Thursday, May 31, 2012

Graduated-ish/ Lately

Well, that's done and over now. That is, my undergraduate career. Okay technically I'm not quite done? I have an internship/ volunteering thing for 120 hours of experience this summer, THEN I will be done and graduated. But I've moved back home now, and I have no more classes. It's kinda...weird. I'm still adjusting. My parents are trying to sell their house, so moving all my stuff (that I have accumulated over the past two years) and attempting to store it in places that won't be seen during showings of the house- yea it's been hell. I am super OCD about where all my things are. And right now, everything's in random boxes spread throughout the shed, garage, attic, my room, my sisters' rooms, closets, and the laundry room. So that's driving me CRAZY. Ack, I hate not knowing exactly where everything is...especially when it's something I need right that moment. I'll get over it. Or hopefully we can just sell the house; that'd make things SO much easier!!! So please everyone keep your fingers crossed for that!

Other than that, I'm just trying to find a dang job. Ugh. I have only been unemployed while I was in Spain, and that's it- since I was 16 years old. So being unemployed right now is killing me. I feel so... worthless, I guess would be the word. I know I'm not, but I mean, it just sucks. I'm living with my parents with no job, no car, and $70,000 of debt. Gee, so proud. I graduated college, and that's a huge accomplishment. But to me it just doesn't feel good enough, at least not yet. Once I actually get income and can start throwing money at my loans I'll feel a lot better.

Also, now that I re-read that last paragraph I realize I sound really negative. :P That's another thing I'm working on! Haha. Working on being happy with myself and who I am. I can make sure EVERYone else is happy, and fix everyone else's problems; but when it comes to mine, nope. But Lexi's my personal trainer now so I will get healthier physically, and hopefully psychologically along with it. I think that once I get a job, have income, and can get my life on track I'll be a lot better off and will be a lot happier with myself. So that's a work in progress.

Lastly, I love my sisters. I love being home with them now. Whenever Emilie and I are home usually we're jam packed nights and weekends with family and such, so it's hard for just us three to bond. But when we're home, we bond. And laugh- A LOT. Actually that's basically all we do together. Ha, it's amazing. I honestly don't know how I could survive without them! We are all so completely different people, yet we end up connecting perfectly and getting along so well. Of course we have random times where we just scream at each other from different levels of the house, or freak out because our shoes were stolen by a sister, but really- no one's perfect, right? ;) We usually just end up laughing about how crazy we seemed later on. It's great. Lex and Emilie are my life. I'm excited for all the wild, random memories and laughing fits we're all going to have together in the next few months.

So that's where I'm at thus far. Truckin' along, trying to find a job, etc. Now that I'm back in the cities though I'd love to catch up with old friends and new friends. There are so many people though, so I'm just kinda waiting to see who all messages or contacts me first. :P

PS-- The dentist called today to schedule an appointment, and the earliest date available is July 2nd. Which is my birthday. Ha! But I love the dentist. My dental hygienist is AMAZINGGGGG. I refuse refuse to have anyone else besides her. She knows all my sensitive teeth, and my life story! Haha! So yea...happy birthday to me? :/

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You'll Be Bright

You'll Be Bright by: Cloud Cult

All the things you'll love,

All the things that may hurt you,

All the things you shouldn't do,

And all the things you want to...

They're calling your safely.

Every first kiss, every crisis, every heartbreak and every act of kindness...

They're calling your safely.

Every empire, every monument, every masterpiece and every invention,

They're calling your safely.

I found stars on the tip of your tongue.

You speak Poltergeist, so do I. So do I.

What comes will come.
What goes will go.

The wind will blow where the wind is blowing.
Let go of where you think you're going.

We'll never know why it flows where it's flowing.

We've always been what we will always be.

I'm so convinced we have to get there, we can part the sea.

So bring the dead to life, turn your blood to wine.

All your life you have waited for this moment to arrive.

