fun. When Calvin was born, we were filled with a mix of emotions. The first was annoyance because we had NO IDEA if he was a boy or girl! Second was excitement because my brother would finally see what he put others through, and third fear because he was very premature.
Calvin is still a small little guy, but he has a personality the size of Texas. I cannot even tell you every funny story that has come from that kid. To preface the humor of Calvin, he is extremely smart. He may be small and he may get sick very quickly, but he can throw out an answer back with amateur sarcasm pretty well for 4 years old. The picture you see to the right is a perfect representation of Calvin being like his dad. Everyone is busy and distracted, but I am an opportunist that loves tea.
Since I entered the small business game this year, I had no idea about the amount of work that goes into getting just a small amount of profit!
I am super excited to join forces with all of my fellow girl bosses and create a "One Stop Holiday Shop" over Thanksgiving weekend.
If you are interested in supporting any of the following, check it out!
Young Living - Victoria Sarjeant
Norwex - Kari Cox
Younique - Jamie Holt
Masckara - Megan Grimes
Tupperware - Amanda Cross
LuLaRoe - Kylie Durr
NuSkin Toothpaste - Cassie Antos
and more vendors are being added every day!
Not everyone gets the chance to play such an instrumental part of their nephew or nieces's life. I'm lucky because I have ben able to do just that. 6 years ago, we got the shock of a lifetime when my sister non only surprised us with a pregnancy, but she didn't tell us until 11 days after the rugrat was born. I still remember getting that call from my mom that I needed to get over to her apartment immediately. I was like, oh shit, what did I do now? She said their was a birth. Well the bird was dead, The only other option was that Jake was actually a girl and Wookie and super kitty sperm. That was also not the case.
I arrived at my sister's apartment and this chubby baby was laying in a swing. He was so cute! It was only a few months before my sister moved in with me. I took that kid to daycare, fed him every morning, fed him at night, changed his diapers, scolded him when he was a complete butthead, and I was just like a second mom. I grew up a lot those years. I babysat a lot, but I never really wanted kids. I thought after being around him that if they all turn out like that, I may have the patience to have a kid one day.
It amazes me that a musical dramady was the one show to address bullying, mental illness, love, heartbreak, obsession, alcoholism, transgender rights, suicide, and so much more. It wasn't just occasionally covered. It was all interwoven through every script and into character. We rooted for couples and their ability to get through adversity. Even through Montieth's death, the writer's never said one way or another why it happened, but instead they addressed it with a scolding quote from Kurt saying "Everyone wants to talk about how he died, but who cares? It's how he lived". That is just one important lesson.
I am not saying that this is the best show on TV, but it was real. We don't have enough real emotion in the world. We don't have real happy endings, but it is nice to see something that takes a lemons and makes lemonade. Or takes ice and makes slushies.
Family can be tricky. Sometimes you just need to roll your eyes and say, I'm sure I am just as annoying to them. That is how I have often felt with my brother. I know he finds me annoying. I know he hates that I am 30 years old and I don't make the money that I should make. I know he argues with my parents about it. It took me a long time to understand that this was probably because he cared. He knew I had potential and the same work ethic that him and my dad both have, but I was just not getting the same paycheck to show it.
Many years ago, okay not MANY, but quite a few years ago, Eric married Lisa. This relationship went fast. It was actually quite hilarious. One day my best friends and I stopped at his condo while we were in Westfield so I could go to the restroom, and I ran into her, not knowing she existed. I really just wanted to secretly go see Turbo. Lisa did the impossible. She changed him from an impulsive bachelor to a stable family man.
I am sometimes envious of their perfect family. They have the most perfect little kids, Calvin and Daphne, and the most badass cat, Turbo (seen above). Lisa has incredible patience when dealing with all children and Eric is a doting dad. I was so excited when Daphne was born because FINALLY we had a girl in the family. She didn't disappoint.
I am thankful that this little family is strong and healthy despite the world around them constantly moving. I appreciate the countless hours my brother works to provide for his family. I appreciate the knowledge that Lisa shares with children of all ages. She was gifted with a fantastic noggin and she knows how to share that with the world.
I don't get to see these guys much, but I appreciate the times I do.
Before I start, isn't that old man the cutest thing in the world?
Also, happy anniversary mom and dad. Love is like a battlefield so it is perfect that your wedding anniversary is on Veteran's Day.
I honestly don't believe in saying Happy Veteran's Day. I see nothing happy about what they went through to get a holiday. I do believe that every day should be a celebration for what these men and women do for our country.
I come from a long line men who served for our country. My great grandfather Swenson, my Grandpa Sarjeant, my Grandpa Condry, my great uncle Franklin, my uncle Dave, uncle Jim, cousins Randy and Chris, and I am sure I forgot some. Each one of these people, by choice or not, gave a part of themselves so I can sit here and be a blabber mouth.
This year has been increasingly hard to look back on. I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite veterans of all. My Grandpa Condry was one of the most beautiful souls to ever live. He treasured his time in the service and he wore it like a badge of honor. Today, I celebrate you. I celebrate how much you loved the service and your country. I celebrate my friends who were in the service, like my buddy Alex, who still fights for veteran's rights once they are home. Today is no different than any other day really. Today, I encourage you to thank a veteran for their service. Tomorrow, i encourage you to do it again. That sacrifice is wort more than one day a year.