Learning Internet Slang

Recently I’ve noticed that the Internet is chock-full of…well, gibberish. It seems like I’m constantly having to Google new words so I can try and understand what the hell people are talking about. I still never end up using them, but at least I feel like I have some context clues.

This got me thinking.

Since I am probably the most informed on slang—mostly because I feel like as a blogger I have to be—but still continue to struggle, it might be kind of funny to see how tuned in my family is.

So I asked them. (Well, everyone except my brother. But that’s only because I’ve heard him use some of these words so I felt like this would be too easy for him.)

All I gave them was the word. I wouldn’t give it to them in a sentence, so as to avoid giving them context clues, and I asked them all separately so they wouldn’t play off of each other.

These were the results:

1) Woke

Urban Dictionary Definition: a reference to how people should be aware in current affairs.

Natalee’s (my sister) Guess: Oh, um, like you’re really in the times. And you know what’s up. So like, if you’re drinking the fizzy water, you’re probably pretty woke, because that’s what people do now. So, you know, I’m woke.

Dad’s Guess: Like W-O-K-E? Woke just means to be highly alert.

Mom’s Guess: I feel woke, I’m ready to roll. I’m awake and ready to go.

2) Lit

Urban Dictionary Definition: When something is turned up or popping

Natalee’s Guess: Oh I know this one! Well…I don’t really know how to describe it. Umm, it means it’s a banger, that’s another term right? Like it’s really off the hook.

Dad’s Guess: That means it’s like, happenin’.

Mom’s Guess: I’ve heard this one used. Do you say, “she’s lit” or “he’s lit”? Doesn’t that mean that they are IT? Like, they’re cool.

3) Fire

Urban Dictionary Definition: incredible, hot, crazy, nice…etc

Natalee’s Guess: Can you give it me in a sentence? Because I’ve heard people say, “that’s fire” so does it mean, like, awesome, turned up? Is it the same as lit?

Dad’s Guess: The only thing I can think of is being on fire, like going 4 for 4 in a game or making three beer pong balls in a row.

Mom’s Guess: Well that one’s…dumb. That shouldn’t slang because it’s an actual thing. But I guess it has to mean you’re hot or maybe something that’s cool. Wait, is it like an oxymoron?!

4) GOAT

Urban Dictionary Definition: greatest of all time

Natalee’s Guess: GREATEST OF ALL TIME.

Dad’s Guess: Greatest of all time! Kobe Bryant!

Mom’s Guess: GREATEST OF ALL TIME! A.k.a DAD

5) Extra

Urban Dictionary Definition: over the top, excessive, dramatic behavior, way too much

Natalee’s Guess: Oh! Well…I mean, it just means extra. You’re just very in it–just all the way.

Dad’s Guess: Other than the literal meaning of wanting more of something I can’t think of what else it would mean.

Mom’s Guess: I just learned about this!! What did you tell me it meant?! Wait, hold on, let me go back in my brain. When somebody’s extra they’re…isn’t it like…shoot I didn’t pay attention. I think it means a lot, like a personality that’s difficult.

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6) Salty

Urban Dictionary Definition: Being upset, angry, or bitter as result of being made fun of or embarrassed.

Natalee’s Guess: Oh, this is when you’re upset but also sarcastic. So you’re not like “angry”, you’re just like woah, salty. You’re not really pissed, you’re just kind of…irritated.

Dad’s Guess: I would say that means you have a negative opinion on everybody. You’re just a salty old dude.

Mom’s Guess: Somebody who, like, “ooh you’re salty, spicy, you’re wild.”

7) Snatched

Urban Dictionary Definition: This term took over for “on fleek” and is often used to describe your eyebrows, your clothes, your hair—anything that looks on point.

Natalee’s Guess: Um…snatched…does that mean you’re taken over by something?

Dad’s Guess: Oh man. I can only imagine what Urban Dictionary’s definition is. Snatched….snatched…snatched…I would say uhh…snatched…that one’s almost as hard as “extra.” Hmmm…snatched. Ummm like you were ripped off?

Mom’s Guess: You’ve been kidnapped? Or maybe you are taken. You are in love.

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8) Keep it 100

Urban Dictionary Definition: To tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

Natalee’s Guess: Tell the truth, be yourself, no bullshit.

Dad’s Guess: I would say that means to put all of yourself into everything.

Mom’s Guess: Be completely honest.

9) Bye Felicia

Urban Dictionary Definition: When someone says that they’re leaving and you could really give two shits less that they are.

Natalee’s Guess: Isn’t it the same as “boy bye”? Like bitch, get out.

Dad’s Guess: When you’re writing someone off.

Mom’s Guess: What people might say to Trump?

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10) Savage

Urban Dictionary Definition: badass, cool, someone who does not care about the consequences of his or her actions.

Natalee’s Guess: When somebody burns you or says something that is like WOAAHHHH, that is really savage, that really got you, they called you out.

Dad’s Guess: Savage would mean something that’s just ruthless—you don’t care who it offends. It would be like if I walked up to you and took the last chip off your plate even though I knew you were hungry.

