Birthday Bash, Monster Mash

Fifteen years ago, I spent Halloween night at a family friend’s house. All I remember is a girl dressing up in a green M&Ms costume, knocking on the door and begging us for candy. Cannibal! What a strange holiday.

The reason I was at their house was because my parents were at the hospital. My mom was on her way to being not pregnant anymore. Some few hours later on Novemeber 1, my sweet sister Olivia was born. She is the most uniquely minded individual that I know. She is very strange. She loves to read. She is freakishly dramatic. She makes me laugh. She is stubborn. She is is creative. She is beautiful.

There are many memories that I could share with you. But in the interest of time (and not boring you with billions of stories that you probably don’t really care about), I’ll keep it to a minimum.

Olivia and I used to share a room. We had bunk beds, the kind with a twin on top of a double. I, being older and wiser, got the bottom bunk. I quickly learned that this may not have been the wisest of moves.

One night, she wanted to stay up late reading. I wanted to go to sleep. I asked her to turn her light off. She said she would if I would get her a flashlight. Sneaky little booger. I went in to my parents room and grabbed the only one I could find: a mag light. I’m pretty sure those suckers weigh equal to a small planet. That night, I slept diagonally with my head sticking out from beneath her bunk.

At approximately 4am, I awoke very suddenly to what I believed was someone punching me in the face. My brother needs to get a life. My stomach lurched thinking someone was in my room as I sat up to find a light being cast on the wall opposite me. After I was finally able to calm down, I saw the mag light on the floor, battery almost dead.

I had a black eye for two weeks.

There was another night where I woke up to a steady pitter patter on my bed. I rolled over in a whirl to discover a pant-less little Olivia standing on my bed, peeing. OLIVIA!!! GO PEE IN YOUR OWN BED! The bathroom is a mere five steps across the hall. Apparently, it’s more time-efficient to take off your pants and go pee on someone else’s bed.

I have been peed on, thrown up on, and given black eyes because of that child on the top bunk. Yet something in my twisted brain wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Happy Birthday Olivia! I love you!


I Am Woman.

Today is a day that shall live in infamy. I went to the grocery store after marching band practice. I bought groceries for a meal. And I cooked that meal. And I ate it. Forget my menarche, forget first day of college, forget having to pay rent, today is the day I became a woman.

A furry picture of my partially-eaten berry chicken salad.

Now, there is one important fact that I have omitted. I most definitely had to Skype my little sister for some help in transitioning to this new stage of womanhood. She may be just a year younger than me, but she is WAY farther on the woman train. Husband, baby, house, clothes to clean, and cubed chicken in the fridge for tomorrow night’s dinner. Hannah, I’m so proud of you.

In other news, I am absolutely OBSESSED with my nephew. Up until this point in my life, I hated when my friends would talk about their nephews and show me bazillions of pictures of their nephews and tell me fifteen-minute stories about their nephews that could have been summed up in three sentences. Ladies and gentleman, I have become that person.

Please behold Ryland in all his dimpled glory.

My how the tables have turned.

Grace and peace,

Brother Bear.

It has been my experience that if you sit down at your computer, not really knowing what you are going to blog about, the entry will not actually make it to the site. Seriously, this happens to me approximately twice a day. I sit down to write an entry and I don’t know what to blog about. Thus, I throw my hands up in surrender. Maybe for another day.

But today is not so! Drum roll please…

Sam is my older brother. He’s only older by 18 months. When I was little, I always tried really hard to catch up with him in age. I was devastated when I came to the realization that we actually age at the same rate and that I would never be able to catch up with him. Nonetheless, we had some good times growing up.

People always thought we were twins. We used to be the same height, even though he was older than me. We both had red hair and freckles. And if I remember correctly, we might even have had the same haircut. Thanks mom.

We used to play tackle football in the front lawn. Just Sam and me. I thought it was great. What I didn’t realize at the time was that our daily 10 minutes of full-force tackle football was his excuse to beat the crap out me without my knowledge. I was a bright kid, but I was blinded by my love for Sam. He would kick the ball off and I would catch it, run across the yard with all my might, and Sam would proceed to clothesline me. Then I would kick it off and he would catch it and run at me with full-force. Sometimes I would take it and he would bull me over. Sometimes I would politely step aside and “let him” have the touchdown. “It’s only because I feel sorry for you!” I would say. That was my fantastic excuse.

My heart often needed inspiration in order to really prepare for the next punt return. So, in the 1/2 second of hang time in his punt, I would tell myself I’m a rhinoceros. I’m a huge pissed-off rhinoceros. And I’m gonna catch the ball and be the rhinoceros that I am and GET THAT TOUCHDOWN. You do what you have to do, I suppose.

I remember one time we were out front for our daily game of football, we both had braces. I returned his punt and ran like the rhinoceros I was straight at him. We collided and began wrestling for possession of the ball. When we finally came out of it, I had sore teeth and bruises all over my arms, and he had a huge scratch down his forearm. In all the chaos, somehow his arm had made contact with my braces. My teeth hurt so bad. We looked at his arm to find that he was bleeding! Victory was mine! That was the last football game I can remember with him.

Growing up, I was probably closest to Sam out of everyone in my family. Our nightly routine consisted of us sitting on his bed, listening to music, eating Skittles and playing chess. Sometimes we would shake it up and play Brain Quest. But we would make jokes and laugh and eat more Skittles. The night would usually end with my dad waking up and sternly tell us to break it up and go to bed. We would crack each others backs before going to our own rooms to call it a night.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the years spent with Sam. Even though we grew apart when he moved out, I still love him and I miss spending time time with him! He makes me laugh.

Happy Birthday, Sam! Just because it’s your 21st birthday doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want, though. So don’t do anything I wouldn’t do! I love you :)

Quote Book.

I’ve spent most of my days this summer at work, saucing and cheesing as many pizzas as my hands will allow.

The family came down for Hannah’s graduation. Hanging on the beach with them is always great. And of course, we finished the week off with a grand shrimp boil! It’s quite entertaining, the quotes that can be gathered within a week of extended family visitation.

My favorites were by Uncle Jim:

He was trying to remember the name of something and all the sudden lets a big juicy fart rip. “Oop! That’s what happens when I think.”

He was sitting on the couch (by himself) watching The Secret Garden on TV. I looked down at him and he looks up at me. He paused and then says “gosh, this movie is addicting.” What a man.

My family stayed on the 4th floor of a condo. Uncle Jim, Aunt Jackie and I were going down for a walk on the beach. Without thinking, Jackie and I start to take the stairs, since they are closer to the door. But Jim stops at the top and looks at us like we’re from the crazy house. “You know there’s an elevator.” Jackie replies, “oh come on Jim, it’s just stairs and they are RIGHT here!” Jim’s eyes widen. “But we’re on VACATION!”

Seriously, I love my family.