Baby Love: Emma May

10502063_10153883799908363_5996945672507358323_nTwo and a half days later yet nearly 3 weeks early, Emma May Fast entered the world and changed the lives of more than she’ll ever know. On Saturday, February 20th at 2:15 in the afternoon I became an auntie for both the 1st time and the 4th time. I’ve been an aunt for over 7 years to three wonderful children on Channing’s side of the family and I love them just as much as ever. But when my Little Logan Sunshine of a brother became a daddy for the first time, I knew the world would never be the same.

12742324_10153883799993363_5634277584651143841_nEntering the ring at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19 ½ inches tall; this little southern bell namesake of a girl warmed so many hearts. I don’t even know how to explain all the feels I’d felt since hearing that they were pregnant to thinking about their future to the birth of their little girl.

As soon as she entered the world, all my fears and reservations vanished momentarily because I knew that everything was going to be okay. Logan is turning out to be such a stand-up man and he’s going to be a phenomenal father. He’s going to do whatever he needs to do to make sure that life is good for his little family and I couldn’t be more proud to be his sister.

The Day You Were Born

12717406_10153883800223363_3671269714107456680_nI had drove home on Thursday after work because you were supposed to enter this world that day little girl. But of course, you didn’t. You must get your stubbornness from your mom or auntie. I had to go back to work on Saturday morning and you still weren’t here but that’s okay. You must have needed to cook for a little longer. I got a text from your grandma Julie telling us that your mom was dilated to 8 or 9. I can’t remember now. At that very second, my boss was standing next to me and told me to “go!” I couldn’t believe it. I cried for some reason on my way to my apartment to pick up your uncle Channing (Well officially he’s my boyfriend at this point in time but I’m calling him your uncle.) I don’t know if I was happy or sad, probably scared of all the unknowns. You were early and your parents were young and my brother was being strong, too strong. Your mom wasn’t showing how much pain she was in last time I saw her and I’d never had a baby so I have no idea what she could possibly be going through. But I was elated at the very same time.

12715376_10153883799838363_3626927763486935881_nYou’ll soon find out that you were the first on all sides. You’re the first grandbaby, niece, girl. Just like me!

You were born at 2:15 PM. At 2:15 PM, I was on I29 between Halstad and Hillsboro. I wonder if I’ll remember that 20 years from now. I hope so. We’re supposed to remember where we were when 9/11 happened so why is this life changing moment any different?

At that moment, you were born. My brother and his fiance became parents. My parents were now grandparents and grandparents were now great-grandparents. I feel like I’m seeing and realizing all of this stuff for the first time like I had no concept of it before. It’s weird.

12744170_10153883799763363_2473925917232538382_nI hope your great-grandparents live just as long and hopefully longer then mine did. It’s something I’ll always cherish. I remember my great-grandma (your great-great-grandma) Aggie’s house still like the back of my hand. I remember her buttered saltine crackers and her “funny” accent and her laugh. I remember my great-grandma (your great-great-grandma) Elsie’s letters and doilies. I remember her heart and her stories.

Anyway, we finally got to the hospital around 4 PM and only had to wait a few minutes with your grandma Julie before your dad came out. I lost it. It’s so hard to wrap my head around the fact that my baby brother is now a daddy. I know I keep repeating myself but I don’t know how else to explain it. Nothing in his life will ever be the same. His entire world has literally changed. For the better. Everything about this story, about you, is good. There will be times of doubt and uncertainty, times of turmoil and arguments will arise but good will always prevail. I believe that and I hope you do too.

12745791_10153883800053363_3916493355841250004_nChildren learn more from what you are than what you teach. -W.E.B. Du Bois

Well, I suppose we’re nearing the end of this post. There are so many things I can’t wait to tell you about life and about your parents. I can’t wait to watch you grow, explore, and hear you laugh. I hope that you do everything you ever dream of doing, make friends, be kind and think for yourself. You’re already so awesome.

Love, your favorite auntie, Ori.

