Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflecting Back

Wow 2010 was full of:


Laughter.Learning.Sadness.Pain.Life altering changes. New friends. Opportunities. Love. Writing. Sunshine. New Goals. Mistakes. Shopping. Traveling. Ambitions. Teaching. Sharing. Receiving. Fear. Happiness. Photographs. Old friends.

There is honestly so much to say about the last year. If anything, it was the most life-altering year of my entire life. I guess watching someone you love die slowly in front of you will do that sort of thing to you. I also made some of the biggest mistakes of my life as well. Mistakes that I'm not proud of in the slightest, but surprisingly, don't regret. If they didn't happen, it wouldn't have opened my eyes to how valuable life truly is. I wouldn't have gotten closer to an old best friend who was there for me when I truly needed her. I wouldn't have gone to Oregon and fallen in love with it, hoping that it will someday be my future. I wouldn't have found an outlet to writing more, and definitely wouldn't have become so obsessed with blogging. I wouldn't have made such wonderful new friends who have really made me happy these past few months. So as you can see - things do happen for a reason, even if at the time you don't understand them in the slightest measure.

I have learned also, that loving with your whole heart isn't a bad thing. Sure it hurts like complete hell when someone squashes every inch of you heart - but in the end it was worth it. I don't want to shut myself off from the rest of the world because I have been hurt too many times to count. I'm proud of myself in the end because I was willing to fight for whatever it is I had. But I'm happy it didn't work out... with any of these far away loves because I know that I deserve better and I will receive better when I least expect it. My Mr. Right is out there and I'm not settling, not anymore. My step-dad told me I deserved more than I give myself and that I need to settle only for greatness... I'm going to cherish that advice and take it. I am.

If I have learned anything over 2010 it is that you need to live every moment to the fullest. You don't know when it could all be over. I have always "tried" to live by that little memo; in reality I wasn't really doing it. I have tried this year to actually accomplish that, but things haven't made it easy in the slightest. So this year I'm going to accomplish that goal of mine. I am going to live up every second of every day and I'm going to do it for myself. Only me. Life is worth living - because if not... what's the point? Because I know there is a point to all this; there has to be.

My New Years Resolutions are these:

  1. Live life to the fullest.
  2. Continue writing every moment I get the chance & to finish one of the many ideas of a novel I have. But mostly my most current one - I have a good feeling about this; I think it's going somewhere special.
  3. Start living a healthier life. If anything I have learned it's that we aren't invincible... even though I wish we were. I need to start working out more, eating better, and continue drinking less!! Seriously.
  4. I want to help a complete stranger - I want to do something good for the community and not for myself. A selfless act will make me feel whole.
  5. Graduate college with great grades (still on the Dean's List I hope) and to have a great job lined up... whether that's here... or somewhere else.
  6. Speaking of which, I want to travel more and find a new destination to live. Really looking towards Oregon, but if something else catches my eye... I'll follow that. But Oregon is where my heart is right now and I would love nothing more than to move there when I can and to teach and write novels. :) Sounds perfect to me.
  7. Make sure that the last few months of my step-dad's life are worth while and memorable not only to him, but to our family.
  8. Try something new - something out of my "comfort zone" so I can look back down the road with a smile saying, "I did that."
  9. Continue making new friends. I must say making bloggy buddies makes me beyond happy!! I love hearing all of your tales and the written word.
  10. I want to read more books out of my element. I find a genre and I stick with it... but how could I possibly be a fantastic writer/author if I don't step out of my zone and move to another to see what author's write along the page? I need to read... read.. and then... well yes, read some more!!
  11. Watch less TV and actually go out and be active!! TV is great, don't get me wrong... pulls in a lot of my daily obsessions, but I need to go try new adventures; not just sit on my ass ;)
  12. I will love with my whole heart. I will go out and meet new people; give new guys a chance... clean slate because yes, they do deserve it. I won't shut out opportunities and I will be very confident!!!
  13. Last and I'm certainly not least; I need to continue to be strong and brave. This past year was one of the hardest of my life, so now I know if I can get through that... I can get through any barrier that blocks my path. It won't be easy, especially because this upcoming year I know my step-dad will die and I have never been through such a great loss, but I'll continue to hold my head up high and learn from everything.