Mom’s Guess: Somebody’s who is super athletic.

11) Hundo P

Urban Dictionary Definition: 100%

Natalee’s Guess: (completely sarcastically, because she, like me, had never ever heard of this) Oh, well that obviously means like, when you’re in line for a club and you have to pee but don’t want to lose your spot, so you pay someone $100 to hold your spot, and then you go to the bathroom real quick. Then when you come back, you get your $100 back, because you were never really paying them, it was more of a placeholder. But only for the VIP’s. Hundo P = VIP

Dad’s Guess: I would say that means you got lots of $100 bills in your wallet—you’re loaded.

Mom’s Guess: I think it’s when you’ve been drinking a lot and you’ve GOT TO GO.

12) Stan

Urban Dictionary Definition: overzealous fan

Natalee’s Guess: Does every letter stand for something? Like supporttalk…and then I don’t know.

Dad’s Guess: I’m thinking it’s what you call someone that’s unsociable. “That guy over there is being such a stan.”

Mom’s Guess: Someone very feminine.

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13) Ship

Urban Dictionary Definition: to endorse a romantic relationship

Natalee’s Guess: It means you, like, support

Me: Specifically…?

Her: Relationships?

Me: Correct.

Dad’s Guess: S-H-I-P? I would say what that means is you’re so hip, you’re just…I don’t know. You’re with the times.

Mom’s Guess: I don’t know, maybe like a…bigger person.

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14) OTP

Urban Dictionary Definition: one true pairing, a couple that is perfect for each other

Natalee’s Guess: um, original…true…PERSON. Like, you the realist.

Dad’s Guess: The only thing that comes to mind is from work: On Time Performance. That’s all I can think of.

Mom’s Guess: On the period. Like, you might say, “I’m OTP right now.”

 

I Love Me

A couple weeks ago my friend and fellow blogger, Allison A, posted a blog all about self love. She brought up the frustratingly common tendency we have as a population, especially as women, to not only talk down about ourselves, but to make a point not to brag about ourselves. To counter this, she asked some friends to purposefully list things they love about themselves, both to inspire self-confidence in them and empower other women (and men!) to do the same. Enter me, stage right, LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

So, in the spirit of that blog, I come to you today with a my own. But instead of asking a handful of friends, I decided to ask my mom and three aunts, four women I have long considered role models. Over the years, I’ve seen them turn a blind eye to compliments, always deflecting, always putting others first, and I wanted this to be a way that they could finally sit down and realize how wonderful they are.

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My Aunt Jacque

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(She’s the lovely lady on the left)

I love that family will always come first for me, no matter what the circumstances.

I love that I have two long term polar opposite friends, in personality, that round out parts of my personality.

I love that I have planned my financial life, so that God willing, I will always feel “secure”

I love that my very favorite thing to do is laugh.

I love that I recently realized that I don’t have to be busy all of the time. That I have earned some quiet time

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My Aunt Candee

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I love that I have made a difference in the lives of so many children. (She’s been a kindergarten teacher for 19 years!)

I love that I have a responsibility gene, gifted to me by Mary Poppins, AKA grandma…. I always give my all at work and in life in general.

I love that I am a loyal friend and confidant.

I love that I genuinely and passionately love and care about my family and would do anything for them at a moment’s notice.

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My Aunt Tracy

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I love that I belong to a fantastic family and that I am an essential part of making it fantastic! (Both my immediate family and extended family)

I love that I can get ready to go just about anywhere in a short period of time.  Doesn’t matter if I just rolled out of bed and we are going out to breakfast….or if we have a big event to go to and we get home from a volleyball tournament with 30 minutes prep time.  I can quickly pull myself together and it doesn’t take forever!

I love that I have created so many family scrapbooks (and I am sad that I haven’t continued!).  We can be sitting at home on a Friday night and one of the kids will grab a book and we can all look through it and remember the days.

I love that I am able to maintain long distance/long duration friendships and that we can get together and pick up right where we left off.

I love that at the ripe old age of 53, I still play beach volleyball two days a week….although I am hurt right now…but I plan to be back out there soon!

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My Mom, Gina

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I love that I am patient, looking for the good instead of the negative.

I love my stubborn streak.

I love that I don’t mind being alone at times, not needy for constant motion or activity.

And I love that I can be forgiving of people and past experiences.

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And finally, me!

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(That’s me on the right, alongside my mom and sister.)

I love that I’m creative, and have become brave enough over the years to fully express that.

I love my sense of humor and constant curiosity.

I love that when I put my mind to something, I can truly accomplish anything. (Like run 1000 miles in one year and hike Mt. Whitney

I love that when I get to know someone, I fully dive in and look for even the littlest quirks about them. I also love that in doing so I can often find ways to make them feel special or known.

I love that I’m constantly learning, willing to grow from mistakes, and that at the end of the day, I always try to find the positive.

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I have to say, not only was it not too hard to find things that I loved about myself when I sat down and thought about it, it was even easier after my aunts and my mom did it. (Not to mention reading Alison’s post, which started this whole movement.)

