My Journey (So Far) to Winning the Heisman

One of the goals I set for myself in 2017 is to run 1000 miles, and this past Sunday, I hit the 200-mile mark! Woo!

You still have 800 to go, you know.

Hey. Enough of that, negative brain. I’ve run 200 miles!

HELL YEAH SHE HAS. 

Thank you, positive brain.

This is an exciting goal for me. Not only because accomplishing it would be incredible, but because even believing I could try to accomplish it is something I could have never dreamed of a year or two ago.

Over the last few months, I have had a number of different obstacles—i.e. my body trying to convince me it’s falling apart—in regards to this goal, but while they should discourage me, they’ve done exactly the opposite. I feel motivated, I feel inspired, and most of all, I feel able. Even on the days when running sounds hard or tiring, I don’t have that lingering doubt in the back of my mind that I’ve grown so familiar with. I really believe I can do this, and hell, if there’s a better feeling than that, I haven’t found it yet.

But while this goal seems wholly attainable to me, and I know I’ll stop at nothing to achieve it, I respect its grandiose. I know I can’t get over-confident and go all tortoise/hare on the thing, and so I still go into every run with the same amount of respect and dedication.

Among my family members, I’ve started referring to this goal as “winning the Heisman.” Am I a male, college level football star? No. But the way I see it, if a kid tells his parents he wants to win the Heisman, they’ll probably smile and tell him to “go for it”, even though they know he has a loooong way to go, and for me, with running, it’s very similar. I have never been a runner before, ever. And so having a background that was practically dedicated to not running, it seems pretty far-fetched to come out with a goal like, “I want to run 1000 miles in one year.” But the truth of the matter is, every year one kid does win that Heisman trophy, and so I figure, why can this be the year I win mine?

Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers!

When I was little my family lived next door to my grandparents, and oftentimes I would walk over after school to watch TV and have an afternoon snack. My Grammie and Papa would get me, my sister and my cousins all settled in with an eskimo pie or a neapolitan ice cream sandwich and turn on our favorite set of afternoon shows. Depending on the day, our schedule would include the likes of Wishbone, Captain Planet, Zoom!, and of course, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

I remember feeling particularly drawn to Mr. Rogers. His show was different than the other ones we would watch. It wouldn’t make me laugh, or cry, or scare me, or excite me, it just made me feel calm. When I watched it, I felt safe. For no matter what kind of day I had, no matter how I was feeling or what I was worried about, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood never failed to be a reliable escape to something good.

Today, March 20th, is Fred Rogers’ birthday, and as a result, today has been dubbed “Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day.” In the past few years I, as well as many I’m sure, have found that the lessons Mr. Rogers taught me as a kid have only just begun to truly resonate now as an adult. I’d like to think this is what he hoped for. That he aimed to provide this escape to good when we were younger, so that when we were older it could act as a reminder that good can always be found.

In today’s society, I think we could use a little more Mr. Rogers, so today, in honor of what would have been his 88th birthday, I want to share some of my favorite quotes, from one of my favorite guys.

1) “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” 

2) “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

3) “If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” 

4) “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”

5) “The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” 

6) “How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by joy; that guilt over falling short of our ideals can be replaced by pride in doing all that we can; and that anger can be channeled into creative achievements… and into dreams that we can make come true.” 

7) “Try your best to make goodness attractive. That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given.” 

8) “Often out of periods of losing come the greatest strivings toward a new winning streak.” 

9) “We speak with more than our mouths. We listen with more than our ears.” 

10) “Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.” 

Mr. Rogers, thank you for all of the afternoons you spent with me, my sister, my cousins and our eskimo pies. I can only hope I’m doing my part in spreading the good you instilled in me all those years ago. Happy birthday!