NickGFast: Subscribe + Like + Share

My brother [Nick] has recently began dipping his 20-something toes back into his YouTube channel among other things. It sounds like he has a couple of ventures up his sleeve. I’m excited to watch him travel along this new found road of cool stuff. He’s a vinyl collecting, music guru, movie nerd kind of kid.

I’m sure I’m biased because I’m his sister but he’s darn talented. I should have written a list before writing this; how unprepared of me. He can know you for 10 years or 10 minutes and I guarantee you he could mix you a playlist that you’ll be addicted to for weeks. He’ll give you and the artist or actor an honest and educated review of whatever he’s listening to, watching, or reading.

Also, he just shared that he edited a blog article for a friend of his interviewing Glass Houses. #jealousAF Doesn’t he know I’m the grammar nazi of the family? Anyway, kudos to him and I can’t wait see what else he has coming down the pipeline!

Before I forget; like, share, subscribe, follow. Do whatever it is kids do these days. Links and tags below the video because I’m helpful like that. Enough rambling, meet the man of the hour himself — my brother, Nick G. Fast:

YouTube, Twitter, Vine: @NickGFast
Instagram, Snapchat: @nickobean

Ciao.

IMG_7036This weekend was full of fun. I will try to spare you on all the rambling on details but it was nice to do something out of the norm. Not that my weekends have been “normal” or anything. I am pretty aware of the fact that I live a “dull life” in comparison to many of the people that I interact with on a daily basis. I’ve actually been busier than I’m used to over the last few weeks though. But if you’ve been keeping up with my blog or twitter feed, you already knew that.

We had a nice yet unexpected dinner with my aunt on Friday evening. And we also went to visit my SO’s niece and nephew which was a blast because they are both at such fun ages. I remember growing up and my Uncle Troy seemed to be always present in my younger childhood days. Moments with him were some of my favorite growing up.

We haven’t always had the opportunity to connect with our niece and nephew as often as we’d like to have in the past but are making a great effort to do so as much as we can presently. It’s a good feeling.

Bw-obAeCcAErsTdSaturday was full of JC, shopping, a baby shower for Channing’s sister and some good ol’ quality visiting time with my mom. When days are jam packed with thing after thing after thing, it seems that there are never enough seconds in the day. I loved every bit of the weekend but I wish that I could have spent more time doing each thing because it seems like an hour only last 20 minutes these days.

Oh, and my mom, brother, and I went to get our hair done at my aunts salon in Halstad. (This is a different aunt from my Friday venture.) I wish I had a picture of my moms new do as well because she looks great!

Does time go faster than it should? I began to notice that each day seemed to go a little faster when I was in 4th grade. I don’t know what the particular event was but I know that I was at school and I all of a sudden felt like the day zoomed by. Around that time, I must have become more concussions of the measure of time.

As I’m proofreading this post, it’s kind of silly I guess. To lay out what I did on my weekend. It’s actually kind of boring. I just felt like writing and really don’t have anything specific to write about.

Actually, I do have a couple things to write about but I’m working through how to construct the posts. I have some blurbs of thoughts down but nowhere to go with them. We’ll see what happens. Ciao.

Time Does Not Pass, It Continues.

IMG_5033Sitting in the only comfortable chair and table combo in the history of Subway, downtown Grand Forks – I feel like writing. This is the perfect spot to bring a laptop, listen to Americas top 100, smell the fresh aroma that Subway is famous for, and just write. But I have nothing to write about.

I’ve been up to nothing new. Just work and usual day to day stuff. I’m still trying to push myself to the gym. I signed up last week and haven’t set foot inside. I went to the trouble of signing up and buying new gym shoes. I bought another shipment of Shakeology (still unopened) and a good set of vitamins. I’m ready, I’m geared up! Time to tie the shoes and hit the road. So what’s in the way? Me. It’s always me. I hold myself back.

IMG_5026On another more positive front, my brothers graduation cards are now ordered! I wish I could do this stuff for a living. Photography, editing, announcements, ect. Of course I cheated and used Shutterfly for the layout but if I had known how to properly use the correct software, I would have loved to try with an empty sheet and create my own thought up masterpiece.

