Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Last Conversation I Had With My Father

It was a cold December day in 2004 when I lost my mother. New Year's Eve to be exact. I had been out shopping with my Aunt Debbie when she got the call that my mother had died. She waited until we got home to tell me, before we went inside, that my mother was gone.

3 days later, on cold January 3rd, we buried my mother next to her parents in a funeral that I only remember some of as I was still in shock.

The last time I spoke with my father was 11 months later. One night in November 2005, I was downstairs playing video games with my cousin Mary. Uncle Dave yelled down the stairs that my father was on the phone and to grab the cordless down there.

A lot of emotion came up. Why hadn't he called before? Why didn't he contact us when our mother had died? Was he even aware before today that mom had died? I felt angry and disappointed in the person that I called my father.

And the conversation was just as awkward. 

"Hey Amelia..." He said. "How are you?"

"I'm good."

"How have things been?"

"They've been good, just going to school. I'm in the band at school and I love it."

"That's great."

"How have you been?"

"Oh,  I'm good. How's the weather up there?"

"Cold and snowy just like a normal Michigan winter."

"Ah, I miss it up there sometimes."

*long pause*

"Well I'm gonna let you go. I just wanted to check in on you."

"Thanks for calling."

"Love you, bye."


Little did I know that that 10 minute conversation would be the last time I would hear his voice other than in my head when I thought about him. Four years later, in March is 2009, he would pass away from a mixture of diseases that included cancer and organ failure. I would later learn of his passing in March of 2011 and realize that both my parents were gone.

Though my father never was around much, I still mourn the losses of what could have been. My father was a smart man and I'm sure he would have been proud, as my mother would have been, to see me graduate with a college degree in my hands. I'll never have a father walk me down the aisle and I'll never have a father/daughter dance at my wedding.

Sometimes we take for granted the things we have. Sometimes we don't realize the pain that our fellow man is going through. Sometimes we feel emotions towards another that we do not mean because we don't know the whole story at the time.

I thought of my father as a bad man for many years. I was angry and didn't understand what happened on the day in 1994 when he basically sent himself to prison for many years. I was 4 at the time and never really remembered who my father was before that happened. The times I saw him after were always so awkward, mostly because I didn't know how to act in the situation. 

I have come to learn that my father was a lovely man. Smart, funny, a joy to be around. He was also a man who lost likely fell into a deep depression after losing his job and never got the help he needed.

But my father was my father. Without him I wouldn't be here. I'm just so sorry that I didn't get to know him better before his death. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Month of Giving Deux

So last year, I read a blog where a woman performed the number of random acts of kindness for the number of years she was alive on her birthday. Taking that thought into mind, I decided that October- my birth month- was a time to give back to fellow man. With that, last year during the month of October, I performed 22 random acts of kindness for people. Some of them included listening to a friend, giving free food to the fellow college kids on my floor and donated to a local children's hospital. A lot of the things were little things but they didn't need to be anything big- they brightened the day of a friend.

So this year, I decided to do it again. In 2 weeks time, I will be 23 years old. So this means that this year I will be performing 23 random acts of kindness over the month of October!

And I invited you to join me! It's not too hard! You don't have to do 23 of course, but just do something nice for you fellow man over the next month.

And feel free to tell me about it! Find a post on my blog and write me a little note telling me what you did. I may even write about you in a post on here!

I am very excited for my birth month and all the kindness coming to people!

More to come...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My First 5K: An Colorful Experience

So this past Saturday, I finished a goal I had set myself out to do. I finished my first 5K. Color Vibe hosted a color run in my city of Flint and I was stoked getting ready for the race. Actually paying $40 to participate made me more motivated to get ready for the race...and my dog loved it. We took some walks around the neighborhood in the month leading up to the race and I spent some time at work also preparing.
About to begin

But nothing really prepares you for the day with all the excitement and people. After waiting through a major traffic jam outside the Everett E. Cummings Center, I parked my car and joined the estimated 2,100 people by the DJ booth. There were people in tutu's, there were people with crazy outfits, there were people EVERYWHERE. But more importantly, there was much more excitement.

I joined the group of people I said I would meet, including Nick and Katie and their two sons. They were walking in honor of a friend's child who had lost her life earlier this year. It was inspiring seeing them out showing support. Before the race even started, we were tossing color in the air. Pink...for Meagan.

After we finished!

As the race started, we were herded (literally) towards the rows of flags that showed the beginning of the race. The race was let off in heats, with about 100 people starting every 5 minutes. We were near the back so we did a lot of waiting while the DJ played some tunes and got us pepped up. When it was our turn to get to the start area, workers threw bags upon bags of color at us that we threw all over everyone. The DJ counted us off and we were a go. There was a guy with a leafblower blowing color on everyone who passed the start line. It was crazy.

Once out, we all set our pace. The rest of the group were well ahead of me so I threw in my headphones and started jamming. About 1/4 mile in was the first color station. Here workers had one specific color, in this case pink, that they threw on you. After I passed the station, my calves were not having this. I was thinking that this "race" was going to one long race if it hurt all the way. I was making it through though, I was DETERMINED to finish without shortcuts (Which there were them).