And you'll be bright.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

For the ladies: on Mother Nature

Hey ladies... So, we all know how much we love having Mother Nature visit us each month. (NOT!) But it's normal, it happens, it sucks, but we get used to it. One thing I had never really thought of is tracking my cycle to see any patterns and record the average durations, etc. of my period.

Kayla introduced me to this site It is AMAZING. It's simple, easy, free, and for some reason makes relieved and at peace with my period. I don't want to sound like a paid advertiser or anything, but everyone with a period should use this!

Basically, you just put in when you get your period on the calendar.
Then, from the day it starts it will show you what stage you're at, whether it's a maturing follicle, ovulation, etc. This would be great for any trying to do natural family planning as well, so you can see when you're ovulating or not. 
There is also a place on the calendar where you can write notes about your period. Then, as you record it more often, you can start to see your cycle pattern. Obviously when you first start it, it's hard to tell what your pattern is completely accurate. As I've been using it for a few years now, I can look through and see the variations of my cycle durations. There is also a chart showing the average durations and the standard deviations of them too!

My favorite part about this site is that it will send you friendly reminders when you're period is expected to come. You can sign up for emails or texts from them to let you know. I have mine signed up to text and email me two days before it's expected.
And that's it! All you do to sign up is give your email and make a password. I love the layout of it because it's simple and not evil and scary, like our periods usually seem to be. So I suggest if you have a period, you should have a MonthlyInfo account. I seriously just love it. It's great to see when my cycles are normal or off, and getting little reminders of when it'll be. :)

[And I will step off my soap box now]

Monday, May 21, 2012

Soneto XVII (Sonnet 17) by Pablo Neruda

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres, 

tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.


I do not love you as if you were a rose made of salt or topaz
or an arrow of carnations spreading fire:
I love you the way certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you like the plant that never blooms,
but conceals within itself the light of those flowers;
and, thanks to your love, the darkness of my body
houses the suffocating aroma that arose from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, when, or where from;
I love you straightforwardly, with neither problems nor pride:
I love you thus, not knowing how to love you otherwise

than this way whereby neither ‘you’ nor ‘I’ exist…
so close that your hand on my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes grow heavy when I tire.

Star Lake, Dent, MN :)

Boat ride with loved ones

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tattoos: How I feel, and what I have

Everyone has their opinions on tattoos, whether you're covered in them or you think they're the ugliest things in the world. My opinion? I love them. To me, they are a form of art that you can portray on your body. I believe if you get something that has special meaning to you, and will have meaning to you forever, it's perfectly okay to get them. I know many people just get something because they like it, and it doesn't always have a special meaning or anything- which is fine for them. It's just on your body forever, so I think it should be something meaningful.
Tattoo: Number 1
I had wanted a tattoo ever since I was probably 16 years old or so. My first one took me about a year to plan out. I saw the Chinese symbol for love when I was at the Navy Pier in Chicago and I loved how symmetrical and simple it was. So that was the first spark for my first tattoo. I also wanted to incorporate a butterfly into the tattoo as well, as ever since sixth grade butterflies have been my favorite animal.

Why a butterfly? Well when I was in sixth grade, one of my classmate's little sister had a skin disease in which she would break out in sores any time someone touched her. It was also called "the butterfly disease". She  passed away when she was only six weeks old. That was the first funeral I had ever been to, and at the burial we let off butterfly balloons in honor of her little soul. The moment I looked up at the sky and saw the butterflies, I was inspired; and that is why they are now my favorite animal. They're so beautiful and fragile, and represent how great change can be- since they come and transform from a caterpillar.

