Reflecting on 2019

reflecting on 2019
Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

This year was quite the year. A lot happened. A lot always happens, but I feel like this year was especially good and also especially sad and hard. With that said, I’m reflecting on 2019 and looking back on the year I had.

January: My family and I rang in the new year from our couch and I got to play a lot of tennis with my dad, sister, and friends that we’ve made at the Ranch Country Club. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to play at such a nice facility and have courts year round to play at. Does anyone remember my shrimp project for ecology last school year? That happened in late January too. 🙂

February: I went to a dinner to celebrate my academic achievements for my freshman year. We also celebrated my mom’s birthday. Marty was starting to get pretty sick around this time but he was still a happy, wonderful dog.

March: School was definitely in full swing again and I got to celebrate my sister’s 18th birthday. Her birthday was during the week, so I didn’t get to be home for it, but we celebrated over the weekend. We also had those two big bomb cyclones in March. I got school off twice so of course I remember that! 🙂 My aunt also came to visit during spring break and we had a great time at the Denver Art Museum (at least outside it), touring Regis, and eating at BurgerFi.

April: Boo turned eight in April and I got to watch Allyson at a couple of her high school tennis matches. She was 1 singles so of course I had to be there to be her cheerleader! Allyson also had her senior prom and I had so much fun helping her get ready. She looked beautiful. 🙂

May: Bobo turned two and I finished out my first year of college. Allyson also graduated from high school and my aunt and uncle came to spend some time with us around then. We had a wonderful party for her at the Ranch and it was so good to be around so many friends and family members to celebrate her. We also sent Allyson to Hawaii then!

June: Allyson started working at Build-A-Bear, so I was one proud sister then, haha. We also spent a lot of time at the pool and on the tennis court for leagues, tournaments, and just some good family fun. My grandma also flew back to Georgia in June and my summer classes were in full swing. Woohoooo.

July: Boo rang in July with his big dental surgery. He needed a bunch of teeth extracted so that was his way to celebrate our nation’s independence. In July, I played a lot more tennis and explored Colorado with my family. We went to The Inventing Room, saved a bunny from our window well, and Allyson and I won a couple of tournaments. I also visited one of my best friends from school in California. We had a lot of fun. 🙂

August: We celebrated my dad and aunt’s birthday as well as Marty’s tenth birthday and then shortly after Marty’s birthday, he passed away. 🙁 I still miss him so much. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve struggled more than I thought I would with his loss. Beside that, I started my sophomore year of school and we also made a trip to Farmington to see my grandpa, aunt, and uncle before school started. My family and I also went and saw Anastasia in August and it was a beautiful show.

September: My dad and mom went to New Mexico for my dad’s high school reunion and while that was happening, I was in full study mode already. Organic chemistry and physics were an intense combo! Despite our distance, we also celebrated my uncle’s birthday. 🙂

October: I turned 20! We also celebrated my grandma’s birthday. My family and I went to Phil Collins’ concert when he was in town and I also competed in the Miss Colorado USA pageant.

November: My family and I went to the Denver Art Museum for a project Allyson needed to work on. Early in November, my grandpa passed away too. 🙁 It was tough and still is tough to deal with his death. Over Thanksgiving break, we went to New Mexico for Thanksgiving at my great aunt’s house and we also celebrated my grandpa’s life at his memorial service. My sister and I had the honor of speaking at it. We also visited the Salmon Ruins while in New Mexico. This year, one of the things that I truly took to heart is that family is the most important thing to me. I don’t know who I would be or where I would be without them.

December: The last few days of 2019. We spent Christmas at home this year and it was different, but it was good. We had my great aunt’s famous cheesy potatoes on Christmas morning and that was fun. Different, but fun. We also went to Gaylord, the new hotel/resort out by DIA and saw their ice display. It was really cool. I’ve enjoyed a lot of time with family while I’ve been home since winter break started and I finished strong with my sophomore season at CSU.

So that was my year! I know there are still a couple of days, but I felt like reflecting on 2019 now was a good idea. This year sucked in a lot of ways but it was also an incredible year. There will always be good and there will also always be bad. With every new year, I just remember that and see how I can improve my responses and attitude toward new challenges, obstacles, successes, and downfalls. I hope these last few days, you all spend some time reflecting on 2019 and enjoying the last days of this decade. I’m looking forward to 2020!