About a mile in, Daft Punks "Harder Better Faster" came on and I was like, "THIS IS MY JAM." It was about this point that the endorphins FINALLY did their trick and my pace picked up again. The second color station- blue- they were out of color which made me kind of sad. I just kept going. At the 2/3 mark was the green station where the volunteers were all cheering and telling everyone to roll on the ground. Some people did, I just wasn't doing it this early in the morning. ;)
Me before the dance party

After the water station provided by the charity for the event, United Way of Genessee County, Nick, Katie and the kids were waiting for me. It was super awesome of them to stop for me! We watched Connar kneel in the purple station and finished the race together.
A color throw at the end

But the color awesomeness was not over yet! At the end they were having a dance party with the DJ. Every 10 minutes or so they threw out about 100 bags of color and went around with boxes of color for people to take handfuls and throw in the air. And it was awesome looking. In that last dance party, I got a ton more color on me and had a blast. Some random girl loved all the color on me and asked me to pose for a picture with her. Why not?
Me after the racce

Trust me, somehow I ended up not making a HUGE mess of my car, just a little one. Thank God for trash bags. I went home where Tonks freaked out because I was covered in stuff she didn't know. I had one rainbow shower and had an enjoyable and relaxing rest of my day! I think I am down to do another 5K sometime soonish!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Goals

So, I realized the other day that a lot of my goals that I had made in the past are well...complete. Which, that's pretty awesome to say because that means I have accomplished a lot.

So, it's time to reassess my goals that I have made and make some new goals.

1. Complete a 5 K

This means I need to get to walking. As of tomorrow, I plan to sign up for my first 5 K, the Color Vibe. It is in Flint on September 21. If things go well, I would like to also sign up for the Color Me Rad 5K in October. Today I made the pact with myself to start walking. I hooked Tonks up to a leash and we started with a mile. I may had to carry her some because she was being stubborn but she got the feel for the leash eventually (and was enjoying the attention). I have mapped out several different routes in my neighborhood that will get me up to my goal.

2. Get my CPhT

Diplomat is awesome that they provide training, paid study hours and lots of refreshers on everything I'll need to take this test....and then pays for the test! Since Kevin will be going back to school in September, I will miss campus. So I decided this fall is time for me to get back to the books myself. My goal is to have taken my test (and passed) by November.

3. Get more involved in the Alumni Association

I emailed the head of the UM-Flint Alumni Association to show my interest and I plan on finding times to volunteer and attend events with the alumni association. I spent 5 years at UM-Flint and it'll be cool to help give other students a great time as well. Plus, there are some perks of being an alumni that I plan to cash in on.

4. Do Another "A Month of Giving."

Last year, it was SO much fun. This year is unlucky number 23. I have a new group of people to share my generosity with and I invite you to join me :)

5. Get a Promotion

This one may actually come with number 2. After getting my CPhT, I will be able to internally apply for many positions in Diplomat, and as a college grad, I am qualified for even more positions than my coworkers. This will take some work and determination, but I am ready!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Amelia's Super Amazing Easiest Peanut Butter Cheesecake You'll Ever Make

So, I have been known for this cheesecake over the years. For some people, "it has a special place in their heart." And I don't mind making it because it is the easiest thing you'll ever make! It also tastes like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Don't trust me, make it yourself!

Easiest Peanut Butter Cheesecake Ever!

1 cup creamy peanut butter (choose your brand)
1 8oz package cream cheese (softened)
1 8oz tub of Cool Whip (defrosted)
3/4 cup sugar
1 bottle of chocolate ice cream shell
1 Oreo Crust

1. Place peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar in a bowl/blender (I am using a blender in this case because a piece of my mixer is missing)

2. Blend until well mixed.

3 Add 1/2 the tub of Cool whip and blend until mixed.

4. Pour mixture into oreo shell and smooth. Cover with thin layer of chocolate ice cream shell.

5. Place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes (a great time to clean up your mess!) or until shell has thickened. Cover the top with the other half of Cool Whip until it covers the filling. Decorate the top of the Cool Whip with chocolate shell if you life.

6. Cool in refrigerator for several hours. If you are taking it to a party, freeze it over night so that by the time people are ready to dig it, it has thawed!


If you are looking for a less sugary cake, substitute Cool Whip for sugar free (it's just as good), use a peanut butter with less sugar added and use an artificial sweetener (you would know better than me how much of your favored sweetener equals 3/4 cup of sugar). You can even substitute the chocolate shell with chocolate syurp (which I did for several years and it comes in sugar free as well!).

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Rant About Emotions

So, it's been a long time since I had an actual rant on here. I mean, this blog IS called "Rants of an Optimist." I felt like today was a perfect day for a rant about something that seems to mess with people quite often. Our emotions.

For one, I am generally a happy person. Since I was a child, I always had this smile plastered on my face. I was always complimented on how beautiful my smile is. But, I think what most people miss is that fact that I have more than one emotion. Though I don't show it very often, I feel the gamut of emotions quite often. But I think it is the way I deal with the negative ones for the most part that allows me to move on to the positive ones.

A smile is a mask. Many times, it is a mask that I hide behind. Why? Well, for one, people tend to act towards you much better if you are smiling or in a positive mood. They are more likely to work with you on whatever you are going to them with and get it done without hard feelings. This is because positivity makes you a good person to be around.

But hiding hiding behind a smile is NOT healthy for you. If you push those emotions inside and don't let yourself feel them at some point, they will bottle up for a long time. It is a proven fact that those who bottle emotions physically get sick more often, have higher blood pressure, better chance of heart attack and stroke and can end up blowing up at the wrong time. Blow ups can lead to loss of friendships or ties with family members. It is truly very sad.

And something that I have experienced first hand. There was a lot of things that I allowed to bottle up for a very long time and I finally blew up on a March morning. Now there are family ties I am sure I will never regain, and members of my family who won't even say hello to me when we are in the same vicinity.