A Lesson in Courage from the Real Moana

My sister and I recently got around to seeing Disney’s Moana and, long story short, we’re obsessed. And while I could go on and on about pretty much every second of every minute of the entire film, quoting my favorite parts, gushing about my favorite characters and belting out every verse of my favorites songs, I can pretty much sum them up with this gif:

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After watching Moana for the first time, I went through my normal routine of stalking everyone (actors, directors, etc.) associated with the film. I like to get an idea of where they came from and the other work they’ve done, so I can feel a strange sense of emotional pride for people I’ve never met. “You’ve come so far!” I tell them. “I’m so proud of you!”

I like to believe that in some way they receive this message with a passing sensation of happiness, but I’m well aware that I’m probably just forming one-sided attachments to strangers. Oh well.

Amongst my findings on the Moana crew: Auli’i Cravalho, a.k.a the voice of Moana herself.

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Some basic info on Auli’i for you (compliments of Wikipedia):

  • She was born in Kohala, Hawaii (which is the northern tip of the big island)
  • She is of Chinese, Irish, Native Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican descent.

Some less basic, more impressive info for you:

  • She’s currently sixteen, but nabbed the roll of Moana at the age of fourteen
  • She recently performed destroyed at the Oscars

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And finally, the piece of information that got me writing to you today:

  • She was the very last girl to audition on the very last day of casting.

In an interview with People, Auli’i said she almost didn’t audition because of all the amazing submissions she’d seen on YouTube, but was encouraged by an Oahu casting agent to change her mind. And so, she did. She auditioned in the very last slot on the very last day.

Recap on what happened next:

  • She got the part
  • She made her acting debut
  • She became immortalized as a Disney princess
  • The film got nominated for a long list of awards including two Oscars (Best Animated Feature Film & Best Original Song “How Far I’ll Go”)
  • She performed “How Far I’ll Go” at the Oscars

So you know that old saying, “it’s worth a shot”?

It really is.

So keep taking those shots. You never know where they might take you.

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International Ask A Question Day

Have you ever been walking around, minding your own business, and had someone come up to you and say, “Happy National Penguin Awareness Day!” (or something along those lines) and thought to yourself, when the hell did penguin awareness day become a thing?

I mean, I think we all have. These days it seems like there is a day for everything and every day there is something. I personally think they’re kind of fun, though I’m well aware of the ludicrousness of it all. That being said, since these “holidays” probably aren’t going anywhere any time soon, I figured it best to get in the loop, because it’s a place I like to be.

So, I recently downloaded an app called “Holidays” which tells you every “holiday” happening on any given day of the year, and today is “International Ask a Question Day.” Granted, it’s also “Save a Spider Day”, “Potato Chip Day” and, perhaps most well known: “Pi Day,” but I’m going to focus on International Ask a Question Day, because if there’s one thing I’m great at, it’s asking questions, about everything, all the time. I also thought it might be helpful to give you some tips on which questions you can ask today, just in case your lacking on inquiries. Let’s jump right in:

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Why can’t bread be a healthy vegetable that you are required to eat in order to survive?

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You know, instead of the whole hard-to-digest carb that should be eaten in moderation unless you want big hips and permanent lethargy. Sub question: why is life so unfair?

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Why didn’t Apple hire Morgan Freeman to be Siri?

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Morgan is reliable, you see? He would never pull the ole’ “I’m sorry I didn’t quite get that” or “Sorry, I’ve lost connection in the middle of nowhere at the very moment you needed directions to the nearest gas station because you’re below empty and now you’ll probably get lost and run out of gas and maybe get jumped by a rogue coyote.” Morgan would always be around to answer those burning questions and he wouldn’t do so in an arrogant, “what kind of damn question was that?” tone. He’d be the wise father figure you need in every situation, available 24/7 at the touch of a button.

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Are the chips at Mexican restaurants seasoned with cocaine?

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Because I just ate 436 of them in roughly 4 minutes.

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Will Waldo ever truly be found?

I mean sure, here is he is:

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And here:

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But it seems like a guy that continues to hide should, you know, maybe seek counseling or change his outfit or contact witness protection. All I’m saying is, has anyone ever considered talking to Waldo?

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And finally,

Why do we make finger guns like this:

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When guns are shaped like this?