On that note, if, after reading this, you (anyone, man or woman!) are feeling inspired and empowered to make your own list, please do! And if you feel comfortable, please share! Sit down and have some “me” time and rather than criticize, compliment! Love. Own.

Let’s keep this wave going forever and ever.

My Google Search History (Part 2)

Hello and welcome back to another episode of why does Kim never close any Internet windows?

In this post a little while back, I talked about my tendency to max out the number of search windows open on my phone. And now, almost six months later, to absolutely no one’s surprise, I’ve once again reached the cusp of capacity, even though after that first post I closed every single window.

So, since this habit shows no signs of slowing down, I thought it was about time I took another dive into the mind of past Kim. What has she been Googling lately?

Let’s find out:

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1) USA vs. Russia: Miracle on Ice/2024 Olympics/Daily Curling Schedule

My best guess why: These were three different searches but I grouped them together because they were all on the same topic: The Olympics! As I’ve mentioned before, I am essentially an Olympics addict. I even make a spreadsheet every year where I keep track of medals and make notes on athletes that were especially inspiring/cute/etc.

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2) Sister Jean

My best guess why: I don’t consider myself much of a basketball fan, but during March Madness this year I was totally roped into the magic that was Sister Jean and the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. I’m still a little bummed they weren’t able to take home the championship, but there’s always next year. #TeamSisterJean4Ever

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3) Gregory Peck

My best guess why: I was recently asked who my celebrity crush was and I mentioned this guy and needed some photographic support. This window staying open is the least surprising, as I’ve caught myself on more than one occasion scrolling through and glancing at this picture. I mean…

Gregory Peck

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4) Washtucna, WA

My best guess why: Whilst on our spring break vacation in Seattle this past March, my friends and I spent a wonderful afternoon at the park, laying in the grass and watching planes fly by. At one point this teeny tiny city worked its way into the conversation and I wanted to see what it was all about. Spoiler alert: not much.

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5) Banana Bread Recipe

My best guess why: As I mentioned in this post, I’ve recently been trying to do better at not letting leftover food go to waste. So once I saw my bananas starting to turn a little more brown than I was comfortable with, I did some research on how to put them to use.

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6) Where to find mascarpone cheese in the grocery store?

My best guess why: My mom’s birthday was in April and I had one of those “I can do anything!” moments while researching recipes for birthday cakes. Little did I know, I was in WAY over my head, starting with the trip to the grocery store for the ingredients. I wandered up and down the aisles, slowly gathering what I needed, but mascarpone cheese had me totally stumped. FYI: depending on the store it’s either by the specialty cheese in the deli or by the cream cheese!

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7) Stagecoach FAQ

My best guess why: Leading up to my first ever Stagecoach Country Music Festival, I was avidly reading any and all information provided. There were definitely some good tips and tricks I found, and when I got back from the festival, I wrote my own.

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8) When was happy birthday written?

My best guess why: I mean, haven’t ever wondered? It was in 1893, by the way.

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9) Rose Bowl Parking

My best guess why: Another example of pre-event anxiety, I was desperately looking for the best way to get to and from the Rose Bowl for the Taylor Swift concert in May. If you ever find yourself in the area, park in the Parsons parking lot and take the shuttle, it’s the only way to go!

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10) What are hushpuppies?

My best guess why: Since I’m a giant baby when it comes to spicy foods, whenever I see something on a menu that I don’t recognize, I’m always quick to Google it in order to avoid profusely sweating at the table. In this case, I had absolutely nothing to worry about as a hushpuppy is just deep fried cornmeal dough.

Hushpuppies

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11) What’s the difference between forest and woods?

My best guess why: Again, have you ever really stopped to wonder? Consider me your one stop shop for fun facts you never needed to know. A wood is an area covered in trees, while a forest is a much larger area of trees, that often also includes shrubs, underbrush, etc.

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12) Where to buy Bluebell Ice Cream?

My best guess why: Little known fact (at least to me until a couple years ago): Bluebell ice cream is THE BEST ice cream. Another little known, much more heartbreaking fact: they don’t sell Bluebell in California. So after finding my mom’s dream flavor (Banana Pudding) on our recent trip to Arkansas, we were heartbroken to know we wouldn’t find it in the freezer section back home. (If you’re curious where you can find it near you, look here!)

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13) “Hoofs”

My best guess why: This one made me laugh out loud because I have absolutely no idea why I Googled it. Was I checking my spelling—which was wrong, by the way. Did I need a quick reminder what hooves looked like? Was this a typo that I got too distracted to correct? I guess we’ll never know.

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14) Badass names for plants

My best guess why: A couple months ago me, my sister and my dad spent a whole afternoon planting sunflowers, tomatoes, and peppers in our backyard. Since then, my sister has taken incredible care of them, making sure to water them every morning. I however, haven’t done much. Aside from one fateful afternoon where I was in charge of watering, and decided to take that opportunity to name all of the plants. There was one plant in particular that I thought had this buff, hardcore quality about it, and I wanted a name that would really do it justice. Unfortunately, Google didn’t really come through for me here, so I ended up naming it Denzel. IMG_4293

(In case you’re wondering, Denzel is thriving.)