I won’t be posting for the next two weeks due to a study abroad I’m doing in Ecuador, so I’ll see you all in the new year when I get back. Have a great week and again, Happy New Year!

I Survived This Semester

I survived this semester
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Oh. My. Goodness. I don’t know how I did it, but I did it. This semester is over and I actually did decent. I survived this semester.

There was one class (my evolution class) which was the one class I didn’t do as well as I had hoped to, but I still did decent enough. My organic chemistry class was my favorite by far, and I did extremely well on the final and with the help of my professor, I got the grade I was shooting for the entire semester. 🙂 My physics final was HARD, but I snuck by with the grade I wanted in that class too so I was proud of myself for that. And then for my honors seminar, I never had any concerns for that class, it was always just a lot of busy work.

And you might notice that I never distinctly pointed out any grades in that last little bit of this post. To be quite honest, I hate sharing my grades with others. My grades are my business and in college I’ve learned that people either are like me and prefer not to share their grades, or they share their grades and make it all about a competition. There’s no need to make comparisons and compete to see who’s doing the best. We all have our own plans and goals and we all need to stick to those plans and goals.

Sorry for the little tangent haha. Anyway! The past two weeks have honestly been so intense. I studied so much and for organic chemistry, I don’t think I’ve ever been as dedicated in my entire life. I also don’t think I’ve truly ever felt as interested and passionate about something in my life. And so now this is going down in writing… If dental school doesn’t work out for me, I think I might pursue organic chemistry as a career. Whether that means a masters or PhD in it, I don’t know, but I love organic chemistry. What a nerd I am!

I’m honestly still in shock and have no clue how I did it. I legitimately was worried that I would burn out, considering how many credit hours I took this past summer. But I didn’t! I pushed through and I survived this semester. 🙂 I hope those of you with finals had a decent finish and that you’re all enjoying winter break now, because I sure know I am! Have a great week, Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you all next Sunday.

Here’s to New Beginnings- Thanksgiving Break 2019

new beginnings

My laptop works everyone!!! You might not think it’s that big of a deal but I sure as heck do. I’ve needed it to do some homework, which is now done by the way, but oh my goodness, wowza, I’m so happy. Anyway, I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and have had safe travels getting to and from places if you traveled for the holiday. I shared this in a recent blog, but some of you may know that my grandpa passed away recently. This past week, we held his celebration of life and my sister and I had the honor of speaking at it. My family and I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving with my grandpa in addition to my aunt and uncle, but things were different this year. Things are going to be different now. Different is never bad, but it can be a little scary going into the unknown. Regardless of that, here’s to new beginnings.

My family and I left for Farmington, New Mexico on Thanksgiving day and roads were good for travel. Thank goodness. My sister and I passed the time napping and talking with our parents. There was no radio because my mom’s car decided to lock us out of the radio so that was a fun time. We saw a lot of snow on Wolf Creek but regardless of that, the trip was great.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at my great aunt’s house and it was great to get to spend time with them outside of our traditional Christmas morning breakfast. It was strange though. It was different from what I’ve been used to around that time. It felt good to be with family of course but it just wasn’t the same. My grandpa wasn’t there. Marty wasn’t there either. Losing family is hard.

After our incredible meal, we went back to my grandpa’s house where my dad and aunt have been doing a lot of packing and moving of things. The house was practically empty when we arrived earlier in the day and it would continue to get more and more empty throughout our time in Farmington.

On Friday, my family and I attended my grandpa’s memorial service. It was incredibly touching to get to meet all of the people that had the pleasure of getting to know my grandpa. He was a wonderful person and it really warmed my heart to see how many people he had an impact on. Getting to speak on behalf of some of the teachers that worked for him was also such an honor. My sister also crushed it up there when she spoke, so I’m very proud of her. The service was great and the food following the service was also great. Olive Garden catering is thebomb.com let me tell you. The rest of Friday was spent packing up and cleaning up around my grandpa’s house.

Saturday was also a lot of cleaning and moving things. It was also a day that I did a lot of homework that I hadn’t finished earlier in the week. I promise I don’t procrastinate it’s just that I had a horrible cold earlier in the week and sleeping was more important to me than homework. Priorities! We also visited the Salmon Ruins which is about thirty minutes from my grandpa’s house. It was SUPER cold but it was still really nice to get out, walk around, and revisit a place that I had been to when I was younger. I’ve also always really enjoyed learning about the history of the Anasazi people and ancient civilizations (this place isn’t exactly what I would call ancient but I hope you get what I’m trying to say here haha) so this was fun.

