Bye-Bye Student Loans!

It’s official! As of today, I am no longer paying for student loans!

TIME TO CELEBRATE!

Three years after graduation.

Two different jobs.

Took a cruise to Mexico.

A trip to Chicago for July 4th and SC to my alma mater.

Next up my CPA exam!

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Dear Valentine’s Day

Dear Valentine’s Day,

When I was in elementary, Valentine’s day was an excuse to get candy and throw a class party.  All I had to do was buy a box of valentines cards, sign my name, and throw one on each desk. EASY!  In High School, it got a bit more complicated. Everyone is wondering who your valentine was or you’re wondering if someone would ask you. It was a big deal. In college me and my girlfriends took ourselves out until one by one we got boyfriends and/or husbands.

This year I have no boyfriend and I don’t have that group of girlfriends to go out with anymore. Even though I’ve spent a majority of my Valentine’s day ‘alone’ I’ve had time to reflect and observe other’s traditions of this holiday.

Why is it that friends don’t do things for each other? Better yet, why is there so much emphasis on one day of the year to let that “special someone” know they are a special someone to you? (How lame are those terms anyway? Special someone)  Why can’t this one day of expressing love be lived throughout the week, month, year, and decades? Instead we cherish our loved one one day of the year. Ever so often the day after Valentine’s day we find the words written on the Valentine’s card are as contrary to how we feel less than 24 hours later. How sad.

So how about it Valentine’s day? Wouldn’t you like to be celebrated every day instead of once a year?

 

CHRISTMAS: Got to mix things up a bit… Part 3 of 3

 

Read first post HERE

Read second post HERE

CHRISTMAS DAY.

At Cousin J, Cousin Jo, and Cousin Jul’s house. They are losing their house 😦

 
 

The Ladies...

Smiles

Aw, precious ... Their wedding is in July.

Eating

They had time to fall asleep ... lucky!

Now… the purpose of the 3 part post of Christmas day.

The Mystery Machine.

This van used to be ours. I remember car-pooling in that miracle van since 3rd grade. We extended family used the miracle van for all of our excursions. It held ALL of us. In later elementary my dad gave it to my uncle. I completely forgot about the van until it made a miracolous appearance 🙂

Of course we needed to take a picture with it!

Did I mention we love to mimic Forever 21 poses?

Apparently some of them are still on the Forever 21 pose.

For these next pictures… you’re going to see the angle change. In order to get the van with everyone in it and to have the flash actually make an effect on the picture my sister had to place the camera in the middle of the street. By the way, the “town” we were in is called Richgrove; population: 2000 approximate. My cousins happen to live on the last street of the town.

So camera in the middle of the street my aunt is watching for any oncoming cars. It’s supposed to take 3 pictures on self-timer.



#1 Self Timer picture

#2 Self-timer picture

#3 Self Timer Picture

Maybe now you know why I’m so random and crazy, kind of 🙂

 

CHRISTMAS: Got to mix things up a bit… Part 2 of 3

Missed the first part? Read here!

Continuing on from my last post…

Now everyone wants to go outside. Play some basketball. Etc.

I’m looking for my boots to join them… I can’t find them! I see other brown boots that are NOT mine.

I give up looking and stay inside to join the older folks with the karaoke. (I hear you: typical.)

They also went caroling without me. (New tradition)

 They went next door and were given $4 for their crooning serenade.

Such manners… as they relayed the information my bro J took the money. Cousin Ry yells “SCORE!” as they’re walking away… Someone also adds “JACKPOT!” to the shouts of surprise and thanks…

Apparently, there were some cute guys in the audience mix. To console myself by missing the cute guys sighting… I say… “Oh well they’re [Cousin Jul & sister D] still in college they’re probably like 19s.”

Cousin Jul: No! They were in college. Cousin J saw them to!

Cousin J: Yeah.. they were cute.

Cousin Jo: MAN! I missed it.

Me: Were they black?

Cousin Jo: You like them bros?!

Me/Cousin J: Duh, she dated a black guy for 2 years…

Cousin Jo: dude! I didn’t even know you like them bros!

Me: Uhm, yeah! Lol. FOUND OUT! Hahaha.

Somehow the conversation steered back to the cute guys.