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Well, that’s all for now. I’m again going to close all the windows (except Gregory Peck) and see how long it takes me to max out again. Which to be honest, shouldn’t be too long…

I’ll Always Remember the Good Parts

A couple weeks ago my mom, sister and I took a trip to Arkansas to visit both my cousin Brittney and her family, as well as my great great Aunt Evelyn who just recently turned 97 years old.

Usually when I go on a trip, I like to blog about it (check out some examples here and here) but when it comes to Arkansas, I tend to just let it lie. Not because the trip is boring or not worth sharing, but because it always seems to feel different than any other trip, making it hard—if not impossible—to find a way to write about it. In a way it feels like it’s not so much a trip as it is a step into another world, one that I couldn’t explain to someone as well as I could show them.

Our past couple trips to Arkansas, while fun and the exact breath of fresh air I needed, have had a bit of sadness attached to them. With my Aunt Evelyn’s health declining first slowly, and then quicker than we could keep up with, we saw our trips change from spending afternoons reading on her porch, to sitting at her bedside in a nursing home. For these trips, rather than staying at my Aunt Evelyn’s house, we’ve stayed with June, a childhood friend of my mom’s mom, and her husband, Jim. This alone has balanced the scales of the trips, filling them with as much laughter as they had gloom.

This past trip, after being warned by June that Aunt Evelyn had fallen not once, but twice in the last few days, and that her cancer had spread to nearly every part of her body, we took a few extra breaths on our drive from Brittney’s to June and Jim’s, knowing that this trip would be somewhat of a goodbye.

Upon arriving at June and Jim’s, we all exhaled, because at least for the moment, we were home. In an instant we were laughing, almost too hard to walk. They greeted us at the door and we dropped our things, unable to peel the smiles off our faces. It was almost 6 o’clock when we got there, so it wasn’t long before we were back on the road, headed out to dinner at one of June and Jim’s favorite restaurants. June sat next to me in the backseat, cracking jokes and nudging my elbow whenever she made a snarky comment just out of Jim’s earshot.

At dinner, we talked about our trip to Brittney’s. About her husband Scott, their five year old son, Landon, and their two and a half year old daughter, Nora. We talked about the three days we spent with them; about the slow mornings filled with Nora’s singing and Landon’s giggling and dancing and soccer ball dribbling; we talked about the day at the waterpark and the evening at the comedy club; and we talked about the afternoons on the couch talking or napping or laughing or just simply being.

The next morning, as we slowly got ourselves out of bed to the breakfast table and then out of our pajamas and into real clothes, we took another collective breath. My mom, my sister, June and I loaded up in the car to go see Aunt Evelyn, all of us the slightest bit nervous, even if we didn’t say so. When we got there, we found Aunt Evelyn asleep in her bed, so asleep it took two nurses to finally coax her awake to eat, even though she didn’t want to. I sat in a chair in the corner of the room, watching her slowly bring the world into focus, my mind flickering from the woman I saw in front of me, to the woman I’d sat beside in her living room watching reruns of Judge Judy.

As an adult, I’d never seen Aunt Evelyn without pain. She was always moving slow, her back keeping her slightly hunched and most content in her chair in the living room. But there were moments when it seemed to dull. Like when my sister made her favorite cookies in the kitchen and she giggled in her chair, excited to have three too many. Or when a story we told reminded her of a memory she carried. The three of us could never get enough of her stories. Both the good ones and the bad, the happy and the sad. Aunt Evelyn had lived a long, oftentimes hard life, and had spent many years living on her own, ruminating, reminiscing, and understandably burying a lot of memories.

As I sat in the corner chair, watching my Aunt Evelyn’s eyes squint and her brow furrow, I saw fear and confusion, pain and exhaustion. Then, for a moment, it passed. June cooed at her and Aunt Evelyn smiled in recognition, saying, “Hello June,” almost sarcastically, before softening her eyes and smiling at the sight of my mother, “Gina.”

But just as soon as peace settled in her eyes, the pain was back. The nurse sitting at her side offered her a bite of each helping of food on her tray, and Aunt Evelyn begged her to stop, hating every bit of it. Then, her eyes shifted again, this time into anger. She looked up at June and my mom, perhaps embarrassed, perhaps ashamed, perhaps longing for that woman I pictured sitting by my side in the living room watching reruns of Judge Judy.

“Get out,” she said. It was stern, but calm.

At first.

Then it was meaner. Louder. Fiercer.

“Get out of here!”

On the drive back to June’s we were all quiet, all bearing wounds that we didn’t want to talk about. Knowing what we knew about her health, we knew that could very well be the last time we would see her, and it was hard to swallow that as the last time. But just as I was able to picture her how I knew her, how I’ve known her, not in that bed but in her chair, in her house, in the hundreds of old pictures—some from stories I knew, others from those I might never know—I made a promise to remember her that way too.