I have learned that bottling up emotions is not a good thing at all. After my mother's death, I hid a lot of pain and resentment inside myself.  Though I went through counseling in high school, it never really helped much because I wasn't comfortable with the woman who I went to see. I told her what she wanted to hear. I told her what was expected. It all went down to the one time I said something I truly meant and the woman said that "I think you are lying." I acted out in the wrong ways for the attention that I craved.

So when I got to college, I hit a dark place in my life. Those first couple years of college were some of my most tumultuous and painful. They were lonely. I remember spending hours lying on the floor just being sad. I remember sitting in the dark because I didn't want to turn on the light.

But I came out of that dark place thanks to the help of some great friends in my life. Through their hugs and them lending me their time and ears, I have developed ways to cope and move on from those bouts of darkness. I learned from those months of happiness in between the darkness that I was bottling up every negative emotion I felt because I was afraid that feeling it would lead me back to the dark place...and eventually it had.

So, what I really learned. If there is anything that you can learn from this post, it is this: let yourself feel the emotions. If you are sad. Cry. Be sad. But let it happen because it will pass. If you are angry, find a way that won't hurt you or someone/thing else and let it out. May it be talking to a good friend or lover. Or screaming into a pillow. Or playing a musical instrument. Do it. And let the anger pass.

I know for a fact that humans don't like feeling negative emotions. But if you let yourself feel them, they will pass. I think that we all need to remember the phrase "This too shall pass." Because it will, everything does.

And if you find yourself is a dark part of your life, know that I am always here for you. Even if we have never met. I am always willing to listen to you and let you get past this part in your life.

And if you are presented with a friend who is sad and angry, don't pass them off. If they are coming to you, it means that they trust and love you. It means that you are their person and they want to come to you with all the issues that they are dealing with. Most of the time, they just need someone to listen to them for a little while so they can figure out how to move on. You can be that person for someone.

And that is more of a gift than you could ever imagine.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Additions to My Family and Beyond!!!

So, I am in love....with my dog AND my new niece!!!!

First off, on July 16, 2013, my niece, Arabella Leigh Moore was born to my brother and his wife Jessica. I am so excited to be Auntie Amelia. I haven't been able to get up there to meet the little girl, but I am hoping to be able to work something out in the next couple of weeks!!

Arabella Leigh Moore
6lbs 14 oz, 16.5inches
Birthdate: 07/13/2013

And then... on the 4th of July weekend, I got the message I was waiting so long for. My puppy that I had reserved in the beginning of June was ready for me to take home. I was overjoyed.

After a mis-communication, I met the past owner and picked up my little snuggly bundle of joy. At just 6 weeks old, I would like to introduce you to the cute little ball of fur with a big name. Her official name is Nymphadora Tonks, but I just call her Tonks for short. Now many, who haven't gotten into the Harry Potter series, don't like the name. But I think it is cute and fitting. She is such a little ball of craziness, much like the character in the book was!

This was Tonks the afternoon I got her on 7/5/13
Over the past few weeks I have gotten to know and love this little pup very much. This much is for certain, I am most definelty her human. Last night I was lying in bed with her next to me and Boe (who was originally named Sassy) lying on my chest and realized that these are -my- animals. I have waited so long to have animals that I can call my own. Here are some other photos from her recent adventures.
I decided to stick my sunglasses on her. This was on our way to go camping with Kevin's family on 7/12.

On the way home from camping 7/14. She was one tired puppy :)
This was last night 7/24. She was sleepy after a visit from Marita!
Life is just really good. I can't complain one bit!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Additions and Life :)

Life is so interesting to me, and taking a look back on what I have done and what is to come still in my is exciting! Things have been well lately, I know I haven't been in the blogosphere in awhile. I am getting fully settled into my new home now and have happily added 2 additions to my family.

This little cutie came first. Kevin text me one day when I was at work with her picture. He said he had found her at a garage sale, she was free, had her first shots and was spayed. I couldn't say no. It took her a bit to warm up, the poor thing had been taken home and the father said they had to give her away. After moving to several homes over a couple days' time, she came to my house and has fully taken it over as her own. She is a sweet kitty that likes to cuddle, but has quite the sassy attitude, which is why I named her Sassy.

And this kitty was originally Molly's. Not that she didn't love her very much, but Molly had gotten Berry from an old roommate basically, and just ended up keeping her. We decided, once I moved out of the dorms and into a home where I could have cats again, she was all mine. So, we planned that. Then late one Saturday, Molly text me and said she could bring the cat that night. Around 2 am in the morning, Berry (Little Kitty) arrived at home home and found  her place in the basement. It took some time for her to even feel comfortable coming out of hiding other than when I was downstairs, and Sassy was pretty pissy with her for about 5 days. But now they are pretty good friends. They play with each other and have slept close to each other. Everyday they seem to be becoming more and more accustomed to each other and enjoying the other's I have hope.

One other memeber of my family will be coming in a couple weeks. I am getting a puppy! I have reserved a pure bred Beagle from a guy in Vassar. I am very excited to get her when she is finally old enough :)

Other than that, I have just been working. I am actually enjoying my position at Diplomat, and am now in a place to start preparing for my Certified Pharmacist Technician license test that I plan on taking in late fall/winter time. I would like to have it around my 6 month mark at the company, because that is the time that I am eligible for promotion, and well...I want to move up from here. The  sky is the limit.