Cousin Jul: I didn’t even notice them because an old guy answered the door and there was little kids running around.

Me: How do you know it’s not their kids?!

Cousin Jul: It’s probably their cousins!

Me: Oh no. I’m not signing up for no baby mama title.

Cousin Chuck: Oh yeah.. that’s what they were looking for. Good thing you didn’t go Mel.

Cousin Jul: You guys are so messed up!

And with that conversation we wrapped things up at this house and proceeded to say our goodbyes, hugs, and “see you tomorrows” to everyone…



Packed up for the next house. It was 7:30 pm.

And what did we do?

Can you tell we love taking pictures together?

Cousin J and Cousin Jo

Sister wanted to be in the picture too!

When the tripod is setup; more people can get in the picture

 

Yes, we are weird and random. Ok, just me 🙂

 

At this house we continued our gift opening from this family.

We continued our caroling to random people (my cousin’s friends).

One more post left 🙂

CHRISTMAS: Got to mix things up a bit… Part 1 of 3

Christmas eve day.
Arrive in Bakersfield at 1:30pm.

Eat. (The most important part) (Of course, after I hugged everyone and their mother)

My cousin Toby showing us his madd piano skills.

Paused for a picture.


Sing and goof around. (My auntie provided the entertainment of goof around-she fell back against the chair she was sitting and was conveniently caught by the plant and the wall.) Needless to say, only 2 precious souls tried to help her get up while the rest of us were stuck cackling in our seats.

After setting her straight. I mean the chair straight.

Ugly sweater contest. (New tradition)

Supportive Audience

 

 

Ugly Sweater Contestants

White Elephant Gift Exchange.

 

Prepping for gift exchange

Hard at thought. Which should I choose?!

 

 



My bro J gets the gag gift! Girl's hott pink swim shorts!

We hit a lull. It felt like it was 10 pm. It was barely 6:30 pm.

 

I mean THEY hit a lull 🙂

 

We were soon revived with Pinta time. (New tradition)

Here comes Benjamin Franklin.

Getting into candy ready positions.

The first batter up... CHARGE!

CHARGE!

CHARGE some MORE!

Happy with our prizes!

**Notice some knee stains?

Gift Opening.

 

Gathering around...

Showing off our AERO shirts.

Excited about our mugs!

 

 

Happy Happy

 

To be continued…

In the spirit of Thanksgiving . . .

Thanksgiving this year is different. We’re home without the many family members that usually comprise our family holiday gatherings (family gatherings in general).

Come to think of it…it shouldn’t be that weird for me not to be surrounded by family members during my college years. Every year at college it was a different state and surrounded by different people. It was still the same… I spent it with people who loved one another, cared for each other, and had unimaginable blessings.

My blessings this year? It’s been a hard year but I learned things about myself that I would have never learned had it not been a hard year. I learned things about others as I went through this hard time as well. I learned things about my God because of my hard times.

I’m thankful for my family. No matter what happens and no matter what the outcome of my life I will always have them and they will always love me.

I’m thankful for my friends-here, nationally, and abroad. We’ve been through many different life phases and each one has taught me more about life and encouraged me spiritually.

I’m thankful for a church I have the opportunity and privilege to serve at. The 4-5 year olds I teach and the 2-3 years old I watch. I thoroughly enjoy playing the piano for RU Friday nights.

I’m thankful for the RU ministry. It’s been a place I can come to and be surrounded by people who are striving to run the race as I am with as few distractions and weights as possible.

I’m thankful for God’s mercy, faithfulness, and longsuffering. If not for those 3 characteristics I would not be where I am today spiritually, physically,  mentally, or emotionally.

It’s an uphill battle but shame on me if I ever thought anything worth gaining was easy.

Thank you! Thank you!

Received another award October 9th. Unfortunately, I was unable to relish in this award until now BUT better late than never! 🙂

Thank you Princess Diaries for such an award and the kind words that went with it!

 

As a side note but one along the lines of thanks and compliments, I received an indirect compliment yesterday. I say indirect because it wasn’t said to me, to my face, but relayed to me by a trusted source. I say trusted because the compliment-or and the trusted source are good friends, to say the least.

I digress, the compliment: The guys are missing out… Melanie is a good catch.