With that said: everyone have an amazing New Years Eve and be safe!! I hope your NY resolutions are set in stone as well. Take care.

xo.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sun Valley 2010

So I got back last night from Sun Valley Idaho. We go there every single year, and every year I am captured by the beauty of it. The drive back wasn't very fun though; the weather was absolutely horrible so we had to drive like a snail on the highway. We got home in 7 and 1/2 hours... it should have been 4-5. Yikes. It's alright though. Me and my little brothers were bonding on the way home, and surprisingly, they gave me really good ideas for my book and future novels that I'm going to write. They just made me swear that they will get the first copies and I have to use their names as characters sometime in any of my books ;)

Anyways, I'm going to post pictures from my trip to share with everyone. The pictures are of the town, lodge we stayed in, snowshoeing, ice-skating, the little village within our lodge, and some dinners. Enjoy, I know I sure did!! By the way... I was proud of my photographing skills.


So there you have it... that's only some of the many I took on this trip. It was incredible as always and just what I needed right then - a good getaway. As you can see I have a new layout which I'm pretty fond of if I must say :) I hope you all are doing fabulous and are excited for New Years!! I'm really excited. I'm going to a huge Greek party (where of course everyone is invited) and it's going to be so fun!! They are having a DJ, open bar, food, etc. Sounds perfect to me. Especially because I only have one more week off until Spring Semester and school starts back up.
xo.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hello From Sun Valley

Well I found a computer so I thought, what the hell... I'm going to leave a quick blog post!!! This trip has been so amazing and I'm sad today is already the last day and we leave tomorrow. Boo :(

It's so beautiful; definitely a winter wonderland and you'll see when I post pictures after I get back home. The Sun Valley Lodge we stay at is breathtaking and they have so much to do here: bowling, movie theater, ice-skating, swimming, two bars, food places, a village with tons of stores and shopping, spa treatments, and they even have a salon! I am in love with the little village they have here. It's so charming and quaint... that's pretty much how this whole town is. The town of Ketchum is really fun too, has amazing restaurants there that we have eaten at every night!! Today has definitely been an action packed day - we went snowshoeing, ate at the ski resort and I had the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich and sweet potato fries, now we are back at the room for just a moment... but then we are going bowling, ice-skating, dinner, then swimming. The swimming pool is awesome too because it's outside but the whole pool is really heated so it's like a gigantic hot tub: amazing.

I miss looking at all your blogs and I would right now but I definitely don't have time. BTW Rach (blog bestie) sent me all these really cute items which I did a post about and I wanted her to know that I have gotten her some really cool things from Sun Valley :) So be excited because they are really cute. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and are getting excited for New Years -- 2011 here we come!!! Woo hoo.

Oh and I got all my grades... finally. I did fairly well - but I did receive a lot of B's, kind of mad I didn't get more A's, but I won't get picky not after receiving that wonderful B+ in my math class!!!

Well that's all; I need to leave now. But I hope you all are well and hopefully I won't get home too late tomorrow because a huge storm is supposed to hit when we are driving out of Idaho. YIKES! Ta ta for now loves.

xo.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

On the Road

Well... it's off to Sunvalley once again. :) Sunvalley Idaho is one of my favorite destinations (well it's up there that's for sure!) I won't be blogging until I get back, but expect a lot of pictures to follow my arrival home!!

I'm really excited to go to Sunvalley though. We go every year around this time and it's always really special. We always stay at the same Sunvalley Resort where many stars go!! They have a cute little town within the resort and there is also Ketchum village as well that's really charming and has amazing food and shopping. My favorite thing about the resort is the ice-skating rink they have and the little movie theater. I hope they are playing something really good... because they only play one.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was amazing. I seriously love my loud crazy Greek family. They are always making me smile... and this year it was really special which was perfect to celebrate what probably was my step-dad's last Christmas. I didn't get anything too big, but that's alright with me. It's not about the gifts you receive; it's about the feelings you get when you are around loved ones I think.

Anyways, take care and enjoy the rest of your holiday season!!!

PS: What's everyone doing for New Years?? I can't wait!! 2011 here we come - whoa weird!!!

xo.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

I hope everyone has such a wonderful day.
You're all so amazing.
Love always,
Jess

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Grinch and the Good Deed

I haven't wrote a post in a couple days; I've missed it & all of you. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments - makes me happy. The last couple of days have been so hectic getting ready for Christmas! Can't believe tomorrow is Xmas Eve; wow, where does the time go? Just feels like it was Thanksgiving.

I'll tell you about my good deed at the end of this post. First, I got a new cell phone and I'm in love with it. It's the Mytouch 4g from t-mobile. It's so cute & I spend so much time on the Internet... so that's not good. But that's okay, my old phone didn't do anything cool so I'm entitled to some greatness if I do say so myself. It's white with a hot pink case: extremely girly? Yes. Yes it is.