Sunday we left and spent a wonderful TEN HOURS in the car. Kenosha Pass was closed which resulted in a two hour detour for my family back through Colorado Springs. New beginnings = ghost towns through desolate parts of Colorado? Haha. It also did not help that I had a HORRIBLE headache today. Fun fun. But now, we are all safely home and I will be heading up to finish out this semester in the morning.

As I said before, different is not bad but different can still make you feel bad. Maybe bad is the wrong word. Sad maybe? I’m not quite sure what the word I’m looking for is yet. I’ve spent a good portion of my life in New Mexico visiting family, living in my grandpa’s house, climbing the trees in his backyard, and calling Farmington practically a second home. So many traditions, so many memories.

What’s next though? I honestly hope that my family and I continue to visit New Mexico because I’m not sure what I’ll do without the three to four trips we make to New Mexico yearly. I want to continue to see my family in New Mexico and Durango. I want to continue our traditions and even start new ones. Things have changed, but that doesn’t mean that everything has to change. Of course I’m still struggling with the death of my grandpa and also Marty, but with each of these endings, there are new beginnings.

If any people reading this attended my grandpa’s service, thank you so much for being a part of his life and thank you for also being here. As I said earlier, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and I hope you also have a great week. Here’s to new beginnings. See you next Sunday.

A Tale of A MacBook: My Struggles with Technology

MacBook
Photo by Dmitry Chernyshov on Unsplash

It can be a MacBook or PC, it doesn’t matter what it is. I run into some form of trouble with it at some point. So there’s a lot of really tech-savvy people out there and surprise, surprise, I’m actually not one of them. Despite the fact that I’ve helped a professional organization manage and maintain their website and the fact that I also have been running my own website and blog for five-is years now, I SUCK at technology and truly have zero patience for it.

My MacBook, which has been a handy-dandy little friend of mine since I started college just recently started having issues. Sad thing is, it’s only two years old. The battery has been refusing to hold charge. You might be asking yourself, “Then Ana, how are you writing this blog?” I’ve gone back to my old ways… my iPad.

Within the past two weeks, I’ve been on the phone with Apple Support, who has been incredible and extremely supportive by the way, for a total of five hours, trying different resets as well as diagnostic and maintenance repairs. I also took my laptop into Genius Bar and we were able to get my laptop to hold charge when plugged in. That was the happiest day of the past couple of weeks for me. And then literally right when I got back to school and had used my laptop for a couple of hours, it needed charging, since it had only gotten up to around 30% when we were cleared to leave the Apple Store. And guess what, IT REFUSES TO CHARGE AGAIN.

I have never been so stressed out or frustrated by a device so much in my life. I’ve taken incredibly good care of my MacBook and I love it so so so much and I feel so upset that it’s decided to jump into the deep end on me like this. I’m taking it into Apple again and hopefully we can get the issue resolved because let me tell you, college is ROUGH without a laptop, wowza!

I hope you all have a good week and I wish you all the best with all of your technology. And if anyone has any idea what might be going on with my laptop that refuses to hold charge when plugged in, please let me know. See you all next weekend and Happy Thanksgiving!

In Memory of My Grandpa

grandpa

First off, I would like to say thank you to the people who have reached out to my family with their prayers and thoughts regarding my grandpa this past week. We have really appreciated your support and your kindness. This past week, my grandpa passed away, and it has put a damper on the family that’s for sure. I don’t want to feel sad but I know that it’s okay too. Regardless of that, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to him and remember my grandpa for the wonderful, incredible husband, father, son, friend, teacher, principal, and grandpa he was.

We have pictures of my grandma and grandpa coming to visit my home when I was very little. I don’t remember much from their visits to my hometown, but I very faintly remember him helping build a pink and purple tricycle that I got for my birthday one year. Without him, who knows if I would’ve even been riding a bike today! Haha, I kid, I kid. I remember them being in Colorado for little league softball and baseball games. It was so cool to have my grandparents there watching.

I remember catching grasshoppers with my grandpa when I was little too. We went hunting for those quick, rascally little guys in his backyard in the place where they grew corn. That was a lot of fun. When I actually caught one, I went in to show my grandpa and he was asleep! How was I supposed to prove anything now?