I have also started to look at graduate programs. I am hoping to possibly start one in fall of 2014 or Winter of 2015. I just need to find my right fit.

Right now, I just look at how lucky I am at the moment with  everything in my life. I recently got to spend time with my brother and celebrate the upcoming birth of his daughter, Aribella. I am so excited for her to be here. July 12th is the due date, but she really could  come any day now. Jessica's birthday is the 3rd of July and she stated that if she wanted to come that day, she would share her day :). Another July baby, what a popular month for our family!

I'll leave you here today. I've been writing this between calls at work as I'm on incoming calls and have nothing to do between calls. I hope you all have a wonderful hump day and I'm sure I won't be talking to you until after the 4th holiday, so have a great 4th...and see some fireworks!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Moving On Campus: What To Bring/What Not To Bring

Every fall, thousands of students move on campus. For some of these students, they have never lived away from home before. For these students, what should they bring and what should be left at home.

  1. Clothing: bring enough clothes to make it through. If you aren't moving too far from home, only bring clothes that will bring you through a season. You can always switch out when winter comes. There is little room in a dorm, so the least amount of clothing (and shoes) you can live without, the better.
  2. Hangers: You'll need hangers to hang up all those clothes!
  3. Bedding: Most dorm beds are Twin XL, which means that a twin sheet just isn't long enough. Make sure you bring bedding that will fit, pillows, blankets, etc. as they won't be provided for you.
  4. Bathroom Items: This means towels, wash cloths, soap, toilet paper, shampoo/conditioner, brush/combs, deodorant, lotions, perfumes, make-up, shaving cream, razors, bathrobe, first aid kit etc. Most of these things are NOT provided (except some campuses will provide toilet paper). 
  5. If you have communal showers, you'll want a bathroom bucket. This holds all your bathroom items so you can carry them down the hall to the bathroom. 
  6. Cleaning Items: Bring a broom, sponge, dish soap, cleaning sprays for bathroom/kitchen, plunger, toilet brush/cleaner, vacuum (if possible). YOU will have to keep your room clean, and you'll need the supplies to do it!
  7. TV: Most dorms have cable of some sort. Make sure you bring your own co-ax cable too!
  8. Microwave: Make sure you don't already have one (the dorms I live in do!) but if they don't you'll want this kitchen staple!
  9. Mini-Fridge: Also, if your dorm doesn't have a fridge, you may want to bring one of these along.
  10. Laptop/computer: You'll want this for school work, trust me!
  11. Small set of dishes: You won't need too many as most students have a meal plan, but you'll want something to make some coffee in, or some late night Ramen. Make sure you have plates, cups, and all utensils (spoons, forks, knives). You'll also want to throw in a can opener!
  12. Alarm clock: You are going to need to get up for classes, make sure you have a working alarm clock thrown in.
  13. Hair dryer: You know what this is for!
  14. Fan: If you live in a dorm that doesn't have AC, or you tend to get warm, throw in a fan for your comfort.
  15. Laundry Items: This includes laundry soap, dryer sheets, hamper/basket and a roll of quarters. Laundry isn't free and those quarters will become your best friend.
  16. School stuff: notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, calculator, backpack, planner, books, etc.
  17. Camera: You'll want to document you time away from home.
  18. Chargers: make sure you can charge your phone, ipod, computer, etc. Also, have some batteries on hand.
  19. Games/sporting equipment: Have fun board games? Bring them. Like to throw around a ball? Bring it. You'll find other people on campus who will join you.
  20. Snacks/food: The cafeteria isn't open all day and night, so it's good to have some back up food and snacks on hand if you get hungry. If you live in a dorm without a meal plan, you'll need to plan meals more.
  21. Lanyard: Trust me, you'll want one of these. This can hold your room key, ID card and other important keys to get you where you need to go. They will always be around your neck so you won't forget them places!
  22. Coffee Machine: If you need caffeine in the morning, make sure you have this with the coffee.
  23. Small chair: Something like a butterfly chair that can fit in a corner. Can also be a beanbag.
  24. Gaming systems: If you have them and don't worry about them, bring them. You'll find other gamers to join you.
  25. Matress padding: You may want to invest in a memory foam pad for your bed, the mattresses aren't the most comfortable

What not to bring

  1. Furntiure except mentioned above: Most dorms are fully furnished. That means they have a bed, desk, closet/dresser, etc. Call ahead to see what the dorm has/does not have
  2. Candles: No live flame in dorms. This can cause fires which can be bad news bears! Also, no incense!
  3. Toasters, hot plates, toaster oven, etc: These have open heat elements that can also cause fires.
  4. Pets: Sorry, but you can't bring them along :( Some dorms allow fish though!
  5. Waterbeds: Yeah, you're gonna have to deal with the dorm beds, and these can cause a flood.
  6. Nails/screws for portraits: Command Strips will be your best friend when hanging photos
  7. Alcohol: Most dorms are dry, leave it at home.
  8. AC Units: Sorry if your dorm doesn't have them, but you can't bring them either.
  9. Weapons: All campuses are gun free, so keep it that way.
  10. Heaters: These can cause a fire too!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Life Just Flies By!

So, I finally have a moment to sit here and think about the past few weeks of my life and how so much has just happened. Life has just been crazy but amazing all at the same time. 

