Happy 4th of July!

10985043_10153395171998363_4414178062167023536_nAll in all, this year’s 4thof July was pretty “decent” as quoted by Bubbles of Trailer Park Boys. We ventured up north (way north) to Warroad, MN. Historically, Warroad on the 4th of July, is one of my favorite places to be. From when I was a kid chasing candy thrown from the parade to family reunions to the best of memories with friends and loved ones, it’s a place of nostalgia and goodness.

11169475_10153395153128363_6627320951989960699_nThis year, we took part in the Foster Family Reunion and camped out in our tent. I’ve decided that I feel indifferent about reunions. I am kind of excited for them – to see people that I know I’m related to and kind of know about but never see. But at the same time, I’m like “eh” because I usually end up talking to the people that I normally see like my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandma.

I know it probably sounds anti-social but I really have no desire to initiate in small talk or catch up with extended family because we don’t really know each other and probably won’t stay in touch any more than some kid I went to school with that I haven’t seen since graduation day. Apparently, I inherited my mom’s observational gene rather than my aunt Angie’s social butterfly personality.

It was still alright though. I had fun spending time with my cousins and got some much needed vitamin D. We were rained out on Saturday night though so my hope of a relaxing firework show wasn’t in the cards. We packed up our tent as quick as we could and headed over to my grandma’s house (with 16 of my beloved relatives) and waited out the storm. Happy (belated) 4th of July!

P.S. I designed the Foster Family Reunion t-shirts on CustomInk.com. They have awesome customer service and an easy to navigate website. I will definitely order from them again. The only thing I was bummed out on (because I’m a perfectionist) was that the larger the size, the graphic size stayed the same. I think the graphic could have been a little larger on some of the bigger sizes.

Advertisements

Love Wins!

Congratulations America! What a great way to ring in Pride Week nationwide! In case you haven’t heard in the last 12 minutes since it was posted, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage NATIONWIDE! Yes, America! You Win! This makes my heart so full and happy with love.

I could go on and on about how this took way too much time to get passed but lets just appreciate that it has passed. The sole thing that so many people across the country and globe have fought for is finally a reality. Our country has been continually making progress for years but this is extraordinary!

Congratulations to anyone and everyone who this effects. To those that have fought so hard for so long. For those that have loved and lost without ever being able to say “I do.” For those that picketed and protested in favor of and for those that had no doubt at all that one day this would happen.

Happy Friday, Happy Pride Day, and Happy Wedding Day to all!

all-rights-for-all

The Yearly Cliché.

A couple years ago, I wrote about not making New Years Resolutions but instead making smaller goals each month to try and stay on track. It worked for awhile just like every other variation of a resolution does. But somewhere along the way, it quietly vanished.

This year, I’m going to revert to the more cliché version of a set of resolutions. Some I’ll succeed at and some I won’t. Most of these are very realistic. Some are a stretch but with the proper guidance, I know I can succeed. To make up for a really crappy couple of years (2011-2012) I want to do a little traveling. Of course, I want to travel the world but in order to succeed at fulfilling my New Years Resolutions, I’m going to be a bit more realistic.

  • Create a realistic 5-Year plan. I’m 25. I’m not married, have no children, nor do I own a house. I want to do all of those things in the next 5 years. I’d like Channing and I to sit down sometime soon and prioritize our needs and wants both as a couple and on the professional front – to create a plan and stick to it. I also plan on making a personal 5-year plan that will lay out my personal interests and hobbies which may or may not include writing a book, Pinteresting my way into home shows, and traveling to England, Paris, and Ireland.
  • Lose 50 pounds. Since June, I’ve lost about 33 pounds. It’s been a little rocky and I’ve gotten off track since moving to Bemidji but I’m determined to continue my progress. 50 pounds is very realistic if I use the tools I’ve been given. Ideally, I want to push myself to double that number in the year 20-15. I know 100 pounds does seem unrealistic but given how much I actually need to lose in order to become healthy, it’s a blip on the radar screen.
  • Travel around the area. This is a long one..Because I first need to lose a substantial amount of weight before I feel comfortable purchasing ONE seat in airfare (rather than 2); I decided that I’m going to travel via car this year. Traveling further than I can drive will be one of my many rewards after losing more weight. I want to travel to all the border states/countries of Minnesota. I’ve listed a few specific places. Some I’ve been to, some I haven’t: Duluth, Gooseberry Falls, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Superior, Brainerd, Red Wing, Wisconsin Dells, and Sioux Falls just to name a few. I’d also like to go somewhere in ND other than Fargo or Grand Forks, stop at a few other places in SD, and venture to Iowa. Where in Iowa? I have no idea. Included in the Minnesotan borders is Canada. I don’t know where specifically but I’ll head that way too! I’d also like to visit as many waterfalls, caves, and state parks as possible. I want to be on the water, sail, and visit lighthouses. I love to explore.
  • Don’t Pass Up Good Events. This is something I’ve done a lot. Sadly, I’ve had a handful of oppertunities over the last few years to go and do something but I either used a bad day, Channing’s mood, or money as an excuse not to do something or go somewhere. A few things on my bucket list this year given that they are within driving distance and things aren’t sold out would include: Seeing Taylor Swift in either Fargo or St. Paul, Bo Burhnham if he ever gets his ass to tour around here, and a Vikings football and Twins baseball game. I don’t really like either of those sports to any kind of extreme but I think a professional sports team would be interesting to see live and because my boyfriend likes sports, we both win. I should also probably make a point of going to the MN State Fair this year too since I’ve never been.
  • Buy A Passport. I believe I need one these days in order to even go to Canada so it’s a must-get for this year. If I’m not mistaken, they are good for 10 years too so that should get me set for my European venture in a couple years.