My sister and I both recalled this memory not too long ago. There was a parade in Farmington one time when we were there and my grandpa insisted that him and Grandma take us to Wendy’s for food. Allyson and I were definitely still planning on getting food from the kids’ menu but Grandpa decided that Allyson and I were moving up in the world and upgraded us both to full size meals. As a 10 year old, a full size burger with fries and a large soda was a DREAM COME TRUE. He told us not to tell our parents about that, but I guess the secret is out now!

Puzzles were a big thing we would do together. My aunt would always find the most beautiful puzzles for us to do when we came to visit the whole gang over Thanksgiving and Christmas break. My sister and I would work with our grandpa to put together the massive puzzles. I remember there was one time where the three of us stayed up til like 12:30 am to finish a puzzle one time. Grandpa was feeling dedicated on that one! It sure turned out pretty too.

My sister and I were also known as my grandpa’s little tree monkeys. He has a couple of trees in his backyard and Allyson and I decided we were going to climb them one summer. From then on, we were the tree monkeys. We helped get the peaches down that way too. He always had a lot of good food come out of his garden.

Just this past Christmas, I’ll never forget how funny it was when we pulled out all these funny Christmas dress-up prop things and my grandpa thought it was the most hilarious thing in the world. I know I thought it was pretty funny too! He always had the warmest and best laugh. He was good at making people smile.

My grandpa was always such a grateful person too. Every meal we had together, he would mention how great and pretty all the food was. It was always really good. I loved his outlook on life. He was always so thankful and I hope that I can be half of what he was.

Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard but always near; still loved, still missed, and very dear.

Unknown

Every visit with him in New Mexico was a gift and every little bit of time together was wonderful. Even if we had an hour to Skype with him while my aunt and uncle were in Farmington, it was time well spent. Even if it was a quick weekend trip, my grandpa was a wonderful, gracious host and we loved every minute we had with him and family. Every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and even a couple of Independence Days were well-spent with my grandpa. Every ride up to the airport, every tour of Tibbetts Middle School (with the 360 degree view on the top floor), and every story that was told or wisdom that was shared was a gift. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for my time with him.

My grandpa was a wonderful man with such a good, caring heart and I know that a lot of people will miss him. I sure do! He always wanted to go to Colorado State University to go to vet school, and while that’s not my aspiration in life, I still feel like I carry a piece of him with me while I’m here at school. He will always be an honorary ram in my books.

Heaven gained one heck of an angel last weekend. Please say hi to Grandma, Abner, Peppy, and Marty for me, ok, Grandpa? I love you very much.

Have a good week everyone and I’ll see you next Sunday.

I Need to Rant

rant

Alright. I have an issue. This typically isn’t the place I would go to rant, but on Thursday, some crap happened in my physics recitation and I am officially over it. There are these two people in that class, who I will not name, and all they ever do is leech off of other people for answers and work. THAT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING FOR YOU.

If you don’t understand the material of a class, ask for help. I’m the type of person who is more than willing to help someone understand something if they just ask. I will walk you through something, step by step if you need it. I will briefly explain something to you if that’s all you need.

But these two girls. Oh. My. Goodness. Every single time they wiggle their way into my group it drives me up a wall. “What did you get for the answer?” “What equation are you using?” “What are the units on that?” They literally just ASK for the answers. I never see either of these two ever do any work and all they do is sit there and expect the rest of us to get them through the class. UGHHHHH. And the one that sits next to me when she actually comes to class always awkwardly leans over to see my paper and at that point I just ask if she needs anything and she’s like, “Um, so what are we doing?” PHYSICS, DUH!

I truly feel bad for these two every time they’re in my group. I wish that they would just put in the hard work to actually be able to understand what’s going on. I wish that they would get off their lazy bums and figure out the class. You can only go so far in life leaning on others to help you get through school and life in general too. If you’re struggling with something, JUST ASK. There’s absolutely no need to fake that you understand something when you clearly don’t. You get on the nerves of the people around you and you’re not benefiting yourself by using others.

I hope you all keep that in mind and remember that hard work does pay off. It helps you understand things better, it helps you feel better about yourself, and it also prevents others from wanting to go insane. Thank you for coming to my TedTalk. Also let me know if you don’t mind the occasional rant or two. Honestly, writing this has made me feel a lot less annoyed and irritated. A rant or two every once in a while might be kinda fun and not that bad of an idea.

Have a good week everyone. See you next Sunday.