For one, I graduated. May 5th, 2013 will be one of the proudest days of my life. I walked across that stage and completed one of the last promises that I ever made my mother. I remember when I was young, I promised her that I would graduate college and she would be there to see me. Now, sadly she wasn't there in person to see it happen, but I know somewhere in the universe, she was smiling her huge smile as I walked across that stage in front of those couple thousand people, shook the hands of the heads of the University and received my diploma cover. In a few weeks, I'll receive my diploma in the mail and the package will be complete. I am so happy, and will be able to look back on my 5 years at UM-Flint as years of great learning, great growth and amazing memories. 

Later that day, unknown to me, Kevin planned me a graduation party. Though now that I know, I could see where he got really close to letting go the surprise of the whole thing. But he didn't. When I pulled into his driveway that evening, I was welcomed by 30 or so of my closest family and friends who were there to celebrate me. It was one of the best gifts I could be given by anyone (and another thing crossed off the bucket list). I got to visit with people I hadn't seen in a long time and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Yup, he got me!

The week after that was moving week. I had just signed papers on a 2 bedroom/2 bath home in a lovely neighborhood in Flint. My friend Hoffa moved in with me so we could split the rent and the bills. That week was full of friends help (thank you guys sooooo much!), a frenzy of boxes, much cleaning and saying goodbye to Riverfront where I had called home for 3 years. 

I got in and settled a bit before I started my new job at Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy. Yup, I got the official job offer and start date in the middle of my packing and started training on the 13th. Now that I have had 2 weeks of training, I am very excited to start in my department and very excited to be working for this company. I can wholeheartedly say that they care for their employees and it is going to be an amazing place to work, if for only a few years or the rest of my working life. Who knows? The sky is the limit currently and there are MANY chances for advancement within the company.

Lastly, last night was my first official party of the new home. 25+ friends of mine came out to celebrate and hang at my new home. We played games, laughed and just had a lot of fun. It truly was an amazing time and I am so happy they all joined me. It was also Brittney's birthday, which we also celebrated :)

For now, life is pretty good. I can't complain too much! I am so thankful for all my friends and family who have helped me get to where I am now. Of life!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dear FutureMe

So the following is from an amazing website that I stumbledupon back in 2009. This website allows you to write letters that will be sent in email form to yourself and others. You write what you want to say, pick a date at least a year in the future and send it out.

This letter I wrote to myself last year. I had received a letter I had written to myself in 2009 and I logged back on to the website to write another.

But the coolest thing about this website is you forget what you write to yourself. Life happens in the year(s) that intervene and when you finally get the letter snuggled in your email, you are touched by the things you said to yourself. I received this one this morning and I shed a tear. What I wrote to myself made me smile, laugh, think and inspired me to keep doing what I am doing. If you want to read, it is below.

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed 11 months and 29 days ago, on May 19, 2012. It is being delivered from the past through

Dear FutureMe,

First off, you should have graduated college by now. Congratulations if you have. If you haven't, there better be a good reason missy!

Life is interesting. I say this because as life has passed us (as in you and I...which is just me), many things have happened and well "we" have learned some amazing things about ourself and the world.

I hope that when you get this email, you haven't lost track of what you want to do with your life. I hope this finds you in a wonderful happy place. I hope that you are finding solace in the life that you are beginning to lead and have found a way to finally leave the past behind. Just about a month ago, you outed the whole family and they all became very upset with you. I'm curious if things have changed with that relationship or if you're still living at a distance that you have been for the past month now.

Sometimes, the truth hurts. Remember that. And if you aren't on speaking terms with them, don't worry about it. If they matter and they care, they will eventually come around. Right now, remember that you have some amazing friends that you have made into your family.

And an amazing boyfriend. I am curious if you and Kevin are still together a year from now. I sure hope so! If you are, you'll have been together for over a year (17 months to be exact) and well, that is awesome. I really hope that the promise you made him on March 15, 2012 stays true, because he is such a gentleman and so perfect for you.

And Zac, I hope you are still really good friends with him. He makes you think, constantly. And that's not a bad thing, don't get me wrong. He has found a way to bring you out of the pain that you have been dealing with for years and finally make you strong and brave enough to face it (instead of burying it in the deep hole that you had for years).

Right now you are probably trying to figure out what the hell you are going to do with you life now that you have your Bachelor's Degree. Just remember to take each day as they come. You can only do so much, and focusing on tomorrow (which is probably what you're doing a lot of right now) will make you forget what is happening right in front of you. Yes, good luck with whatever the world takes you, but also don't let it all pass you by. Enjoy your days, smile often, laugh tons and be happy.

And also remember that life isn't fair. I know, cliche. But, you of all people should understand this one. You're a fighter. You've beaten the odds in many different ways. And you know what, you'll keep beating those odds if you keep your wonderful attitude that you have now. Know that right now you may experience a lot of rejection as you try to find a job that will become your career. Don't settle. Keep striving for the best. You are worth it and YOU deserve it. You haven't fought this hard and this long to just give in to what's easy. Make a difference because YOU can.

This may be a great time to look back at your life. Think of the people you have love and lost. Think of the people you have met along the way who have changed you. This may be the perfect moment to thank them for everything they have done. Take time, make some calls today. I'm sure that they will appreciate it, and it'll make you realize that you have met some amazing people in your life and will keep meeting and finding friendships in wonderful people.

And just remember to relax and enjoy the ride. Remember to not sweat the small stuff because in the end, it doesn't matter. It's all small things, life goes on, troubles come and go. Remember that you always have people to lean on and that when the going gets tough, don't be afraid to ask for help.

And be happy. That's all the matters in the end. Be happy.

Lots of love and good luck in the future.

