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.

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!

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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!

Wall “Pop” Art.

10245341_10152347801988363_85149871947422774_nAfter my successful make-your-own menu board, I had an itch to do more. So I did. My current bathroom color scheme is pinks, greys, and oranges. Girly, I know. I really love the yellow and grey theme too but just couldn’t decide and I ultimately opted for the pink theme. However, my bathroom was pretty empty. I had a few abstract paintings because I temporarily dipped my brush and thought I could paint. But I never really was pleased with the result. So the next best thing is fabric right? The pattern is already there. It looks simple yet classy.

IMG_5363And when I say simple, I really do mean it. I bought two 16″ x 20″ canvas’ and four 11″ x 8 1/2″. I also bought a half yard of simple abstract fabric and another half yard with flowers. The rest was literally the same concept as gluing buttons to paper but in the grown up version of hot glue and fake flowers.

I’ve posted a few pictures of the final result! I love them and can’t wait to do more once I decide what theme I want my “future” bedroom to be. Happy crafting everyone!

We have a little thing going around work for the community to get to know us better because, after all, we are a newspaper. So, if we wanted we could fill out a short survey and submit a photo. Yesterday, my summary was featured. Give it a thumbs up and share if you’d like! Check it out here! #WeAreTheHerald

#GTCIGT

The weekend has come to a close once again. I’ve noticed that it happens every five days or so. I live in what I like to call the “normal working world.” I work Monday through Friday, 8-5. Whenever someone asks me if I work tomorrow, meaning Monday, I feel like bonking them on the head with a mallet. Of course I work on Monday. Normal people work on Monday. I often think that people who don’t work the “norm” are either teenagers, night owls, or college kids. There are always exceptions. Nurses, doctors, lawyers; they all seem to have wacky hours but I’m assuming they went into those professions fully aware of what they were getting themselves into.

IMG_5285Anyways, before my “normal” period of time off otherwise known as a weekend ended, it was great. Saturday, I did some spring cleaning. I was going to say “sprung clung” but I have a feeling that one can’t past tense the word ‘spring’ and make a new word for ‘clean’ because cleaned didn’t sound right.

I also [a week and a half later] started on my meal board. I have to say, it looks fabulous so far. I am actually making two simultaneously so that I can sell the other when done. I am at a temporary standstill because I need to run to the store after work and get a few more supplies to finish the boards up. I’ll keep you updated and I plan on posting a step-by-step tutorial for everyone to follow and make their own. Can I just quit my job and become a professional crafter? Speaking of which, why on this green Earth have I not discovered the wonderful world of hot glue guns until just now? Amazing.

As we all know, I’m sure even the non-Christian world knows, that it was Easter Sunday yesterday. Why do we always say “Easter Sunday” anyhow? It’s always on a Sunday? We went home to each of our parents homes for the day. We visited with family, laughed, and ate until we had food babies – all that fun stuff. It felt so good to forget about the stresses of the non-weekend days. It was calming to be out in the sun and out of the city. Just the trees and the family. Peaceful and refreshing.

IMG_5312And today is Easter Monday. Coming back after a quick weekend always gives me a “mreh” feeling but I woke up happy and ready to make a count down for next weekend when I’ll see my brother walk down the prom aisle. Something, I didn’t think I’d ever see.

The Easter bunny came to the workplace over the weekend. I was surprised to receive a gift card, two free hours of PTO, and a eos lip balm. Score! To top it off, I also won the drawing for two Wiz Khalifa tickets and VIP parking. Is it my lucky day or what?

Good things come in good time.

A Person’s A Person, No Matter How Small.

A quote from one of Dr. Seuss’ genius archives of imaginative wonder in the book “Horton Hears A Who!”

This video gave me the chills and I just had to share. I will always be pro-life and in the era that we are in, it seems to be harder and harder to defend it. This little girl (now teenager) can change so many lives by being proactive in spreading the word and the cause.

Please read and watch. Please listen to what she has to say. I want to point out that while I often encourage comments, this isn’t a forum for negativity and the “other side.” Believe me, I’ve heard it time and time again. Here isn’t the place. Today, I’m helping to spread the word about life and the wonder that it entails.

Thank you for your time.

Does Heaven Have DQ Ice Cream Cake?

Happy Friday. I had chosen not to write this week because I ran into an occurrence where I got really frustrated with someone. Bitching it out to my sounding board wasn’t working and the only thing that let me free my anger was to write about it; which I did. Writing my anger out is a good release for me especially when I am aware that I am overreacting over something so trivial because the paper doesn’t judge. Or really, the blank page on the screen doesn’t judge. But..I didn’t post it.

enhanced-7872-1395329299-5I didn’t post it because I knew it was hate. I don’t want to advertise hate. And I know that I would probably get some kind of hate in return. Karma, I suppose. On the other hand, I wanted to post it because I saw a picture about writing the truth (see right) and I agree completely with it. But the way the post was constructed was absolutely absurd and I really think that if I re-read it right now; I’d feel like a complete asshole.

At some point, when I’m ready, I plan on digging out my demons and letting people hear what I have to say in the most true and raw sense but this blog, right here..it’s not the place.

Today is one of my guardian angels birthdays. She was one of the happiest and funniest people I had ever known. Thinking back to earlier this week when I had written such an ill-tasted post; I’m so happy that I didn’t publicize it. Although the situation really irked me, I thought about a couple posts I’d written in my old blog about Aron when I found out about her death. I talked about finding the good in people like Aron did and accepting everyone for who they were instead of what they stood for. If you’d like to check either of them out, I’ll post them below.