It’s crazy to think that the youngest in our family of 5 is graduating in 52 short days. What does that even mean?

It means my mom has been done with diapers for nearly 16 years. It means my parents are old enough to be grandparents and everyone is able to drive. It means the art projects are old and tattered. It means the refrigerator picture magnets are full of 90’s hairstyles. My baby brother graduating high school means we’re all adults. It means I’m 24 and that he’s not really a baby anymore. It means another chapter is ending and 30 more are beginning.

“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Its just a day in a month in a year in a decade. It’s a day that not everyone is fortunate enough to get to. It’s a struggle for some and a breeze for others. It’s truly a milestone. I can’t believe the kid who got a grass stain on his white blonde head is the same kid that’s going to be wearing that black square-shaped cap. The kid that broke his arm, had rods jabbed into it, let it heal, and then broke it again. The kid that I can’t stand but love to death. The “baby.” He’s graduating!

I still remember my first day of kindergarten and getting lost on my way, switching school buses. I remember throwing up on a girl named Mary and playing marbles on the track during recess. I remember making tunnels on the snow hills and Hawk Boy in Warroad. I remember getting out of school to sandbag for the flood and being the new kid in Newfolden. I remember it all like it was yesterday. Are we dreaming or does time really fly by that damn fast?

“There are those of us who learn to live completely in the moment. For such people the past vanishes and the future loses meaning. There is only the present, which means that two of the three Aalim¹ are surplus to requirements. And then there are those of us who are trapped in yesterdays, in the memory of a lost love, or a childhood home, or a dreadful crime. And some people live only for a better tomorrow; for them the past ceases to exist” ― Salman Rushdie

I guess I did have something to write about after all.


¹Aalim – u·le·ma or u·la·ma  (o̅o̅′lə-mä′) – pl.n. Ulama, also spelled ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies and Polymath. They are well versed in legal fiqh and are considered the arbiters of sharia law, being Islamic lawyers.

Music Guru.

losing-your-marbles-colorfulrDriving on the interstate with the music to the max and the roads dry is one of the most relaxing moments in my hectic, stress filled life. If you ask me on any given day, I won’t be shy about how much I hate driving. But there’s a difference between driving in town and driving on the open road. I dislike just about everything about my daily commute. I drive twice as much as I need to for reasons that I don’t really want to go into detail about and I’m just so impatient that I turn into a wild mess when getting around town.

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However, when you throw me on the interstate, I’m good to go. I could drive on it for hours and hours provided that I have a good set list on my iPod, no construction, and the left lane is free. Fill my tank and I’ll put the pedal to the metal.

I visited my brother Nick in Fargo on Saturday. My trip was short which makes me sad but we always make a point to do some driving around town and he updates me on his current play list. He’s my music guru. Heck, he’s probably the influence for 99% of the music I’ve ever listened too. We took a stroll downtown and he showed me around to a couple places his roommate and him have gone. We browsed around in a pretty sweet antique store and reminisced about the “antiques” from the late 80’s and early 90’s. It’s crazy to see that the stuff we played with, in what only seems like a couple years, is nearly two decades old. Man, we’re getting up there!

Tiny Dancer.

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I’ve been looking back at old posts from my blogger site and have debated on whether or not I’m going to re-post some of them onto this blog. I ran into a few about my brother, Nick. Throughout my entire life, the middle child Nick, has been my literal life support.

We’re 2 1/2 years apart and even though our lives are just beginning to take us into different directions of the world, he still is one of the few people that I’ve always looked up to. He was my first best friend and will be my last. I’ve had people come and go throughout the years just like anyone else but a sibling can never be replaced. We can tell each other anything and everything without judgment. I know he’ll never give up on me nor I him.

I envy Nick in the way that he lives his life. He’s so full of it, life that is. He strives on his passions and continues to push on even when the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t always visible. He’s a do-er and I respect him for that. I could only wish to be even half as good of a person as he is.