Your past self

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

End of College Life

So these past few weeks have found me trying to enjoy the last of what I have while taking all the craziness that life has to offer along the way.

Last Monday night, we had the power go out which ended up in one interesting night. First, it was one of our fellow RA's 21st birthdays, so those of us who weren't "working" at the time left the building and walked to a local bar. We celebrated his birthday...and I even had the bartender make a drink up AND it is part of their recipe book. SO, if you are ever at the Torch in Flint, order "That One Drink..." if you want something sweet and refreshing. Warning, it does have dairy, but it's still good.

We came back at 2 am...and the power was still out. So a bunch of us hung out in the lobby and played some board games until early in the morning. Liz went out to get some ice cream in the middle and since we had no power, everyone in the lobby shared the gallon (there WERE quite a few of us btw).

 The next day, I woke up and it was still out. We had a board game day so we played some more games (woo!) and in the middle, emergency power went out. Lets say, 4 RAs, 1 RD, 3 cell phones on low battery and no lights in the stairways makes for one interesting adventure. We had to make sure the lights were out on all floors...not my idea.

Later in the afternoon (17 hours after going out), the lights came back on and life was all good. Lately we have all been just trying to spend as much time together. Several of us, including me, are graduating in just over a week and we realize how much we will miss everyone. To that regard, almost nightly game nights have happened.

Friday was another one. We played some games. Then every semester, UM-Flint hosts a midnight breakfast where students can have breakfast at midnight for free before finals. A group of is crammed in nick's car and headed over there where we took up a large table and had a bunch of fun.

But it wasn't over then. We came back and played more games until Travis got off the front desk. Then we went to the beach.
At the beach in Port Huron

Yup, you read that right. A group of us drove at 5 am to Port Huron in order to see the sunrise. It wasn't too miraculous because of the clouds but we did have some fun, and it was just something random that we could say we did. We grabbed some warm food before heading back to Flint...and I could barely keep awake. I literally slept all day Saturday after returning, not waking up until 2 am on Sunday.
I'm gonna miss this girl (and Nick in the back!)
Yesterday morning, I finished the last assignments of my undergraduate degree. Now I wait for grades from professors, pack and get ready to move and graduate. Where I am moving to is up in the air still.

And I got a job offer from Diplomat Pharmacy this morning. I am floored. I was so excited that I cried afterwards. Finally, things are starting to be put into place.

And it feels good.

Onto my next chapter...
Grad Photo taken by Shelley at Shelley's Photography

How I Fell Into A Job Upon Graduation.

This morning, I got an amazing call. I was given an offer for a full time position at a local company with great benefits. I haven't even graduated college yet.

Yup, I am one of those students who secures employment that will start right out of college. And you wonder how did I do it?

Many students wish they were in my place. Many wish, once they have that bachelor's degree under their wing, that they can go straight into full time employment. No more part-time, customer service jobs that seem to be all everyone works in college. You want to get into those adult positions, you yearn for a normal schedule, 40  hours a week, a constant and nice cash flow.

But you wait til you are done with college. You think, it'll look better if you wait. That way I for sure have my degree. Or you say you don't have time to submit applications, hone your resume, go on interviews and you don't want to pressure of waiting. Then when you walk across that stage, you stand there asking yourself, "now what?" You put all your time into finding a full time job, many people are not making any money as they are no longer working at all, and some move home even when they don't want to. (I'm not saying that it is a bad thing to move home, some people just feel guilty or stuck when they do).

It's not too late to apply for jobs. I will say this, 3 months ago, I hadn't really applied for anything full time. I knew at the end of May I was going to lose my current job because I can't be an RA after I graduate. I was going to lose my apartment too. I also knew that I wouldn't be able to work the front desk after the 1st of September unless I signed a lease to stay in my current complex.

It really didn't hit me until I was annoyed with everyone who was asking me, "What are you going to do after graduation?" All I could say was get a job. They'd ask if I had looked. All I could say was no.

When Spring Break hit, I knew I was getting close and there was now all this uncertainty that was going to drive me crazy. So I looked around and started applying for just about anything that I would be qualified for and many that I was "overqualified" for. The job market is bleak and it is frustrating out there, I can tell you this.

But I had one thing in my back pocket, all the people I have met. You have no idea what all the professionals that came into your life in college can do for you. Over your years at university, you have met people, made friends, expanded yourself. I was just like this.

We have a pizza place on campus. My second year here, it was taken over by a nice couple who had moved back to Michigan. The husband was a graduate of my university. I got to know them, quite well even. At the end of my second to last year, the wife left the business as she had found better employment. When I saw her around one night, she told me all about the company that she worked for, and I thought it was something that I would be interested in pursuing after graduation. So I thought, why not? So I applied. It was one of many places I had applied to in a fury of filling out applications, uploading resumes and hoping for the best.

A week later I got a call back. It was her assistant. This woman I had gotten to know through the campus pizza place was one of the HR people for the company. Her assistant put me through a phone interview and I hoped for the best.

A week later, I got a call asking me to come in for an interview. A week later I did that. I dressed to the nine's and walked in with a confidence that I have never had in an interview. Because I knew this woman (who I am not naming just in case), I had to interview with someone else with the company. The two ladies who interviewed me made me feel very comfortable and I felt like I made all the right answers and they even gave me a nice rundown about the job and the benefits that it included if I were to get it. They told me I would know in a week.

A week came...and went. I heard nothing. I called the HR assistant and got his voicemail just to check in on the status. Nothing. So I started to give up hope and realize that I probably won't get the job.