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Have any questions you feel like asking? Today’s the day!

An Ode to My Tax Refund

It’s that time of year

Not the time with Christmas cheer

No, the time we usually all dread and fear

But one silver lining

One diamond worth mining

Is the check in your mailbox you just might be finding

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It’ll say, “hi, how are you you?”

And you’ll say, “better now

It’ll say, “how you gonna spend me?”

And you’ll say, “Oh, I’ll tell you how.”

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I’m going to go shopping,

Maybe for clothes, but mostly food

I’m going to fill my damn cupboards with anything that can be chewed

I’ll pull out all the recipes I put on hold for my budget

And in regards to my healthy diet, I’ll make room to fudge-it.

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I’ll probably get a haircut WITH a shampoo

And when they ask if I want a blow dry, I’ll say, “throw that in too.”

I’ll take myself out to dinner and order dessert

I’ll tip the waiter so nicely he’ll think I’m a flirt

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I’ll probably buy myself some books and see a few movies

I’ll buy a new pair of shoes I think are pretty groovy

I’ll go out with my friends and buy them all a drink

Then I’ll get home a little tipsy and lay down and think…

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I should probably save this

And then I probably will

I could probably spend a little

But should be cautious still

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I’ll stress and I’ll mull and I’ll undoubtedly overthink

I’ll make lists and run figures and I’ll pour myself a drink

Then I’ll make some room here and make some room there

Save some, spend some, and hopefully have some to spare

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I’m not saying I’m right, I’m not saying I’m wrong

I’m not saying you should listen or sing my same song

I’m just saying we need balance and a probably a little discipline

We can be frivolous and smart and order takeout Italian

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So here’s to you refund, I can’t wait to meet you

I can’t wait to shop you and save you and eat you

We’ll have some good times, I can promise you that

First order of business: raising the thermostat.

28 Good Things That Happened in February

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy February to you!

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1) This woman wrote a great piece on self-confidence and stepping out of your comfort zone. (via Buzzfeed)

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2) This man found a woman’s purse and returned it to her with everything in it, then wouldn’t take a single thing in return. (via Love What Matters)

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3) This grandma made a snow angel. (via ABC News)

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4) The popular YouTube channel, Bad Lip Reading, released a new NFL episode in honor of the Super Bowl:

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5) Speaking of the Super Bowl, can we talk about Lady Gaga’s Halftime show!

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6) The kids from Stranger Things saw their Season 2 commercial on TV for the first time.

Fun video of us seeing the S2 teaser!!! Link in bio! Go check it out! #season2 #spoileralert? #strangerthings

A post shared by 🌍Noah Schnapp🎥 (@noahschnapp) on

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7) The Bloggess hosted her second annual Booksgiving, which is essentially a giant love fest for book lovers.

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8) This man jumped:

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9) This newly adopted dog cuddled with its owner. (via LoveWhatMatters)

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10) This man made a video to give people a better idea of what it’s like living with Cerebral Palsy.

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11) This boy brought his mom to dad day.

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12) These two tangoed:

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13) This boy took his sister to the Father Daughter Dance:

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14) The ridiculously talent packed Grammy’s…

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15) …where Twenty One Pilots accepted the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in their underwear and gave this inspirational speech:

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“This story starts in Columbus, Ohio. It was a few years ago. And it was before Josh and I were able to make money playing music. As we were watching we noticed that every single one of us was in our underwear. And seriously—and we were no one at that time—he turned to me and said, ‘You know, if we ever go to the Grammys — if we ever win a Grammy — we should receive it just like this.’ Not only is this amazing, but I want everyone who’s watching at home to know that you could be next. Because anyone, from anywhere, can do anything.”