This kid has helped me through the worst and the best of times in my life and I’d like to say that I’ve been there for him too. It’s so difficult to maintain such a close relationship as we get older but I don’t think any amount of time could alter the bond that we’ve come to have. Whenever we are able to see each other I’m reminded of so many happy and positive things in my life. He’s down to earth and is able to ground even the most “strung out on stress” person. There’s a sense of intoxication from being able to laugh and share memories for hours and hours. Music blasting and laughing in the car until we cry makes everything else in the world temporarily disappear. It’s so easy to build a positive character when you have someone to turn to, someone to look up to.

Tonight, a cheers to my brother Nick.

“I TRIPLE-Dog-Dare Ya!”

water in back

So, I finished editing photos for my brothers senior pictures and the proofs are printed. I’ll be going home this weekend to show them to my mom and brother so they can decide on the ones they like. I wonder if artists are the most critical of critics when it comes to their own work. Like I said before, when it comes to taking photographs of people, I’m definitely an amateur and I really don’t know if my opinion of the final results are very high. You be the judge.

bw 2014

On another note, I’ve been very actively practicing patience. Overall, I’m a pretty patient person in most situations. But with the stress of life over the last few months, my patience has been on the back burner because quite frankly, I just don’t have time for that. In turn, the obvious reaction was held in stress. I’m tired of that. So the last couple days, I’ve been taking a deep breath and moving forward. I can definitely tell when I’m trying to be more patient in comparison to just doing things myself and keeping it bottled up. It really does feel good.

Did you hear that once again schools were either two hours late or cancelled? Can you say ridiculous?! I made the mistake of posting a status about it on Facebook and a couple of pansies got flustered. Quite some time ago, I decided to withdraw my Facebook presence and put it more towards Twitter. I have so many co-workers, family, old friends, and judgmental people on my Facebook just like I’m sure everyone else does. It’s pretty silly really; how bent out of shape people get. No one ever says anything on positive, uplifting statuses but the second someone makes a valid point, everyone cries. I respect the value of an opinion, believe me, I’m the queen of opinions but the ignorance of some people is just appalling. I don’t see it often anymore because I hardly put “statuses” on FB but people are so confrontational. It just makes them look stupid.

As I am a very opinionated person, I too, have a mouth full to say but I don’t. I try my best to keep it to myself because I’m not looking for a fight, I just simply have things to say. Not because I don’t want to be heard but quite frankly, most of the arguments that would arise wouldn’t be worth my time. So many people (myself probably included at times) are uneducated. For example, my “issue” resulting in today’s post was really just saying that as a general whole, us (i.e Minnesotans and North Dakotans) can’t really claim to be rough, tough, Viking warriors anymore because as soon as a flake is in the sky or the temperature dips below 0, everyone runs and hides. That’s it. I didn’t “bash” anyone, I was just saying.

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Today, many schools were cancelled for the millionth time this winter-y season because of a blizzard. What blizzard? Sure, country roads were probably crudy but aren’t they always? My entire life, I lived in the country so I’m not some ignorant city girl that can’t comprehend the consequences of a blizzard. But did they really need to cancel school in the city of Grand Forks? Tell me, what percentage of kids actually live in the country, the real country? Not across town or three miles out. I’m talking the 20-minute, probably dangerous drive? Few. So, why the hell was school cancelled? Everyone that had the “balls” to go out of their house today had to have laughed until they cried. The roads and visibility were fine. Typical middle of January weather.

christmas story

Kids these days will be lucky if they survive the real world. Not only are they being taught to pull over when it sprinkles out but they aren’t even going to get quality education much longer. I don’t think we even had a snow day in the last three years that I was in high school. I know, I know, I’m not a mom. I don’t understand, whatever. In cases like today, parents should just use their own discretion when sending their children to school. If it was really going to be a treacherous drive than fine, stay home. But if you have any common sense, you’d know how to bundle your children up for winter just like “A Christmas Story.”

Lets stop wussing out people.