On our flight home, my mind flashed with memories of trips we taken to see her. And even though there were hard parts, sad parts, bad parts strewn in, I clutched desperately to the good. To the funny and beautiful and indescribable. I hoped she knew I’d remember those parts most. And I’d visit them as easy as we did our weekend at Brittney’s as we sat across the dinner table from Jim and June. No matter what, I would always hold on to the good parts. Both today, tomorrow, and (if I’m lucky enough) seventy years from now, when I have my own chair in my own living room with a pair of great great nieces sitting by my side watching reruns and making me cookies.

31 Good Things that Happened in May

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) Brooklyn Beckham surprised his dad on his birthday

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2) These goats wore pajamas

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3) Taylor Swift invited foster families to view a full dress rehearsal of her upcoming tour

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4) This bride gave a speech

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5) These parents shared before and after photos of them “getting toddlered”

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6) This girl continued her fight for change with her charity, Lemon:AID Warriors

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7) This little guy put in the work to be a future soccer star

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8) Kristen Bell gave an important message to her younger self

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9) This professor enforced his unique punishment for tardiness

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10) This dog adopted some ducklings

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11) This teacher did his part to help his students succeed

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12) This woman surprised her husband with a baby announcement a few weeks before he was deployed

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13) Mother’s Day b1923d25f9b3a9e78692230f1935b976

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14) This baseball player got the ovation he deserved in his return to the field after his mother died

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15) This man asked a good question

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16) This guy managed to make Shaun White’s gold medal run even more entertaining

This is so amazing!!! 😭⭐️😭 @dylan_tate you’re a legend

A post shared by Shaun White (@shaunwhite) on

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17) This inspiring grandmother was the flower girl at her granddaughter’s wedding

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18) Michael Keaton ended his commencement speech with two important words

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19) Golfer Justin Thomas helped this fan propose

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20) This man didn’t hesitate to risk his own life to save another

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21) This soldier had an entire airport cheering for him as he watched the birth of his daughter via Facetime while on route to the hospital to meet her

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22) Chris Pratt gave an important reminder

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23) This company offered a great service

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24) This flight attendant rescued a nursing mom’s breast milk after she left it on a plane

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25) This man learned to do his wife’s hair after she had a stroke

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26) This radio host and his celebrity friends gifted a boy a car after he was seen taking the bus to his high school graduation

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27) Memorial Day honored all the brave men and women who died serving in the armed forces flag-for-united-states_1f1fa-1f1f8

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28) This important reminder was posted

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29) As was this one

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30) An anonymous donor gave $10,000 to this school to pay down the student lunch debt

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31) And finally, these dogs hugged

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what May brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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A Quick (Life) Driving Lesson

Hello and welcome to your driving lesson. Please take a seat and buckle up.

There is a lot to learn, but don’t be afraid. Like anything else, driving just takes practice and patience.

Firstly, let’s start the car.

Excellent. How did that feel? I really want you to soak it in because while it’s a simple skill, it’s also very important. On any drive you might make, it is both your responsibility and your freedom to start the car. Sometimes it may be difficult. Some days, perhaps due to factors out of your control, it might even seem impossible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is always a friendly face close by that can give you a jump-start, should you ever need one.

Now, with the car still in park, I want you to lightly step on the gas. Do you hear that? The rev of the engine? That is a reminder that you are in control of your own speed. You determine how fast or slow you go. You.

You see the brake pedal along side it? That is also at your disposal. Learning to take control of and responsibility for these two pedals is one of the most important parts of both becoming a good driver and enjoying your drive.

Good. Now, let’s put our foot on the brake and put the car in drive. Good. Now let’s ease on the gas pedal. Excellent.

On any given day, when and if you should you choose to start the car, you are in charge of your own destination. Granted, there are times when there are going to be specific places you have to be and specific times you have to be there. However, you should never forget that the way to get there has always and will always be up to you.

On days when you do not have a required destination on your agenda, know that the roads, no matter how open or congested they may be, have a place for you. If you want to get somewhere, you can, it might just take some patience. It may even take so much patience that you’ll try a few alternate routes along the way, just for a change of pace. You might even like one of those alternate routes so much you’ll change your destination all together! And that’s okay! Like I said, it’s up to you. You are the driver, don’t forget that.

Now, you might be thinking about passengers. While driving, it is crucial to surround yourself with beneficial passengers. People who will help make your drive more pleasant. Whether that be by giving advice when you come to a crossroads, enduring bumpy roads with you, or discovering new places neither of you ever expected.

Some passengers, even though they seem valuable based on their knowledge of certain terrain or experience in different traffic jams, will not provide you the assistance you need, and can often lead you down the wrong path. Understand that you do not have to keep anyone in your car that makes you feel uncomfortable or underappreciated. Simply pull over and let them out, you can continue your drive without them.

Okay, go ahead and move into the left lane here. Good.