So when I turned 18, I had been a paraprofessional for Special Education summer school in Cottage Grove. My friend/ co-worker and I sat and planned out this tattoo every single day of school when we had free time; to ensure that it was perfect. Once I perfected it, I went and got it done! It didn't even hurt. It felt like scratches kind of. Luckily, it was just on my ankle, so it's not a sensitive spot to begin with. :)

Tattoo: Number 2
In case you didn't know already, I love love. I love friends, and I love family. My life revolves around love! My best friend Kayla and I had talked about getting a "friendship" tattoo for a while. We wanted to get something simple and symbolic of friendship and love. Trevor Hall (our favorite singer/ man EVER) has two tattoos kind of by the collar bone, on the best, by the shoulder (it's a hard placement to explain), and we fell in love with that placement. Visible with a strapless or tank top, but easily hidden with a t-shirt/ regular shirt.
So that was how we decided the placement for that one. We kept it a secret at first, because we wanted it to be a surprise kind of thing. But K let the word slip to our friend Jenna about it, and we also couldn't keep it from our other friend Jaymee. Alas, we decided all four of us should get it. And we just so happened to be planning a trip to KC, MO to visit Kayla one weekend... Perfect timing for the tattoo! It took use FOREVER to plan out the specifics of the tattoo though. Even though it's a simple design, the color, size, placement, style, etc. was a really difficult thing for us all to agree on. Did we want it fancy? Big? Colored? Left side? Right side? Since Jen had heart surgery, we couldn't get it on the left side. So the right side was decided, and since we couldn't think of a color we'd all like, we chose to get it black. We all went in, got them done, and they turned out wonderfully. Each of them are just a tad different than the others too, which is nice.

Tattoo: Number 3
I have always loved foot tattoos. But I never thought I'd be able to handle the pain (that I heard) that came along with it. Since my family is my entire life, and I wouldn't be here without them and their support, I knew that I'd want a tattoo to represent them. I came up with the idea of incorporating all of our birthstones into a tattoo, since we were all born in different months it could be a cool idea. So I toyed with idea of having some simple shape filled with our birthstone colors: a star would be the perfect one. So I knew I wanted five stars, all with each of my parents', my sisters', and my birthstone colors. (Dad: aquamarine, Mom: peridot, Me: ruby, Emilie: emerald, Lex: amethyst). 

Jaymee and I went to LaCrosse to visit our friends, and get the tattoo done! I told the artist all I wanted was those starts and some type of swirls or something to separate them. So I just put it in his hands and had him be creative, since I clearly wasn't doing very well at that part. And MAN, am I glad I let him play with the idea. He did an awesome job of designing the swirls. The best part is he made the stars in order, from biggest to smallest. And he even put the birthstone colors birth order too- which I totally didn't even plan! So it goes biggest to smallest, Dad - Lexi. So amazing. It's definitely one of my favorite tattoos. :) Aaaand I didn't even cry! (I literally told myself it was going to be one of the most painful things ever, so I wouldn't be shocked when it actually would be that painful. It didn't even hurt as bad as I'd heard it would!)
[The only problem with this time was that I had to be alone in the tattoo area; so Jaymee couldn't even hold my hand or anything. Which was dumb.]

Tattoo: Number 4
For the past ~3 years or so, I've always loved the phrase "paz. amor. igualdad.": which means peace, love, equality. And even though I'm artistically challenged, I would always doodle the phrase with each word's coordination symbols. On EVERYTHING I could, I would write "paz. amor. igualdad." with the peace sign, heart, and equal sign under each word. They are three things I like to promote as much as I can. Peace: being at peace with yourself, I'm also a huge pacifist, and just spreading peace among others. Love: this is obvious, as I've said about my other tattoos, that I love love. Equality: treating people the same, accepting people for who they are, etc. Obviously I'm not perfect, no one is, but these are things are try my hardest to spread and encourage as much as possible.