The 2020 Miss Colorado USA Pageant

miss Colorado USA
Just woke up in Greeley. And how fitting, the wallpaper was literally just a bunch of cows. 🙂

This is definitely a Monday post. Sunday was too much. I had an organic chemistry exam this morning too and that was too much. Anyway! This past weekend I had the opportunity to compete in the Miss Colorado USA 2020 pageant. Those of you that have been around will recall that I also competed last year. Yipee!

My mom, sister, and I arrived in Greeley on Friday night and from there, the weekend flew by. I competed in interview, swimsuit, and evening gown and also got to be on stage for a big introduction which was super fun. This year I wore a yellow (maybe more on the orange side though) two-piece swimsuit (eeeeee) and for evening gown, my dress was very sparkly and gold. I will post more pictures of all of my outfits to this post when they come in. 🙂 Or I can make a separate post about that. Just let me know what you all would prefer!

In my interview, I talked with the judges quite a bit about my published academic work on Pyrrhura molinae (aka Bobo and his green cheek conure crew) and kickboxing. They asked about Hawaii and I shared a lot. It went really well. I also got to be in the room BY MYSELF because the girl before me dropped the pageant which was sad. More time for the judges to listen to me though I guess.

Out of the entire weekend, I feel like swimsuit was my favorite to compete in. I was absolutely terrified to go out on stage wearing a two-piece swimsuit but in the end, I was proud of myself for doing that. I don’t know many other people that would do something like that! I’ve been working incredibly hard to get my body to a place that I’m proud of and I’m still not quite where I want to be but I am incredibly proud of myself for coming to where I am after being injured for so long.

It was so fun to meet so many other amazing young ladies and I wish them all the absolute best in everything they do. It always feels so good to be around so many other good people. In addition to this, I would like to thank Future Productions fo putting another fun and flawless weekend and show! It has been wonderful getting to know your staff and getting to work with you all. I would also like to congratulate the new Miss Colorado USA, Emily DeMure. You crushed it, girl! You’re going to be amazing. 🙂 If you’re interested in checking out the pageant, check out the official website!

Now the question comes, will I compete again? I’m really not sure. I had fun and I’ve enjoyed being at Miss Colorado for the past two years, but after being extremely stressed about school the entire weekend, I don’t know if I want to put myself through that again. Yes, I still had a wonderful time, but school is also incredibly important to me. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Have a wonderful week everyone! And to those of you that are also in Colorado, stay warm! We’re about to get some cold, cold weather and snow! 🙂 Woohoo! See you next Sunday.

A Golden Birthday- I Turn Twenty Today!

golden birthday

So today’s my twentieth birthday. Wow. Two decades around the sun. 🙂 That sounds pretty cool to me. Some would also say it’s my golden birthday, because I’m twenty on October 20th so that’s pretty cool. The past couple of years I’ve posted around my birthday, I’ve made it a post about the different things I’ve learned since my last birthday and I really like that so I’m going to keep doing that. So on this lovely day that is October 20th, my golden birthday, here are twenty things I’ve learned, relearned, or thought a lot about on this trip around the sun:

  1. Taking summer classes will take a toll on you. I thought I was going to burn out for a second there when the fall semester started this year. Oh boy. I feel like taking a class or two wouldn’t be the worst but taking 11 credits this summer was actually so mentally exhausting.
  2. Homemade burrito bowls beat all other burrito bowls. I’m a big fan of Qdoba don’t get me wrong, but when my family and I make burrito bowls at home, they’re actually the best thing ever. And they’re so filling and you know that the chicken isn’t going to be burnt.
  3. You can’t always get what you want. This applies to a lot of things in life but I’m really applying this to the Game of Thrones finale. Guess the House Targarygen is going to have to find another way to rule the Seven Kingdoms for longer than about three seconds before going absolutely mad.
  4. Hard work pays off. This is something I’ve always known but I really found that out after making the Dean’s List my first year of college. I feel like I really set myself up for success. This also applies to my sports and other stuff. Putting in the time and effort to perform as well as you want to really pays off.
  5. It’s okay to feel sad. This may be one of the more serious and real things I’ve learned this past year, especially after Marty passed away. I feel like I’ve always thought I have to be this perfect, happy girl all the time but that’s really not the truth. I have emotions and I’m honestly tired of pretending that everything is okay all the time. Bottling up my emotions hasn’t helped anything so it’s about time that I started expressing how I feel more often.
  6. It’s okay to cut ties with people. I’ve met a lot of really nice people in my life so far and I’ve also met a lot of people I hope I’m in the same room as, ever again. Regardless of how I feel about a person, I still treat them with respect and treat them like a person but I now feel okay telling myself that I don’t need that person in my life and that it’s okay to not be everyone’s best friend.
  7. Adult tournaments are where the fun is at. This past summer I had a lot of fun playing tournaments and leagues and also just hitting with my sister and dad. With the exception of being pegged in the thigh earlier today on a serve, playing the adult tennis stuff has been so much more enjoyable and uplifting than junior tennis. There still is the sense of competition but there’s also so much less pressure and unnecessary drama and crap. It’s the best. I’ve also met a lot of really amazing and sweet people through tournaments so I feel blessed to have the tennis opportunities I have had.
  8. Teaching tennis has its ups and downs. So you might remember that I made a post a couple of weeks ago about how much I loved coaching little kids. Yes, I still do, but literally the weekend after that post when I taught WAS AN ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. Oh my goodness the kids were little monsters. And honestly that’s ok. There are going to be days where the kids are great and I suck or vice versa. It’s not always going to be perfect and things won’t always go the way I want them to when I coach. I’m there for the good, the bad, and the ugly, that’s for sure.
  9. College really is better than high school. People are just so much more mature (there still are a lot of weirdos and immature idiots, but won’t there always be?) and everything is just so much better. The classes are more interesting, I have more freedom, and I’ve met some really incredible and wonderful people that I feel lucky to call my friends. 🙂
  10. It’s important to put the technology away every once in a while. Nowadays too many people are glued to their iPads, phones, laptops, and other electronic devices. Instagram is not your life, breaking a streak on Snapchat will not end your friendship with a person, and being offline for a couple of hours a day will not end your life. I think it’s more important to live in the real world than the virtual world and remember things for how they are. Pictures and videos are great to have as memories, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I think it’s better to just live in the moment.
  11. Kickboxing is so much fun. I’ve always wanted to try kickboxing and then I discovered that the rec center at CSU has a class and I decided to try it. It’s so fun and what I love most about it is how rhythmic it is. It’s similar to dance that there’s a beat to stick to and there are combos and you’re supposed to be very light on your feet. It’s so so so much fun. And it always kicks my butt too which I enjoy.
  12. Having a suite mate sucks. I’ve been locked out of my bathroom five times this year already. And I’ve been nice about reminding my suite mate to unlock it. She’s loud. She honestly scares me a little too. It’s an experience, let me tell ya. But beside that, I still enjoy having a room to myself and it’s all been great. I feel like I could definitely have a roommate, but not in the same room like last year and I feel like I will never want to have a suite mate like I currently do ever again in my life.
  13. Bobo liking Taylor Swift is one of the cutest things ever. For those of you that don’t know I have a pet bird, well now you know that I have a pet bird! His name is Bobo (at least we say he’s a he) and he loves Taylor Swift. Any time my sister or I play her music, he’s bobbing up and down and jamming out. It’s pretty dang cute.
  14. Traveling is so much fun. This past summer after I visited my friend in California by myself, I realized how much fun traveling is. I’ve always enjoyed traveling but this past trip really got me excited to travel. I really want to go on more trips with my family, especially to Universal Studios in Florida or California and ESPECIALLY to Russia. It’s been a dream of mine to go there for soooooo long now.
  15. Don’t be so serious all the time. This one is something I’ve learned from teaching tennis and being with little kids so much. They just love life so much and they’re always so excited and just adorable. They’re just living life as it is and taking advantage of every opportunity they get. I want to be more like that. I still work hard and take things very seriously, but I’ve learned that there are some places and things that you just need to relax on. Sometimes you just need to let go and be less uptight and worried. Everything will work out in the end.
  16. Going off of that last one, I’ve also learned that self-care is so important to being a functional human being. Whether that means I take more study breaks, work out more, drink more water, or treat myself to something tasty or sweet every once in a while, I’ve found that taking more time to help myself out has made me a happy, more functional person. I’m more able to then help others when I feel like I’m doing ok.
  17. Having a sister for a best friend is the best thing ever. She’s always there for me and she’s someone I know I can laugh with, cry with, and even rant with. Allyson has been the best, best friend ever and I feel so lucky to have such a hilarious, smart, and adorable little sister to go through life with. Siblings make life so much more fun.
  18. There’s a time and a place to say what you want to say. I feel like in our society today, there’s a lot of tension and hatred and overall weirdness. There’s honestly so much I could say about everything regarding our world, our government, and politics in general but I choose not to. I’ll say what I want to say, when I want to say it. I’ve noticed that there really are only certain people I can share with, which is kind of sad because a lot of other people will tell me I’m wrong or close-minded. And I’m not close-minded which is also sad! People just aren’t willing to listen or believe that there are other opinions out there. I feel like we all just need to stop that kind of mindset and understand that people have differences and that’s fantastic. People can’t get along if they can’t accept that and I just wish more people were willing to do that, our world would be a much friendlier and successful place.
  19. Saying no is a magical thing. I’ve always known this too but I feel like in the past I’ve avoided telling people no because I worry about how it will make them feel. If I don’t want to sign your petition, I’ll let you know. If I don’t think something sounds good, I’ll let you know. I’ve always considering honesty to be the best policy, and that still holds true. I just feel like I’m getting better about helping others with the advice and guidance I give them. Or at least I hope I’m getting better with it, haha.
  20. Family matters so much. I’ve always known this but with some of the stuff that has happened this past year in my life, I’ve really seen how powerful and amazing having a family is. My family provides so much support, encouragement, guidance, and love and I just appreciate everyone in my family so much. They’re always there regardless of what the situation is. I’ve had a lot of fun times with my family and made so many great memories and I feel so lucky to have the family I do. They mean the world to me.