So I applied more places. I even applied places I didn't expect to apply. But I did it anyway because I needed to find a job this summer.

Then this morning, this glorious morning, about an hour after I turned in my last assignments of my undergrad, I got a call. And it was a good call. I got the offer for the position with the company. Pending background and drug testing, I will be a full time employee starting in the middle of May.

And that is exciting.

So, you can find a job. Take the time to apply everywhere online. Look at the people you know and the companies they work for. If you aren't quite to graduation, start getting to know more people on campus. There are a plethora of people who could be your ticket to full time employment.

Get yourself out there. Graduation doesn't have to be the big unknown. You can get all your ducks in a row and set yourself up to succeed!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Oh A Change Is A Comin'

Today I am in officially 26 days until graduation. As for classes, I only have about 2 weeks. Eek! It is all coming so fast and though I am pretty excited for most of it, I am also nervous.

With graduation, my job as an RA comes to a close. As I think back on this past year, I leave with both happiness and sadness. The job itself was a challenge and frustrating at times...but I still loved it very much. I will miss it once I leave.

But I am on to bigger and better things. Last week I had a job interview with Diplomat Pharmacy and I feel that it went pretty well. I should know hopefully today if I got the job. I am rather ancy to get that phone call, tell you what! But we will see. All my fingers, toes, eyes, legs, etc are crossed that it is a positive phone call later today!

I am also working on getting an apartment. My friend Hoffa from Lapeer is coming to live with me, so we have been on the hunt for a two bedroom apartment or townhouse and haven't had the best of luck. The current one, the one that I want to live in, has been making me run around and get a bunch of information. It has been frustrating. If everything falls into place right, hopefully an offer letter from Diplomat will be the last thing I need. *once again, crosses everything*

That has been my life the past couple weeks, just trying to get all that in line. I am also working on finishing the last of my class work so that I can graduate. I completed my exit exam last week also, which was interesting for sure but I am glad that it is done.

Now I'm on the homestretch and waiting. Waiting sucks because just want to know NOW! But I have hope that it will all turn out like it needs to and don't you worry, I'm not going to let any of this pass me by. I am doing everything to keep it in motion as much as I possibly can. I'm sure I have annoyed the ladies at Grand Oaks over the past few weeks with all the status checking I have done.

Other than that, life is life. It is going along. I can't complain too much.

Have a wonderful day :)\

Blast from the past! My brother, mom and I at a concert when DTE was actually Pine Knob (It always will be for me anyway!) My Aunt Jane took this picture :)

Monday, March 25, 2013


So, you went out last night and now you hate yourself. You feel sick, your head is pounding and you just can't get out of bed. You are now hungover.

Hangovers come in many different severities. Let me break it down for you.

Stage 0

This is where you wake up the next day and feel just fine. Be happy, you got out of this one a lucky duck. Normally, this is where I am at. When I go work the front desk on Friday mornings, I see a lot of "Walk-of-shames" of people sporting the horrible hangover.

Stage 1

You may be extra thirsty today. May feel a little "off." But mainly, you are still feeling okay. Drink some extra water and go about your day.

Stage 2

You may feel extra thirsty and may have a bit of a headache. These effects don't really cause an issue on your day. You can take a couple Tylenol and may need some coffee. Make sure you drink some water too throughout the day!

Stage 3

 Your head hurts a little more today. Your stomach may be a little queasy. You are feeling extra tired and don't really want to get out of bed. But, you are able to drag yourself out, drink some coffee, take some Tylenol and get through your day...waiting for the moment you can get to bed when you get home.

Stage 4

This is the worst. In this hangover you have a migraine, can't get out of bed, even the mention of food makes you want to throw up. You may have even woken up next to the toilet after a rough late night. Nothing is going to get you out of bed this morning. If you need to work, you probably will end up calling in, citing a bad case of food poisoning. You may be sensitive to light, sound and smell. It may be worth staying in bed and trying to block our everything you can. Take some Pepto Bismol and sleep it off.

If you are the benefactor of a horrific hangover, stay home. Get rest. Drink LOTS of water. And maybe next time, drink a little less!

Spring Name Tags (or in my case door decs!)

These cute little door decorations and name tags don't take too long to do and actually turn out quite awesome. If you have a couple hours, they will be great for your students or residents!


  • Foam Egg cutouts
  • Yellow Construction paper
  • Tape (or glue)
  • Exacto Knife
  • Scissors
  • Markers


1. Use the exacto knife to cut the eggs in half much like a half hatched egg. You can actually make 2 name tags per egg using both sides. The foam is easier to cut with the knife than with normal scissors.

2. Cut a body shape out of the yellow paper. Make it so that it is no wider than the egg cutout.

3. Cut some wing shapes out of the paper. Make them all different for some variety.

4. Tape the body part the way down the back of the egg (so that it doesn't go out the bottom but has enough body and head sticking out the top.)

5. Then tape the wings on the back. Draw some eyes (switch those up for cuteness factor) and add a beak. Write the name on the tag and voila!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sugar And Spice...And Everything Nice!

Earlier this week I received my 2nd Voxbox from Influenster. If you don't know what that website is, check it out and get back to me if you want an invite! Anyway, a voxbox is basically a box of free products that companies give Influenster to send out to some of their users. And they aren't just sample size...they are full sized bottles and boxes of these!