There you go! I have quite a few more resolutions which primarily fall in the first resolution so I won’t bore you with them quite yet. I’d love to hear about your New Years Resolutions! The realistic ones and the far-fetched ideas. What are you going to do to make this year one to remember? Also, if you have any fun or must-see places that you’ve been to in the region, let me know. Word of mouth experiences are the best places to visit.

Cheers to 20-15!!

Time To Go Shopping.

2cd60d089427d0f7085613ac9aafc400I’m not as girly as I wish I were. I love fashion and internally am a fashionista. I know what’s in style and I love it. Layers, boots, leggings, infinity scarves, the list goes on. I like painted nails and getting pedicures. I could look on Pinterest all day long at long wavy hairstyles.

BUT nothing ever looks as good as it should when I try it. My nails chip as soon as I paint them. Curls fall flat no matter how many tutorials I watch and how much product I use. Being a fatty mcfatpants doesn’t help much either because the plus size world of fashion shouldn’t really be classified as fashion to begin with. Everything that I find either has thunder thighs or inseams too short. Shirts that don’t cover my butt or are made out of skin tight fabric. Whoever designs the majority of plus size clothing CLEARLY has no idea what it’s like.

e0dbca629f94c51c1c11c35b64209facAnd then you have the classic go to like Lane Bryant who I guess is fine but their clothes are really only built for one type of plus-size woman. They only look “okay” on a size 16. Anything else? Forget it.

I’m trying my best to turn around my shaded view around though. Because honestly, I haven’t really “tried” to find things that work for me for a couple years. I’ve recently been looking online and looking in the plus-size section of more stores to find something that will fit into today’s fashion (which I love) and can make me look as good as I can in my head.

If I’m being realistic though, I really haven’t put much effort into my outward appearance for a couple of years. Gaining weight really kills self-confidence when you didn’t have any to begin with. I don’t know if I’ll ever find the SC that I should have “discovered” years ago but it’s worth a try right?

1cd44a3df300dacfe774e08a7b7cade9Proofreading this, what I’m trying to say really isn’t coming out quite right. I really wish I could pull of the vintage-y, long sweaters, girly dresses, patterned leggings, biker boots, beach waves, size zero gauges look. Know what I mean? I could though, you know. I could try it and just not give a shit about what people will say and the looks I’ll get. Think to myself “screw ’em” when their eyes are screaming “she shouldn’t be wearing that, doesn’t she know she’s a big girl?”

Fuck, don’t even get me started on the term “big girl.” I’d rather someone tell me to my face how fat I am and that it grosses them out than have someone refer to me as a “big girl.”

Mreh.

Here’s Looking At You, Kid.

If I would have blogged yesterday, I would have spent my time bitching about a really stressful work week. I would have probably had a bit of a pity party and questioned why God puts morons in our lives. Maybe it’s to test our patience, who knows. But..it’s not yesterday. It’s tomorrow.

It’s a little nuts to know that a person can be angry, frustrated, and irate after a long week of working but within 30 seconds of being in the presence of a 3 1/2 year-old, the mood can be changed drastically. I’m hanging out with my niece and nephew this weekend and you know what, it’s exactly what I needed. I needed a pause button on the stress of grown-up life.

IMG_6572Kids are blissfully happy. They have no worries, they aren’t trying to impress anyone. They don’t care what comes out of their mouths in fear that someone will judge them. They are just themselves and it’s amazing. Children are the lessons in life that we don’t give enough recognition to.