There is tattoo shop here, Tatu Royale, and my friend Casey has worked there for a while. So I met all the workers there, and they're all awesome people. I never got anything pierced or tattooed there though, I just met everyone. But at the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to get this phrase tattooed before I leave Winona. So I saved up money throughout the year just for the tattoo. I wanted Amado, one of the artists there, to do it for me since he speaks Spanish and I figured we could bond over that ;)

I wanted it to be fancy, but not too busy. But I also still wanted it to be simple. So after months of trying to choose a font, I decided on a cursive font. And for the heart, Kayla suggested doing a heart with a design in it. So I picked one that suited me most: it's leaves/ tree like. This is perfect since I love nature and the Earth. And it's still simple, but also intricate and a dash of fancy to even out the simplicity of the other two symbols. I had decided to get it on my side, because it needed to be vertical. I was planning on just dying and crying from the pain, since I knew the ribs are some of the most painful places to get tattooed.

But I did it. Amado perfected the size, design, and placement. And I DID IT! Eek! It hurt. A lot. But I didn't even cry. My friend Mako came and took pictures for us and she held my hand towards the end in the most painful part. But it is just great. So perfect. I love it. I've received countless compliments on it too, even from people who don't like tattoos! ;) So here it is, tattoo number 4. (Which I just got on May 8th!)
Well folks, there ya go. All about my tattoos and the meanings behind them.

Will I get more? Well I'm planning on it... I have a few more planned still. That I've thought about for at least a couple years now. Once I'm rich (HA!) or something, then I'll eventually get more. If they were cheaper, I'd get lots more for sure. But I have to save up lots o' money for the future ones. And ya know, pay off the school debt that I'm up to my ears. But that's a whole other story...

Do you have tattoos? Do they have special meanings? :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

A little about me...Rando facts!

I randomly have mental breakdowns and start sobbing for no reason.

I swear...a lot. I blame my old supervisor at work for it.

When I'm emo or feeling down, I listen to slow depressing music instead of happy, upbeat music.

I hate paying full price for clothes; I only love thrift stores/ consignment shops.

I love Mexican food.

I like long hugs (as they're not from creepy people).

I always wear socks. I only wear sandals if it's ~80* or so outside. Even in summer, I HAVE to wear socks to bed.

Because of this, my feet are very soft.

I like the smell of onions.

I don't like cucumbers.

I hate big dogs; I only like little dogs. (If I had to choose, otherwise I just don't like dogs in general)

I don't like horseback riding. At all. It hurts me a lot!

I do not wear regular flip flops ever. I have Chacos, and they are the best sandals EVER.

I don't like hiking.

I love watching the sunset.

I'm afraid of storms.

I'm obsessed with lyrics, tattoos, and dreadlocks.

I sleep with pillows, blankets, books, and clothes on the other side of me so it doesn't feel so lonely and empty.

Our deepest fear

‎"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of god. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of god that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

What does it mean?

I've heard this quote countless times, and every time I see a different view or aspect on it. It's long, and has so much depth to it. 

The first two lines are perfect: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We all have so much potential to do great things in the world and in our lives, but do we ever want to risk failing? What if we succeed immensely? what would we do with all that power and pride? 

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? So what makes ME any different than everyone else in the world? What makes me ME special? Well, everyone is special. Everyone has good to them. Everyone has a talent or a strong point; the problem is, do they demonstrate it? Do they use it to their fullest abilities? 

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. No one wants to feel like they're better than everyone than everyone else, because then who knows what others will think? Making your life smaller and seeming less significant doesn't accomplish anything.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. If we can shine and show the world what we've got to give, other people can pick up on that. They can see that you're successful, have confidence, motivation, strength, and you [seem] to know what to do with it. This is encouraging. Hey, I saw so-and-so doing [this]- now I want to do that! Who's to say you can't? Who's to say you're not good enough? It's the ripple effect... You see others doing what they're meant to do, so why can't you?

As I reach this new chapter in my life, this quote hits me really hard. I have endless opportunities in front of me. I have a brand new, clean slate to work with. What will I do with it? How will I start my new life chapter? I have some plans. We'll see how they turn out. Only time will tell what I'm supposed to do, or where I'm supposed to go. But I have some pretty positive aspects to myself; I have some things I'm pretty good at it. Will I use them to my fullest ability? Will I show the world what I got?