And that’s that! There’s always more than the lists I’ve provided, but this is what has come to mind. Today has been a wonderful day and I’ve felt so loved and appreciated today and it’s honestly nice to feel that kind of love and get all that attention every once in a while. 🙂 It’s cool that my golden birthday fell on my 20th. Not sure why I feel that way but I do. It feels like this year is going to be a good one. 🙂

I hope you’ve all had a great Sunday and have a good week! See you next Sunday!

Positivity is Key

positivity is key
Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

As many of you know, last week was a tough week for my family. With the loss of Marty, it has been tough to stay optimistic. But through writing and talking about my feelings, I’m coming back to my more positive self. In general, I’ve noticed that our world has become a more negative place. Positivity is key if you’re looking for success, progress, and overall happiness. And to me, becoming a more positive person comes from a couple of different things:

  1. Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” With this Bible verse in mind, I just know that different things in life might just might suck, but ultimately, God has plans to make me a better person and bring me closer to Him. All that happens is meant to happen and it will all be okay in the end.
  2. Count the things you have to be thankful for. I think becoming a more positive person is all about perspective and when I say that, I mean that we need to recognize the things we have in life that others may not be as fortunate to have. Remembering this allows me to be grateful for the wonderful life I’ve been gifted and stay positive.
  3. See the alternatives. There may be times in life where you’re faced with a difficult situation. Maybe your car broke down. Maybe you failed that chem exam. Maybe worse happened. With growing your individual positivity, there are many different ways to look at a situation. Looking at the chemistry exam example, maybe you did fail the exam. But you will learn from your mistakes and become a smarter person from that. Perspective comes in here again. Be thankful that you have the opportunity to be taking a chemistry exam and learning to become whatever it is that you want to become. Things could be much worse, and unfortunately there are some people in the world that have it much worse than you do. Be good to yourself and be good to others.
  4. Be kind to yourself. As a perfectionist, this can be difficult for myself when I underperform, but I’m learning how to work through that. It is important to be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to take study breaks or work breaks. Meditate, allow yourself to have a cupcake or piece of chocolate every once in a while. Celebrate the little bits of progress. Being kinder to yourself will allow you to trust more in your own progress within the different parts of your life.
  5. Pay less attention to the negative thoughts in your head. This can be a tough one too because I feel like society is so hardwired to be negative nowadays. Don’t do this. You can’t do that. Any negative thought can be altered into something positive and that’s just what you need to do with it. Let’s say I’m really struggling to hit backhands one day when I’m out hitting with my dad and sister. Instead of saying, “I can’t hit backhands. I suck,” it would be much better for my own mental health and tennis game to say, “I’ll get this next backhand in,” or visualize what a good backhand is going to look like. If you can train your brain to alter the negative thoughts, you’re going to find much more success and happiness with what you do.

I’m going to end this post with a quote that I want you all to keep in mind this week.

We become what we think about.

Emily Nightingale

And it’s so true! Positive thinking leads to positive people that leads to more positive results. Positivity is key everyone. I understand being realistic but I believe that being realistic comes with positivity. Have a good week everyone and I’ll see you next Sunday.