I’m not yet a mom but one day I hope to be and I can’t wait until that period of time in my life. I know kids aren’t all rainbows and butterflies but at the end of the day, a child brings a light of sunshine into a shady outlook. They give parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to smile no matter the problems that engulf the world we live in.

With that being said, I feel much more at peace hanging out with the little dude you see to the right. He’s a ball of energy and has a mountain full of life ahead of him. I want to show him that anything is possible and I’ll be living proof of it. I’ll be vrooming cars and cho-cho-choing Thomas The Train for the next 48 hours. Happy Saturday, all!

So if you have the chance blogging world, hang out with a kid today. (A kid that you know of course. Don’t be a creeper and lurk around a playground.)

Impressions.

Impressions are everything. They give the people around an unspoken but open door to judge you by the way you’re acting. Or not acting. The more and more I observe impressions of others, the more I wonder what people see in my own impressions.

The obvious and most easy impression to understand is probably happiness. There’s definitely a difference between being content and happy but I’m talking about the full-blown happiness segment of a facial impression. Smiles, laughter, joy, glee. It’s all found on the face and it gives us all a pleasant and warm feeling deep in our guts.

On the other hand, I’m currently putting out into the world a quiet demeanor on this fine Friday which I happen to think is the most difficult impression to dissect. When someone is quiet there are so many different impressions that could be misconstrued when observing said individual.

Quiet could mean anything from being tired to being angry to sad. The list goes on. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed more times than not that when I personally am quiet, some assume that I’m purely pissed off.

Although that definitely isn’t something to rule out. My quietness today and most times when I’m quiet at work is because I’ve had enough and it’s just not worth dealing with. Sure I’m a little “pissy.” Why wouldn’t I be? It’s hard to thoroughly enjoy yourself in an environment where there is a difficult subject constantly in your bubble. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I enjoy being around most everyone in the office. However, when a mosquito bites you, that annoying itchy feeling doesn’t seem to go away for a long time.

So, back to impressions. Knowing that I’m being judged by my impression makes me want to try harder not to judge so many people by the impression that they put out into the world. Maybe they are quiet because they had a tough week or because their basement is flooded from a recent storm. Maybe they are quiet because they are just plain tired, being up with a newborn all night long. Maybe they haven’t gotten their morning coffee yet. Or maybe, they are just sick and tired of dealing with you.

Christmas In July.

10488215_10152518733063363_7056823897675192397_nI wanted to post some of my favorite pictures from the holiday weekend. Or, week I should say. The last Sunday in June through July 3rd, we stayed at a quaint little Catholic bible resort through the Diocese of Crookston. I’m assuming the Diocese has camps for kids that run throughout the summer based off of all the hand-written and carved names in the lodge. But for this 4-day getaway, it was reserved for our extended family only. No one else.

10442440_10152518723093363_715589565184503715_nUnfortunately the first two days were filled with chilly off and on rainy weather. It definitely got everyone’s spirits down because for most of us, it’s the only time that we’ll get a vacation in the calendar year. I’d like to say that we made the most of it, which we did, but we definitely got restless watching the white caps form on the little lake knowing that it was too rough for canoes and too cold to swim.
10446556_10152518802578363_3928342290805872018_nWednesday came as soon as it could. The weather let up and the real fun began! Fishing, swimming, driving a boat for the first time, finding out that I possess zero sense of balance in a canoe, laughing, scavenger hunts, s’mores…the list goes on.

Thursday we packed up and headed down the twisty road to Lake Itasca. We mosied our way through the biggest state park that I’ve ever been to. Checked out the beach, visited a pioneer cemetery and crossed the Mississippi Headwaters. It was really beautiful and peaceful.

10400844_10152518740063363_8975642485060600810_nFriday we traveled a bit further to Bemidji to see C’s sisters and nephew. The town had a carnival going on for the 4th of July. I can definitely tell that I’ve grown up and slightly outgrown the fair scene. I still like it. I love hearing the kids laughing and the rides spinning. I still laugh when the carny’s attempt to sweet talk you into playing a game. But man oh man, I don’t miss the crowd. I don’t miss the push and shove and the nasty looks if you’re in the way. When we were younger we must have been too excited to notice the amount of people crowded into such a small dirty area.

10418425_10152518751188363_6484200687791014883_nSeeing C’s nephew was an absolute delight. He’s 3 1/2 now and hilarious as can be. We watched the fireworks right on shore of Lake Bemidji. They were beautiful and he loved the heck out of them!

I won’t bore you with much more. I kind of just wanted to mention the highlights of our trip because memories so quickly become forgotten. I hope you had a happy 4th with friends and family.

Follow me on Vine to see a few 6-second videos from our trip @orianoelle!