IMG_5154Aron was a trooper. Literally and figuratively. She was everyone’s role model whether they realized it or not. Her smile, her attitude, everything – it lit up whichever room she walked into. It didn’t matter if you were gay, black, fat, or ugly; she’d make you feel welcome. All that outside superficial bullshit didn’t matter to her. Billy Joel knew what he was talking about when he said “only the good die young.” It’s true, it really really is. I could only hope that I could find the good in people like she did. That I didn’t judge so easily and that I wouldn’t have lingering anger towards others. At the very least, Aron’s death has thought us all to hug those we love a little tighter, keep in contact even when time passes, and open our hearts to everyone no matter what.

Happy birthday, Aron. We miss you.

Click below to read more about Aron and the effect she had on the lives of the people that were fortunate enough to know and love her:

We Shouldn’t Have To Say Goodbye Yet.
I Want To Be A Better Person.

I Love You More.

Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and emotions. It’s just how you choose to deal with them..

Through a hectic that shouldn’t have been hectic weekend, I’m finally home with my Tim Hortons hot chocolate. In the beginning of and actually most of the day I had such a negative point of view. I was being a Debbie Downer and let other people get to me when I should have really been enjoying time spent with the people I was with.

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Setting all that aside though, I was happily humbled by the once again realization that I am immensely blessed. I have the best family anyone could ever ask for. There are no words to describe how momentous of an impact my parents have made on my life. In a world of drug addicts, adultery, divorce, and hate; they managed to still bring up three awesome (if I do say so myself) kids. They filled our hearts up with love, our brains up with knowledge and our minds up to be open.

I was reminded today that although I’m not going to like everyone. I’m not going to accept everyones lifestyles and I’m not going to except everyones inconsiderate foolishness; that no matter what, I’ll always have a family. I’ll always be loved no matter what. And even though it just sounds silly, I’m not talking about the usual love. My parents don’t just love us kids because we are their offspring. We aren’t just three toads that they raised and threw off into the world. No matter where we are in our lives or how old we ever get – they will still care about us.

The sad thing is, I don’t think this is as common as I previously thought it was. I think there are a lot of people out there that hurry up and get the kids old enough to raise themselves and then they are set free without the support of what is right and what is wrong. Do they give up on parenthood? I don’t know, to each their own. What matters is that my parents never gave up.

We are now 24, 21, and 18. We all live completely different lives in different towns. We are all at different stages of our early adulthood. We pay our own bills (except the 18 year old who is still in school). We make our own decisions and we have our own viewpoints on every situation but the one thing we have in common is that our family, all 5 of us, matter to each other more than anything else in this entire..everything. More than the world can even handle.

So thank you mom and dad. Thank you for creating a good wholesome family structure. Thank you for showing us what love is. Thank you for staying home on Friday and Saturday nights. Thank you for picking me up drunk and grounding me for an entire summer. Thank you for teaching us lessons and for giving us the sex talk. Thank you for letting us make our own decisions. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for being the best parents in the entire history of parents being parents because believe it or not, people would kill to have what we have. I love you all.

I can’t figure out how to embed a video into a post so here’s the link for the Flipagram I made with my favorite people in it: Family!

The Last 7 Days.

Switching gears and onto a more uplifting note, I’m continuing to be a do-er in twenty-fourteen. Writing the last post in an honest form and actually publishing it makes me feel good. I’ve personally kept diaries about my weight struggles for years but I’ve never displayed it for anyone to see. This is the direction that I was hoping to face for my blog. Truth. I’m done candy coating my life and putting a film over it. Although I might not have many people that care to be invested to this blog, it’s about me. No one else.

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I got quite a bit accomplished this past week and weekend. It’s not like I went bungie jumping or anything but I finished editing my brothers senior pictures and brought them home for him to see yesterday. I visited my mom and we visited Channing’s parents too. I closed a big project at work which obviously I had to do regardless but I really felt accomplished after successfully doing so. I finished yet another scarf on Friday. I finally took down the rest of the Christmas decor and tree, rearranged the living room about five times, and went on a date with the love of my life.

It’s been a good day and another great week to add to twenty-fourteen. Here’s to many more! Stay positive guys and gals. Find something good to be happy about even if it seems miniscule. Fake a smile if you need to but always remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as long as you’re willing to reach for it.

The Weather Outside Is Frightful.

What a day, what a day, what a day.

I’ve been busting my butt all week at work to keep up with the workload and I can definitely tell that I’m working hard. Don’t get me wrong, I always put everything I have into what I do on the work front but we’ve just been busier than usual and let me tell you, it’s noticeable!

All is well in the world though. I was just talking with a co-worker today and we were chit-chatting about how we actually enjoy coming to work. There are many times throughout our lives where every single one of us has probably faced the “I don’t want to go to work today” morning dilemma and happily, neither of us has had to ever say that working here.

I have pretty stressful days between this and that and over there and oh yeah that too but I love it. This job is challenging and exciting. It pushes me outside of my comfort zone at times and urges me to learn more and know more. Having a good atmosphere to work is in definitely key when it comes to enjoying what you do and I’m happy to say that I have found that.

Switching gears..

I have an ongoing bucket list that I plan on posting sometime soon. I think it might be a separate page kind of like the About Me and Contact Info pages. It’ll be things that I’ve been jotting down for a few years. Sadly, I have more on my bucket list ‘to do’ than are already done but one day at a time, right? Is that sad or is that hopeful? I guess it would be both gloomy and gratifying to actually have everything checked off that list.

What’s on your bucket list? A dream career path or place to visit? Where would you build your perfect home if you could? What’s your “bucket” timeline for the next big step in your life? Marriage, kids, bachelor for life?

That’s about all I have time for right now. I’m on the way home to tend to a 6′ 4″ beast of a man that’s picked up my sickness from last week. Too-da-loo.