In Memory of Marty

Marty
August 22, 2009 to August 26, 2019

This will most definitely be one of the hardest posts I will ever have to make. This past week, one of my best friends passed away. My sweet, little boy Marty made his trip to Heaven.

It’s hard to imagine that he’s actually gone and it’s tough to think that there is now a period of my life where he won’t physically be here. I won’t be able to go home to him on weekends and be greeted by his cheerful bark and wagging tail. I won’t be able to take him on walks anymore or play with his little stuffed dragon or other toys anymore. It honestly feels like I’ve lost a brother. It feels like a little bit of me is gone. This is hard…

Marty

I remember the day we went and picked up our sweet little angel. It was October 26, 2009, six days after my tenth birthday. I remember telling my teacher at the time that I would be missing school on Friday to go pick up my brand new puppy. She was jealous. We left and stayed in Colorado Springs that night and I remember looking out the window of the hotel thinking, “We’re coming Marty. I can’t wait to meet you.”

When we arrived at Sunset Dachshunds, the place we picked him up from, he was wearing the cutest little black and orange bow to celebrate Halloween coming up and his little tail was wagging about a million miles an hour. He cried a bit on the way with us to our grandpa’s house, but I think he knew that he had just become a member of a family that would love him endlessly.

During his first few months at home with us, I remember crying while I was on my way to school because it was snowing so much and we didn’t get a snow day. I just wanted to spend the day with my new puppy. We got to school and all of the teachers were standing outside the building as the snow blew around and they told us, “Go home. No school today!” My sister and I were thrilled. When we came home to him, he was attempting to crawl over the barricade we had set up for him. He was so dang cute. We spent that wonderful snow day with our sweet little boy and I will always cherish the pictures my family took that day.

He was such a smart pup. He could say “I love you, Inna” to my mom. He could sit, sit pretty, shake, and even though he was a bit crazy on walks, he was always such a well-behaved dog. He was great with people, sometimes not so much with dogs, but he was still a good boy and would listen to us when we told him to stop doing whatever he was doing.

I can’t figure out why the pictures keep flipping on me, but still, enjoy this one with a massive cucumber Mar managed to pull.

And when we got Boo, I remember how excited Mar was to be a big brother. He was always clearly an alpha, but he became such a leader and role model to Boo, once Boo joined the Horvath family. Any time Boo barked too much, Mar was there to snap at him and put Boo back in line. Any time Boo was a bit too far ahead of Marty during walks, Marty would bark at Boo to get to his side or stay behind him. Anytime Boo would even just want to play, Marty would always challenge him. Marty was always so good to Boo and such a wonderful companion to him. I can’t imagine how Boo is handling this. Or does he really even understand? From what I’ve been told, on Marty’s last day on Earth, Boo spent a lot of time licking him and sticking to his side. I feel like dogs have a way of knowing these things. I just want to be there as much as I can for Boo now.

Despite all of the emergency visits to the vet, Marty was still a pleasure to have around. There was one time where he must have eaten a chicken strip or something, and he managed to get a HUGE abscess in his mouth. At the ER, they told us Mar had cancer, but we knew that wasn’t the case. The abscess popped and he ended up being just fine. Another time, he had an allergic reaction to a rabies shot and we made another trip to the ER for him. And then when we found out he had that stupid bladder cancer, every trip to the vet was a journey, but the time spent with him was not wasted and not under appreciated.

I wish that I had been there for him with his last breaths but maybe it’s for the better that I was at school when Marty moved on. I told him that I would see him in two weeks after first leaving for school and it really sucks that I wasn’t there for him, but I’m happy to know that he’s in a better place and that the pain and suffering is over.

I’m thankful to my parents for not listening to the vets, saying that Marty only had six months to live. He lived an entire freaking year after the vets discovered the cancerous cells in his bladder, and he lived a good year. He got to be with family until the end.

So Marty, thank you for all the tail wags and kisses and play time and snuggles. Thank you for all the walks and car rides. Thank you for being a little ray of sunshine even when days were rough. You may have hated bath time but you were always the cutest little thing when you acted all grumpy under your blankets, even though I wasn’t touching you. Thank you for blessing my life with your wonderful existence and all of the memories. You will forever be a part of our little core four and be my best friend, my bubba, my little prince, and now my angel. I love you endlessly, Marty. ?