While driving, you will consistently be given options as to which lane you’d like to drive in. You may start in one lane, find yourself unsatisfied, and then try another. This is totally normal. It is also possible that while you are perfectly comfortable in one lane, another driver will abruptly enter that lane, almost without warning. This may interrupt plans you had regarding speed, destination, timing, etc., and at times may even result in a harmful collision. Understand that surrounding drivers all have their own trips in progress, and while it may seem as though they intentionally throw off yours, that is not always the case. Sometimes your sudden presence is just as surprising to them as they are to you. Other times however, it does appear as though surrounding drivers control their cars recklessly and often leave a trail of destruction, be it actual, physical collisions, or residual emotional distress, in their wake. It is crucial to your driving experience that you absorb these experiences, allow them to teach you something, and then move on. Do not let the driving habits of others prevent you from continuing your drive all together.

Alright, pull over up here. Excellent. I believe that is all the time we have for today, but know that there are many lessons to be learned behind the wheel. And just when you think you’ve learned them all, you’ll make a turn down a road you’ve never been down before and find it has something entirely new to teach you. Don’t get discouraged. Embrace every turn and every lesson. For there is always something incredible just over the next hill or right behind the next building. There are always new tricks and new treats. You simply must be patient and keep driving.

Does Someone Have A Second to Invent These Things?

When I was younger I thought it would be cool to be an inventor. I pictured myself creating the next big thing the world never knew it needed, becoming a millionaire and living in a mansion with my family and a pet elephant. The only thing that stood in the way of that dream was actually having the idea for the next big thing in the first place.

These days, while I still don’t necessarily have the idea, I like to think I have some pretty good ones, though I’m still nowhere close to having the skills to turn them into anything tangible. That being said, if there are any inventors out there with some extra time, do you mind spending a little on these guys? They would make my life better, which has to mean they would provide a similar benefit to someone else’s.

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1) A blinker that indicates U-turns

You know when you’re in the left hand turn lane and the person in front of you is blinking their blinker and you think you’re on the same page and are ready to follow the leader across the intersection, only to have them flip a U and turn your whole world upside down? Okay, maybe not you’re whole world. But it’s definitely a I took a sip of a drink I expected to be soda but it was milk and now my life is a mess type of moments, you know? I just think there should be some kind of secondary blinker that says, “Hey, I’m not doing what you think I’m doing and I just wanted you to know.”

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2) To-go/delivery services for breakfast foods

You can get pizza delivered to your door in twenty minutes, you can get McDonald’s delivered to your door at 1 o’clock in the morning, heck, you can even get more wine delivered to your door before an episode of The Bachelor is over. If we’ve come this far, why can’t I order a waffle yet? It’s 2018, people, the world needs a pancake delivery service.

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3) Solar powered lane markers

The other day I was driving on the freeway at night and having trouble seeing the lane dividers. It had just stopped raining so the cement was wet, and the brake lights of my neighboring cars were making the reflectors on the lane dividers almost a non-factor. This got me thinking, if someone like me, who has 20/20 vision is having trouble seeing these markers, how would my sister, who requires a special prescription and especially struggles with night driving, have faired? So my thought here is, let’s Disneyland Electric Light Parade those bad boys! Stick some solar panels on the tops of them so they charge all day and glow all night. Not only would they make our freeways more exciting, they’d undoubtedly cut down on late night collisions.

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4) Something that can control CAPS LOCK

Have you ever been typing something and accidentally hit the caps lock when you didn’t intend to and then you typed an entire sentence in the wrong format and the only way to correct it was to delete the entire thing and start over? This happens to me more than I’d like to admit and it is endlessly frustrating. I just wish there was a way to highlight and either apply or remove caps lock in one fell swoop.

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5) An app that actually calculates the odds when you say, “what are the odds of that?”

Can you imagine having this power? Would it be too much? Would it be useful at all? It’s hard to say. But you can’t deny the fact that it would be fun to be able to pull out your phone while you are walking down the aisle of a grocery store in a city you are only in because you are on vacation, and yet you somehow find yourself running into an old high school acquaintance you never thought you’d have to see again and they say, “it’s so great to see you!” and the only non-controversial thing you can think to say is, “yeah, WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT?” and your phone would say “approximately 1 in 1,000,000,000” and you would feel validated in how utterly ridiculous the whole thing is. You know that, and other, less complicated curiosities.

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All I ask in your quest to bring these ideas to life is to give me a shout out. I have no idea how patents work, but if there is a section where you provide influences, inspirations, muses, etc., just leave a link to this blog. I suppose a cut of the profit also might be nice. Just include a check with a doorstep waffle. Thanks in advance!

If You’re Going to Post, Post What’s True

As a creature of habit, my routine in the morning is almost identical every single day of the workweek. Among pressing snooze a few times, listening to a podcast, and making a (usually empty) promise to myself that we’ll nap later, checking Timehop—an app that connects to your social media accounts and shows you posts you made on that day in years past—is a staple.

Even though the Facebook posts, Instagram pictures and tweets can sometimes be unbearably cringy, I like to check in on the person I was however many years ago, and observe how much I’ve grown since then.