Also I'm so excited to announce that I'm going to Sunvalley Idaho the day after Christmas!!! Sunvalley is one of my favorite places to go... and we always stay at the main lodge. It's amazing & I love ice-skating there. I'm actually pretty good, unlike skiing which I must say is sad especially because I live with snow!! Never was a good fan, but one day I'll get good at it.

Okay so now for my good deed. So I went to dinner with my sorority sisters at Porcupine (best food in the world) and it was so much fun. I love when I plan things, and a lot of people show up - 14 girls to be exact!! It was packed though, we had to wait almost two hours. But it was okay... it's so fun to chit chat with all of them and hear what they are doing for Christmas and New Years. Anyways, after I didn't want to go home yet and needed to do a little bit more shopping. So I drove to Target, very slowly though because it was so foggy outside. Very eerie if I do say so myself... was getting the vampire vibe (had to throw that out there; sorry). Anyways the POINT, so I do my shopping and it's beyond packed in there and I go to the check out line after about an hour. I'm waiting in line and I'm second up and this woman who is checking out is a total Scrooge, like I'm talking Grinch-before-he-gets-a-heart status. She keeps rolling her eyes and shaking her head; she's also with a guy who is so timid and just sits there says nothing. She yells at him to grab her wallet and complains how much she f-ing hates Christmas. The cashier who is a middle aged somewhat frumpy, but nice woman rings her up. The Grinch says, "I don't want all this on my damn card. I want to give you cash for some of it." The cashier nods, and replies, "Alright mam, but we'll have to start over because I need to collect the money from you first." Grinch then says, "You've got to be kidding. Fine, here is $63, whatever is left I'll pay on my card." The cashier sits there, and Grinch glares, "Hello?? You going to subtract it or what?" The cashier blushes and looks down, "Sorry mam, you didn't hand me the money, I like to count it out." The Grinch shakes her head and mutters, "Wow, you'd think they would know how to do their job here." I'm literally biting the hell out of my tongue so I don't lash out. I am a very compassionate person, and I don't like it when others get their feelings hurt... so sitting there saying absolutely nothing was beyond hard for me. Anyways, the cashier counts it out and Grinch says, "You want to hurry it up there?" She impatiently grabs the money and says, "Why don't you watch me do your job for you then. This is how you count money out." Finally she pays for it and says, "You might want to work for the money they are surprisingly giving you." The cashier replies, "You don't need to be rude mam." Grinch just sneers and walks away - mind you the man next to her didn't say ONE thing that entire time. As she walks away, the cashier grabs another employee and says, "That woman was really out of line." I nodded and said, "She really was." So the employee goes and grabs her; you can see the Grinch yelling and getting in the employees' face. The cashier then bursts out in tears saying, "I'm trying the best I can. I'm so sorry for the hold up." I look at her and say, "You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. That woman was very much out of line and you didn't deserve that. Please don't let someone like that ruin your night or your holiday. She isn't worth it; not for a second." She looks up at me and replies with tears swimming in her brown eyes, "I have to work two jobs so my children can have food on the table..." I'm honestly about to cry myself and I say, "You are working so hard; you're better than that woman will ever be." Finally she rings me up after about ten minutes and she grabs my hand saying, "Thank you... thank you so much. Your kind words meant the world to me. Merry Christmas." I tell her no need to thank me, and for her to have a Merry Christmas as well. As I walk away I also add, "I'm saying something to that woman." She smiles and says, "Thank you... I really appreciate it." The Grinch is still whining and bitching about God knows what and I'm trying to compose myself. I wasn't going to say anything... but after the cashier cried, I knew I had to. Not sure where my strength came from but I walked right into the woman's face and say, "You were out of line back there; you hurt her feelings so bad." I start walking away and she shouts, "Actually that woman needs to learn how to do her job correctly. And I don't remember this being any of your business." Clenching my fists, I reply, "Who in the hell are you? She is a human being, and she didn't deserve that. You made it my business when you treated her that way. You say she needs to learn how to do her job, YOU need to learn some manners." I left before another word was spoken. Not going to lie, I ran swiftly to the car because I was afraid she would come beat me up in the parking lot... ha but it would be worth it. I was fuming when I left - and I forgot to mention that when I was getting in her face people were turning around and staring at us. It was something you see on a movie I swear!!