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16) Lainy checked into the game:

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17) Ashton Kutcher spoke up against human trafficking:

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18) This little girl got adopted. (via LoveWhatMatters)

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19) This photographer dad gave his daughter the Beauty & the Beast photoshoot of her dreams:

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20) This Australian artist used illustration to come clean about her eating disorder. (via Buzzfeed)

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21) This brother was the best valentine ever:

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22) This police officer helped a 10 year old girl with her homework. (via Buzzfeed)

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23) This once incredibly malnourished little boy danced:

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24) This little guy gave up winning a race because he wanted to hug his dad. (via Buzzfeed)

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25) The Oscar’s recognized some incredibly talented artists (including Viola Davis, who never fails to give an amazing, tear inducing speech.)

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26) Backstage at the Oscar’s, previous Best Actress winner Brie Larson & newly recognized winner Emma Stone shared this moment:

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27) This woman gave her husband an Oscar of his own:

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28) The Animal Adventure Park in New York set up a “Giraffe Cam” where you can track the park’s pregnant giraffe, April, as she draws closer to giving birth.

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

I can’t wait to see what March brings!

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The Kimberlee K. Dictionary

If you’ve ever read through any of my blog, you might notice that I tend to make up words…a lot.

I’m also big on phabbreviwords.

You know, abbreviations of phrases that are turned into words?

Phabbreviwords.

No?

Right, well, now you see what I’m talking about.

One time I used one of the phrabbreviwords in a real conversation, assuming the person in question would know it, only to be met with a furrowed brow and the need for extensive clarification. I mean, I get it. It’s the same way I feel when I hear teens use modern slang. I’m constantly on edge that I’m being insulted without my knowledge.

So, at the risk of getting sued by Urban Dictionary (even though none of these words are in there…yet) I’m going to provide you with a guide for what on earth I’m talking about. Because chances are, I’ve already adopted most of these words into my vocabulary and will probably use them more often than I should, and I don’t want anyone having to Google translate my blog posts or Google search “signs of insanity” in response to my gibberish.

Also, seeing as I have no plans to stop making up words, this dictionary will be an ongoing thing, the record of which you can find here. Enjoy!

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BIFC (biff-see) Door n.– Because I F*cking Can Door, a figurative barrier to success which, when motivated properly, we can kick down Kool-Aid Man style (used here)

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BoBaMeg (bo-bah-meg) n. – a Boob & Back Megaphone, or someone who advertises a company or point of view with a graphic t-shirt (used here)

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Carbrrrhater (car-brrr-hater) n. – an owner of a car who grows angry when it takes too long to warm up in the winter months (used here)

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Cinnamon Stick with the Windows Down Content adj. – a simple, yet unmatched genre of happiness (used here)

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DICHILY (ditch-illy) Smile n. – A Damnit I Can’t Help It I Love You Smile (used here)

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Exslursize (ex-slur-size) v. – to exercise while drunk (used here)

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Good Day to be a Duck n. – a theory of positivity that suggests your bad day could be someone else’s great day. (used here)

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HBINM (hib-i-nim) n. – Human Being I’ve Never Met (used here, referring to Anna Kendrick, one of my all time favorite HBINM’s)

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Hug-shaking v.– the result of indecisiveness regarding whether two people should share a handshake or a hug upon meeting. (used here)

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List-Cember (list-sem-brr) n. – an annual event in which every blog post published in the month of December contains a list (used here)

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Metaphorical Mozzarella n. – the type of cheese you can’t eat, only feel (used here)

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Palm treeson (palm tree-son) n., v. – 1) committing a crime against nature, 2) the act of slapping someone who deserves it. (used here)

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Phabbreviword (fa-brev-ee-words) n. – abbreviations of phrases that are turned into words. (but you knew that already…)

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#ShoutYourStrong n. – a social media movement I started to encourage both myself and those around me to celebrate our accomplishments, no matter how big or small, in both the physical and mental fields. (used here)

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Shoxigen (shawks-i-jen) n. – the type of air you inhale when surprised (used here)

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Smilacry (sm-eye-la-cry) v. – the act of smiling, laughing and crying at the same time (used here)

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TUFBW (tuff-boo) n. – The Ultimate Fit Bit Week (used here)

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WRLA (wool-rah) n. – World’s Largest Roadside Attraction (used here)