Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beyond Blessed

   At 7:20 AM when I walked into my Journalism 1 class, I sat down and spent the next 53 minutes watching a documentary on poverty in the United States. While it wasn't my ideal way to spend my morning due to the fact that it was honestly depressing, it opened my eyes and made me realize just how amazing I have it. Amazing is an understatement, too.
   I'm constantly surrounded by my supportive, inspiring, loving and healthy family and friends. I have a beautiful house to call my home. And a wonderful life I get to call mine. I've always been grateful for all that I have, but it wasn't until today that I even realized all that I had. I have a fridge with food always in it, air conditioning, cars and clothes. 
   Even more than that, I'm beyond rich in things money cannot buy. Friends. Family. Health. Love. And the list goes on. I have parents that have gone to extremes to make ends meet for our family. Especially during the recession in 2008, our family was greatly affected. I was young and my parents didn't tell me exactly what was going on. My dad lost his job three times, our house was under construction and my mom was sick, and I didn't even realize how much my parents went through. I guiltily can admit I didn't feel personally affected by this but that's all because my parents took it all upon themselves to keep us feeling secure and safe and happy. 
   Continuing, no matter what, I hope you can recollect and think about how much you have in your life. For a minute forget about materialistic things. Think about the love and dedication that is spent in honor of you. I hear my dad come in from his office at 11 at night and I know he's out there working to keep my siblings, mom and me all happy. There are so many selfless acts people take to be there for you and we don't even say thank you half of the time. Give your parents hugs and kisses and tell them thank you for everything they've done and will continue to do. And keep in mind half of their sacrifices for you, you will probably never know about. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

50 Days Until I'm Home

   Today marks 50 days until camp. I spend five weeks in the mountains of North Carolina under the stars and on a beautiful lake, surrounded by my best friends at Camp Merrie-Woode. Although it's only my second year going, Camp Merrie-Woode has held a special place in my heart since I was born. My mom went there as a little girl and I've heard countless stories from her about her days in that special, special place. From singing around the camp fire to kayaking down the rapids, my mom told me about all the magical experiences she had, and all of her memories there that she still holds close to her heart, all these years later.
   With all of the stories my mom told me, I expected camp to be the best thing that I've ever done. While I was right, going to camp for the first time was the best thing that has ever happened, it was SO much more than I could have ever anticipated.
   There's something about waking up to the 8 AM bell that echoes off of the iconic "Old Bald" mountain. There's something about the mountain air that seeps through the cabins screen windows. There's something about the crunch of pea-rock under my Bean Boots. There's something about the camp fire songs on Sunday night, surrounded by the greatest girls in the world. There's something about the after-taps dance parties that make you feel alive, and purely happy. There's something about this 96 year old camp, hidden in the mountains that captures your heart and makes you feel more at home than you've ever felt before.
   It's something that I wish I could describe, but it's the continuous presence of love, unity, acceptance and empowerment that captivates the soul, mind and body. It's a spirit that you take from that sanctuary, and carry with you everyday after driving out of that twisting, 14 MPH, camp road.
   My last night at camp, I laid on top of my cabin with my counselor.  Slightly against the rules, but well worth it. We talked until 2 AM. We talked about everything. A couple of times, tears came to my eyes as I realized I have 11 more months until I can do this again. While these months away from my home-away-from-home have gone by way too slow, I'm so excited to know camp is right around the corner.
   "I'd trade 10 months at home for 2 months at Merrie-Woode"

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lime>Chipotle & the Summer Countdown is Here

If you have never been to Lime, a similar style restaurant to Chipotle, then I genuinely feel bad for you. Today, after my first trip to Lime, I bit into a 400 calorie, fattening, but God crafted burrito. Well worth it. I went with my fellow blogging friend, Chrystal. (Check her out at givebadmoviesachance.blogspot.com) Although Lime is in BFE and quite further than our neighborhood Chipotle, it's sooooo worth it. Also, their queso is A1. If you go with Chrystal you can hear first hand how her gringa self pronounces it: keh-so, not kay-so.
So my early release day was spent stuck in traffic watching my newly-licensed friend suffer from extreme road rage, going hard to Drake and god knows what other artists, and enjoying (to say the least) my first ever Lime burrito.
Pretty good, actually pretty great, day.
And on an even better note, 34 days until summer.
Which means 34 days until I'm on a plane with my brother and grandparents on my way to the beautiful London and Paris.
I couldn't be more excited.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Use Your Natural Lenses #nofilter