You don't treat people like that; I don't care how bad of a day you have... that was wrong. It felt beyond amazing for sticking up for that woman. My only hope is that she's still not upset about what happened. I don't want the Grinch to get another thought in her mind. Putting people down is not okay with me... especially when they can't help it. The woman was a little slow at money... I'm not that good at it either, but at least she was smiling and trying. She WAS doing her job better than that woman ever will in her life. It's absurd honestly. I hope the Grinch takes a good look of herself in the mirror and changes her attitude immediately. People like that don't enjoy life to the fullest; they just want to get to the next minute in the day - pass it along. I understand how stressful Christmas is, but treating people like they are dirt isn't an outlet to that. Treat others how you would want to be treated - the Golden Rule holds the truth.

Anyways there was my ranting and raving for the day. Sorry my story was so back and forth... but I had to let it out. :)

Yay for Christmas Eve soon!!

xo.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

As I wrote in my last post, I'm making my mom a calender for X-mas. I'm so sad though, because I thought if I shipped it yesterday it would arrive on Christmas Eve; after I spent all day doing it... they said it will be shipped Jan 5th :( Oh well, it's the thought that counts right? I went through so many photo albums today and scanned a lot of pictures. It was definitely bitter sweet, mostly sweet though. Bitter because seeing my step dad like how he used to be saddens me. But that's okay, it's nice to at least have the good memories to go back to. Yesterday was really hard; my step dad had to go to the hospital to have a feeding tube put inside him. He can still eat, but it's getting harder and harder, so the doctors wanted to do this now to be safe. My mom and step dad spent all day long at the hospital. When they got home, my mom was beyond worn out and my step dad was so out of it. I just feel so bad for both of them. It's like the tragedy never ends. ALS makes me so mad too because my step dad is all there in his head, so he knows what is happening to him. I wish he could just forget. He told my mom the other day that he just wants to die; that breaks my heart, but I can understand that he doesn't want to suffer anymore. I wish I could take that pain away.

Anyways enough with the sad stuff; lately I have been posting a lot of pictures so I'm going to continue down that road. Here are a lot of pictures that I stumbled upon while making my mom's X-mas gift. Some are really old and some are kind of old... but they are all special to me! I find it funny that I'm posting this at 1:30 am, but hey if you can't sleep might as well do something productive... well sort of. A lot of them at the beginning are of me and my cousins Nicole & Alaina. I've known them my entire life and we are closer than sisters. :) Also I kind of did a before and after with some of the shots! (And just for your information, the last picture of me and my cousins - we have on our Greek dance costume; one of the many. I miss dancing!)

My cat Buddy who I was extremely close with. Sweetest cat in the entire world; we had to put him asleep a year ago because he had cancer
:( RIP.

Me and my older step-bro Cameron and then me and my little bro Landon

Here are some of my mom. She is so gorgeous! Full Greek (which you can tell) There are some really old ones of her, but I can't help it. It's crazy how much we look alike. My mom is my rock and my best friend. We are closer than close and I love that about us... I can tell her anything. She has been so brave and strong throughout her entire life; I admire her most in the world. She is my hero.

Now these are the pictures of my step-dad; I'll definitely have more posts of him coming up.

This first one was over Memorial weekend and the second one was over Labor Day weekend this year. My step-dad is in his wheel-chair in this picture along with my step bro Cam and my two nephews Isaac and Jaxon in the first one; the second is with those same four, but my sister-in-law, my mom, and me. This wasn't too long ago, and yet my step-dad is a lot worse than he is in both of these pictures. But the second one is our most recent picture we have.

Here are some of me and my step-dad when I was little. I've known him since I was 3 years old... so when I say it's like I'm losing my dad, it's the truth.

This next picture really hits home for me. Every time I see it, I start crying. It means something, actually everything to me. It is the last time and will forever be the last time that me and my step-dad will ever be able to dance together. This was at a wedding in 08' and the song "My Girl" came on, and I jumped up and grabbed him from across the room and we danced to it. It was a feeling I got that I cannot describe; something was telling me that I needed to dance with him. We had a great time and my mom got this picture. I know my step-dad won't be there to dance with me at my wedding, but this memory will be.

To me, a picture speaks a thousand words. The memories that cascade off of a picture is overwhelming. And though these pictures probably don't mean much to you, but they mean everything to me.

Okay, now I can go to sleep. Thanks for viewing followers - you all mean so much to me. Seriously, your kind words always make me smile and even though I haven't met any of you, well most of you; you each have a special place in my heart. It's people like you that help others during a great time of need, and that's exactly what you're doing for me. Thanks for being there.

xo.