Well, I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try my damnedest. 

What makes YOU shine?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dia de la Madre

Seeing as I'm a poor college student...well, soon to-be college graduate... I don't have much money to buy some fancy gift for my mama this Mother's Day. But really, material goods only satisfy temporary happiness. The memories that I have of times with my mom top any gift I could buy her.

My mom used to be a crazy woman back in her younger years. Then she worked full time (at a desk job, which eventually killed her body slowly). She works at an appliance store with her awesome father (my grandpa). She thoroughly enjoys hot yoga, long walks, random stretching at home or in public places, and has to use a million pillows whenever she sits. She is gluten free, and is who started me on my g-free diet. She is the oldest of eight, which she used to hate... but now I don't think any of us can imagine family gatherings any other way than they usually go: crazy.
("Beer in one hand, bubbles in the other. Perfect combo." - Mom)
(me, Aunt Julie, Aunt Kristyn, Mama, Aunt Shelly... "Girls Weekend" in Winona)
Like the rest of our family, my mom has the best sense of humor. Sometimes the things she says...well, we're either all laughing at her because it's absolutely ridiculous, or she's laughing to herself and none of us get why. Or we all just laugh together because...well, that's how we are!
(Mama and Uncle Joe aka: my mom's baby brother!)


Yup. My sisters, my mom, and I frequently have random dance parties. There's usually music involved... but sometimes there's not. Lack of music definitely doesn't stop us from gettin' our groove on. Let me tell you! I think my favorite dance memories are when we were in Iowa with my dad's side of the family...
Teach Me How to Dougie
Yea, you read that right. Soooo, our mom is an AMAZING dancer. I mean seriously. I'm jealous. So anyway, you know all the rando hip-hop moves they come up with (stanky leg, two-step, walkin it out, the bernie, etc.), well when the Dougie song came out we immediately asked mom to try it. We showed her a video of these guys doing it (total eye candy. freaking fantastic dancers.) so she could kinda get an idea of how to do it. We played "Teach Me How to Dougie" and played the guys dancing so she could watch, we handed her a hat (which she turned to the side of course), she pulled her pants as low as they could get (in attempt to make them baggy...but it's funny because her jeans were tight and she had a belt on. so yea, it didn't work. but she tried!) and she DOUGIED. She just did it. My cousins and I were all just freaking out we were so excited. Hahaha, oh it was perfect. The rest of the fam (aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc) were looking at us like we were crazy people. Keep in mind, this was all in our grandparents' kitchen.
Not to cause dance party in the history of dance parties
Ok, so we went to visit my sister at her college and we ended up going to Goodwill to clothes shop for a bit on our way back. It was mama, Uncle Skip, Tori, Lexi, and me. The rest of the family ended up going to church, but we didn't make it back on time to go. So the only logical thing for us to do while we waited for everyone to come back? DANCE PARTY. We salsa danced, hip hop danced, El Baile de Meme danced, every kind of dance- we probably did it. It was so epic. Even Uncle Skip danced! And he's usually the most chill guy ever; but he was into it! Then the second the rest of the fam walked in, they turned it off. Ha it was lame...but totally wicked before then! We got all sweaty and sore... Such a great work out. ;)

Another random memory (more recent) is when my sister and I were just hanging out in the kitchen with my mom, we looked over and she had a random plastic baggie hanging from her sweater. Here is the conversation that ensued:
Emilie: "Nice bag, mom..."
Mom: "Yea, I'm trying to be Gaga, can't you tell?! I NEED MORE BAGS!"
Hahaha. Oh goodness. In short, I love my mom. She's a life saver. My sisters and I are the luckiest girls ever, and my papa is the luckiest guy ever to have her as his wife! Words can't describe how thankful I am to have such great parents. :)
(Both parents. They've both lost weight since this pic too!)