   As you may or may not know, yesterday was Earth Day, better known as my favorite holiday. While I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw dozens, maybe even hundreds, of nature pictures. As happy as that made me, it also made me realize I was on my butt inside enjoying pictures of the earth while I could be out there experiencing it's beauty first-hand.
   With the growing popularity of social media, I've seen people try to capture every moment to share later on Twitter or Instagram rather than live in the actual moment. With our hands constantly glued to our phones and refreshing our feed, we keep up on everyone else's adventure rather than going out and living our own. I'm guilty of this, as I know a lot of you reading this are, too.
  With that in mind I decided I'm going to change my own ways and set out to look up from my phone screen and see what's going on in the world. Whether I'll witness a little girl dance around with the confidence of a Queen, or the beauty of the sun reflecting off of freshly rained on windows, I know it'll be better than the artificial feed fed to me through the four inch LED screen that my life seems to revolve around.
   My blog is all about savoring the blissful bits of the day and keeping the little moments close to your heart. I know for a fact you would see more amazing things throughout your day if you put your phone down and experienced the world through your natural lenses: your eyes. (#nofilter)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Look out for the Little Things

   I'm finally getting over my severe pink eye and today was my first day back to school since Monday...keep in mind it's Friday. Anyways, my eyes are still extremely red and swollen. While walking through the halls today and in various classes, many people have stopped and asked me if I was okay. I didn't realize until I got home that it looks like I've been crying all day. After saying "Yes I'm fine, it's just pink eye...", they all took a big step back. While I am well aware not everyone reading this can relate with their own current pink eye situation, you should keep in mind there are signs throughout the day that show you are loved and cared for. Maybe they don't say "I love you" or "you really mean a lot to me and I care a lot about you", but that doesn't mean they don't say it. It's things like "wear your seatbelt", "I'll give you a hand", "are you okay?", "it was nice seeing you", and much, much, much more. Sometimes we get so caught up and wound up in our personal stresses that we tend to forget how many people are looking out for us and our best interest. Breathe, relax and remember all the signs throughout the day that show how much people care about you.
Look out for the little things.
"How are you?"

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Lesson from George

After a long and dreaded Monday, full of quizzes and work, something made me change my perspective. A lot. Today was our last lacrosse practice of the season, unless we win districts tomorrow...then we have practice on Wednesday. Anyways, our coach gave us a passionate and heartfelt speech about enjoying our final game of the season. As sad as I am to see this amazing season come to an end, the countdown for next years season will begin shortly. One of the girls lacrosse team traditions is every game day we bring our "Bigs" and "Littles" something sweet, like cookies or brownies. After practice, my mom and I drove to Publix to get my "Big" something. While we went in to get literally one item, we ended up spending a good thirty minutes getting groceries. At checkout, the sweetest man named George was bagging up our groceries. His tag said he'd been working here for 30 plus years. He's been bagging groceries everyday for over thirty years and he had the biggest smile on his face today, and I'm sure every other day as well. He told us about his Easter: sunrise mass and a great family day. He's not the Wolf of Wall Street, not is he the CEO of a major company, but the happiness he radiated while working at the local grocery story made me smile and realize you don't need the most money or the highest job to be grateful and enjoy the life you have been blessed with.  That's a lesson everyone could learn from.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Everyone, yes EVERYONE, has stressful days. Whether you walk the halls of Palmetto as a student, teacher, administrator or work outside of our comprehensive community based school in Pinecrest, Florida, you have stress in your life. Sometimes while you're white-knuckled and red in the face and about to crack, something makes you smile. And for that split second, everything is better. That's what I'm here to write about. While juggling school, sports, sleep and my social life, I like to emphasize the moments in my day that remind me why I'm working so hard, and I hope by writing my blog I make your day a little brighter. Enjoy my days blissful bits.