But among the goofy, the melodramatic, and the sometimes indecipherable posts, I sometimes find ones that make me downright frown. Because even now, after all these years, I can still feel the inauthenticity. It only takes a second to read the words or scan the picture to remember that the only reason I posted that was to impress/amuse/appease someone else.

On the one hand, I don’t want to be too hard on myself. We all go through periods of growth. Seasons when we’re trying on different versions of ourselves to see which one fits. Thus, reading those posts that definitely aren’t me could be viewed as little more than skimming digital records of that growing process. But it also makes me sad to see how much I valued the opinions and acceptance of others over presenting a truthful version of myself.

These days, I do my best to present nothing but the truth. Not only for the benefit of my present self (and anyone who might view what I post) but also for my future self, who, upon skimming Timehop one or two or five years from now can look back and be proud that I was confident enough to be my true self. After all, as much fun as it is to receive love and praise and “likes” for something we post, none of that will mean much if you know that what you posted is an ingenuine representation of who you are and what you’re feeling.

Think of social media like a scrapbook or a journal, minus the fear of it getting lost or worn with time. Once you put something on the Internet, it’s there forever. Which is kind of scary, but also kind of cool if you use it to your advantage. Technology is scrapbooking our memories for us, storing them for future “awww’s” and “eww’s” and “OH MY GOSH’s.”

Don’t get me wrong; posting to social media is a choice. The world will only see what you want it to see, but with that being said, why choose to only show the world a lie? What good does that do anyone, especially your future self who might want to look back and connect.

At the end of the day, I’m not here to judge you or anything you do or do not want to post to social media, and I expect you’d give me the same courtesy. But over the years, I’ve found that if you are going to post something, it’s always better to post what’s true. It’s better for you, it’s better for those around you, and it’s better for the world as a whole. We don’t get anywhere when we lie to each other, and we only go backwards when we lie to ourselves.

March/April 2018 Favorites

It’s beginning to feel a lot like…spring? Summer? Winter again? Honestly I have no idea with the highs and lows going on in Southern California right now. Last week my thermometer read both 49 and 96. This is why we Californians have trust issues, and why we never acclimate to anything. Anyways, let’s jump right into the favorites, shall we?

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Getting Curious w/ Jonathan Van Ness

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As if watching Queer Eye on Netflix wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with Jonathan Van Ness & Co. his podcast is equally as wonderful. Not only does it feature his trademark charm and sass, it covers genuinely interesting topics that I love hearing about and am quite honestly very curious about. For example, one episode talked all about bees. And while I’ve never considered myself to be much of a bee enthusiast, after listening I found myself completely fascinated by them and totally equipped to inform others of ways they can help save the dwindling population. (find it here)

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Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle

I’ve never considered myself any sort of expert in the makeup/beauty world, but a couple months ago I signed up for Birchbox to add some new products in my life and have been loving it so far! In my first box, I received this detangling spray that you put in your hair before brushing when you get out of the show and WOW. It completely detangled my hair, it made it smell good, and it left it super smooth. I just recently ran out so I will definitely be ordering the full size version! (find it here)

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Quinoa Fried Rice

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As you may have read in my cooking series, Strain then Stir, I’ve been making a conscious effort to better my cooking skills over the last year. In doing so, I’ve forced myself to branch out and try things I’ve long convinced myself I don’t like, one example being quinoa. I have always assumed I wouldn’t like the texture of quinoa and would always hold a grudge against it because, well, it’s just not rice. But then I found this recipe and everything changed. Not only is it easy, but it’s absolutely delicious and healthy and OH MY GOSH I’M A COOK. (find recipe here) (image credit: Gimme Some Oven blog)

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Caramel Cookie Fix

Speaking of delicious. I picked up a pint of this ice cream at Target while my sister and I were stress packing for Stagecoach last month and WOW. Just wow. I’m still proud of myself for not eating the entire pint in one sitting even though 1) I definitely could have and 2) it’s lower in calories thus lower in guilt. If you are in the market for a new ice cream flavor, this is the winner.

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You’re Not that Great

I’m not going to lie, I initially only bought this book because it popped up in the sale section of the Kindle store. That being said however, since I finished it I’ve been recommending it to everyone and would gladly go back in time and pay full price for it. It’s such a new take on self-help books, essentially asking you to embrace all the reasons you suck. And as much as that sounds insulting, it’s actually strangely inspirational. I laughed through the entire book and could not recommend it more. (find it here)

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The Office

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After years of receiving the “what do you mean you HAVEN’T see The Office” looks, I decided it was about time I joined society, and let me tell you, I’M SO GLAD I DID! I totally get it now. Every look I’ve received in the past is totally validated because yes, my life was worse before I started watching this show and continues to get better as I make my way though it. (I’m currently on Season 5!) So thank you, judgy people, really, truly, thank you. (find it on Netflix)

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Sons of Anarchy

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On a completely different end of the Netflix spectrum, I’ve also gotten into Sons of Anarchy, making my brain a very chaotic place. Not to mention my heart is now torn between two incredibly different men in Jim Halpert and Jax Teller. I think if there is a human out there that is a combination of the two he might be my soulmate. So if you find him, let me know. (find it on Netflix)

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A Quiet Place

If you are among the few that have heard all the hype about this movie but haven’t seen it, let me be the one to tell you that you need to go see it. I have never been a fan of horror movies, nor have I ever seen one in theaters, but the talk around this movie (and my new love for John Krasinski) convinced me to face my fears and I’m so glad I did! This movie is so fantastic and different than anything I’ve seen before. I felt every emotion on the spectrum and would easily say it is the best movie I’ve seen all year. Go see it! In theaters if you can. It adds to the whole experience.