Feliz Dia de la Madre... Happy Mother's Day, Mama Bear! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The countdown of me

nine things about yourself
1. I have four tattoos.
2. I have five bracelets I wear on each wrist.
3. I'm afraid of the dark.
4. I'm lactose intolerant. 
5. I have chronic nasal issues.
6. I love learning about other cultures.
7. I can make my tongue into a clover.
8. I like in depth talks with anyone.
9. I've worn glasses since third grade.

eight things to win your heart
1. Support natural living.
2. Make me laugh.
3. Get along with my family.
4. Speak fluent sarcasm (but not all the time!)
5. Be able to cook.
6. Tell me I'm beautiful.
7. Get along with my sisters.
8. Support, or at least respect, my passions.

seven people of the same sex who mean a lot to you
1. Mama
2. Lexi
3. Emilie
4. Kayla
5. Sam
6. Tasha
7. Java

six things that cross your mind a lot
1. You
2. Where I'll be in a year
3. Love
4. My sisters
5. What I'll be doing this summer
6. What I need to work on for the day

five things you do before falling asleep
1. Brush my teeth
2. Put in my mouth guard
3. Make Sure I have a full glass of water by my bed
4. Set (and quadruple check) my alarm
5. Lock (and quadruple check it) my front door

four things you're wearing right now
1. Red flats
2. Dress
3. Leggings
4. Sweater

three songs you listen to often
1. "Kissed You Goodnight" by Gloriana
2. "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men
3. "Climax" by Usher

two things you want to do before you die
1. Go to mexico, or basically anywhere and everywhere in the world
2. Pay off my debt

one confession
I am really bad at focusing on myself and making myself happy; 
because of this, I will always put others before myself. 
(Although it seems like a nice thing to have, it's caught up to me,
and I'm working on balancing to find a happy medium.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

The new chapter is slowly beginning

Hi, world.

I've been a little out of the loop lately. It was my last semester of my undergrad career. Super weird. Really depressing. Had to say goodbye to a lot of people: friends and co workers. Familiar routines and traditions. Familiar places. Job I had for four years. People I know everywhere I go. Coming home to friends, waking up to friends, running into friends, having meetings with friends, etc.

I have a May class til the 28th. It's Culture of Spain. And yes, I'm extremely bitter I have to take it since I was already living in Spain for five months... The credits got all screwed up there so now I have to retake it here. I'm so checked out of school mode too, sooo we'll see how that goes. :P But I need it to graduate. [Had my first day today; it wasn't as bad as I was expecting! But it's two hours and 40 minutes long, and he didn't give us any breaks... I had to leave part way through because sitting that long kills me.] Then after that, I'll be moving back home to the Cities to volunteer/ get field experience the Hennepin County Juvenile Delinquency Center. I have to volunteer there for 120 hours to finish my Child Advocacy Studies minor up. Then I'll be done.

How strange of a feeling. I'm growing up. I'm going to miss college life. I've met so many amazing people here, especially in just the past semester. Special thanks to MWMF and FRFF and all the Winona regulars  for giving me the opportunity to get to know them better. And of course Chartwells... I met most of my closest friends from working there. We're all going our separate ways this summer and after that, I won't be in school anymore and they will be. Ack. I know it's normal to feel this way, and it happens to everyone who graduates probably... But this is what I've known for FIVE YEARS. (Yes, five years. I went to school part-time for the last couple years to save money) And then I have to get a big girl job and pay off my THOUSANDS of dollars of debt... Yuck. Hopefully I pay it off before I die. ;)

Now that it's summer, hopefully I can blog more. I'm hoping to clean out and get rid of a lot of the crap in my room... It's all built up after living in my same room for two years. I honestly don't know how I've accumulated that much shit! Haha, oh well. Hopefully I can just have a whole day dedicated to making heaps of things to donate to Goodwill/ Savers. It needs to be done!

The new chapter in my life is slowly beginning... Here we go!