 

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Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know! My Amazon cart is always open…

See my previous favorites post here.

What I Learned from My First Stagecoach Festival

This past weekend I went to the Stagecoach Country Music Festival for the first time. Leading up to it, I didn’t know what to expect. Stagecoach is held in the same venue as Coachella, which I’d actually been to before to watch my brother play lacrosse, but even so, I really had no idea what I was walking in to.

Now that I’m back (and still alive!) I thought I’d analyze what my friends and I did right/wrong, in order to better prepare us (or you!) for future trips.

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What We Did Right: We stayed offsite

After we bought our tickets, our #1 priority was to find the best/most affordable/most convenient lodging. As it turned out, this was a very intense and stressful process, because everyone else who just bought their tickets was doing the exact same thing. But we ended up getting a great place on Airbnb about 20 minutes from the venue and it was great to get away from all the madness each night.

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What We Did Wrong: Parked at the venue

One of the downsides of staying upwards of 20 minutes away is the need to, you know, get to the venue. On Friday night we decided to drive straight there and park in the lot. It was a relatively smooth process on the way in, but it took us a solid hour to get out of the parking lot after the show, 45 minutes of which we didn’t even move. (Note: a friend of mine who’s been to Coachella suggests that if you leave about 10-20 minutes early at the end of the night, getting out of the parking lot is not too bad!)

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What We Did Right: Parked at a friend’s house

After Friday night, we asked some friends of ours who were staying at a house in walking distance from the venue if we could park in their driveway. The walk from their house to the venue ended up being the same distance and took the same amount of time as parking in the parking lot did (about 30 minutes) but once we arrived back at our car that night, we were out of their neighborhood and on the freeway back to our house in approximately five minutes. Granted, this isn’t a luxury that everyone has when they go to Stagecoach, but if you do stay offsite and know people staying closer, it’s worth the ask.

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What We Did Right: Brought bandanas

One item we constantly heard as a recommended bring was a bandana, and even though we weren’t exactly sure why, we all showed up on Friday with one packed in each of our bags. This would prove to be on of our greatest choices because not only does the wind pick up after sundown, blowing dust all up in your business, but the walk back to your car/house/camp/etc. is essentially one big parade of dust. I couldn’t recommend them more.

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What We Did Wrong: Left our chairs at home

Overall, the first day was really one big learning experience. In preparing for the trip we had bought cheap chairs but weren’t sure whether they’d be too bulky/nerdy to carry around. So on the first day the four of us only brought a few towels and a blanket to sit on. On our walk into the venue, we quickly realized that EVERYONE brings chairs. And after spending the afternoon and evening sitting on the hard ground, we found out why. Needless to say, we proudly carried our chairs in on Saturday and Sunday.

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What We Did Right: Brought sunscreen

I get it. Applying and reapplying sunscreen isn’t something you want as your number one priority when you’re at a music festival and you’re trying to look cute and have fun and forget all your worries and all of that. But as the sun set on Friday and we took a look around at some of the people who didn’t take the time to apply (or reapply), it was clear they were going to be hurting for the next two days.

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What We Did Wrong: Didn’t bring blankets and (good enough) sweatshirts

As it turns out, when the sun goes down in the desert and the wind picks up, it can get freaking cold! Saturday was especially cold and had all of us curled up and shivering. So we made a note for next time to not only bring blankets, but maybe even a pair of pants and a bigger jacket. It might seem ridiculous when you’re walking in at 3:30pm and it’s 100 degrees outside, but you have the option to either rent a locker, or if you’re with a big group, you can set up camp by the main stage and rotate getting up for food/drinks/exploring.

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What We Did Right: Sang and danced as much as possible

One of the best parts about any concert or sporting event is collectively enjoying something with a bunch of strangers. It’s a very uniting feeling. And even though it might seem weird to sing at the top of your lungs and dance your damn heart out in front of all these strangers, it’s really the only way to go. Lose your inhibitions, have a drink and just dance! It’s fun, it’s freeing, and at night it’s the only thing that keeps you warm!

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Overall, I would definitely go again. Even with the slight bit of chaos it took to figure everything out, I had a great time and was so glad I went. For anyone thinking of going next year, I’d say go for it! Even if you’re not a big festival person, it’s worth going once to try it out, especially if you go with a group of people who are looking to experience it the same way you are. Plus, you really can’t beat live music. Especially live country music in the (almost) summer time. It feels good down to your bones!