This box has some amazing products that I am currently trying out. Let's check them out:

BelVita breakfast biscuits are a yummy on the go breakfast idea for the person who doesn't have the time to eat. They come in several different flavors, including: Golden Oat, Blueberry and the kind I tried, Cinnamon. The Cinnamon ones taste just like a graham cracker. Now, it doesn't seem like much with these 4 little crackers, but after eating a pack they really are just enough for the morning. Full of whole grains, these crackers have some staying power. They are great with your morning coffee.

You can find them at your local supermarket for about $3.99 a box!

This next products wasn't one...but three! That's right, I got the whole set of toothbrush, paste and mouthwash to try out the Colgate Optic White System. This system is supposed to start whitening your teeth in as little as 5 days. I am on day I'll let you know if I notice anything later.

Anyway, the toothbrush has nice soft bristles which make brushing not that bad. It also has the cheek and tongue cleaning side which is nice to have around to get those nasty germs off those areas too. The toothpaste does have a minty flavor but it isn't the same minty that most give you...the too much mint type (which for those who know me, know that I HATE mint!) This toothpaste does foam a lot though so if you don't like that, then you may have an issue. I don't mind it too much. As for the mouthwash, it is also another one of those not to minty types. It is a peroxide mouthwash...not the burning sensation isn't there (which is a relief). Because it is peroxide, it foams a lot too so you actually don't need as much of it to get the job done (or you will be literally foaming like crazy from the mouth!)

You can find these products at your local supermarket/pharmacy for about $3.99 each.

I know...this seems a little odd and maybe too good to be true. We all know those sunscreens that are just like this and run out in about 3 uses (I don't know how many bottles of those that I went through last summer!) Influenster included the middle moisture for me to try and I was pleasantly surprised. With most of the spray sunscreens, you have to wait to go in the water, put on clothing, etc. This is different. Basically you just spray about 4" from the skin, rub in (which actually is just wiping once over the spray to spread it out) and voila! It doesn't spray too much lotion on the skin so you don't get greasy and it soaks in really fast. (I applied it to all my extremeties after a shower last night and could get into my clothing in less than a minute with no issues). It is super fast and leaves my skin feeling wonderfully soft. And it didn't feel like I depleted half the bottle in one use, so I have hopes that it lasts awhile. Once again, I will update after I know more!

You can find this at your local supermarket/pharmacy for $3.99 a bottle.

I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners. Those after tastes just gross me out. I don't drink diet pop (really I don't drink any pop much anymore) and I try to stay away from things with the Splenda logo. I just don't like the taste and it gives me a funny feeling in my stomach. But this sweetener is different. I made Tanisha try it first in her tea the other day before I would give it a try. I have a box of 20 packets so I knew it wasn't going anywhere. I put some in my tea later and there was no aftertaste and it was a really concentrated sweetener. My box came with a recipe book for this sweetener and I may try to make some of my own. Warning: As it is really sweet, you do not need as much of this sweetener as you do regular sugar. If using in recipes, you may need to recalculate the wet/dry ratio. 

Give this a try though, it is a wonderful sweetener for those who can't use sugar. Find it for $3.99 for a box of 20 packets.

Last but not least, I got a box of 20 of the Dickinson's Witch Hazel wipes. I have used Witch Hazel before on my face as a cleaner and I always liked the pleasant tingle that it gave me. I sometimes forget it as a facial cleaner that is not as stinging and strong as other astringents. These wipes are a wonderful version of witch hazel...and convenient. They come in 20 individually packed pouches and the towelettes are quite a bit larger that I expected once unfolded. They give that wonderful tingle of witch hazel and later leave your face feeling clean and soft due to the added aloe. I looked down and saw the amount of dirt and oil it cleaned from my face and was a little surprised. They really clean quite well! Influenster gave me five $2.00 coupons off my next purchase. 

You can find them for $5.99 a box at your local supermarket or pharmacy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

Spring is here, but Mother Nature hasn't figured out how to turn the AC off. I am so ready to be able to just not wear my coat anymore (it needs a good cleaning but I don't have a back up coat at the moment so I can send it off to get cleaned), so I wait for the warmth. 

Life is going just as crazy as normal. I have begun my psych research so lately I have spent many hours in the psychology lab at UM-Flint. Its not too bad, just another thing to add on top of the heap. I am ready for this semester to be over and to finally graduate. I have been actively fighting senioritis for several weeks now and I won't let it win. I MUST finish strong.

It's been awhile since I have been on here so I'll give you some pictures of what I have been up to lately:

Riverfront had a Valentine's dance in February. Kevin and I were looking sharp ;)

I went to a leadership conference at the end of February and literally took one of my favorite pictures of myself!

I finished my month of letters strong and had a lot of fun. I also sent some letters that just needed to be sent.

I spent some nights with friends that I may have lost some sleep but had some amazing moments and made some amazing memories.

Spring Break was the beginning of March and Kevin and I went to Chicago. Nick and his boyfriend Matt also went and our trip overlapped so we travelled the city together a couple days.

It was really a fun trip and one that I am so glad that we made! We stayed in the city (Sheraton Hotel and beautiful) and we could see Navy Pier from our window! On Monday we got some pizza, checked in, went to Navy Pier, ate at Ed Debevic's and visited the Hancock Observatory. On Tuesday it snowed, so we spent most of the day at The Field Museum and then ate up in Andersonville at Hamburger Mary's before seeing an Improv Show at The Annoyance Theater in Uptown. Wednesday we went to Millenium Park, got some yummy sushi, visited a Comic shop, Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and had a chill night back at the hotel. Thursday we headed to the Aquarium and then went to the Art Museum after lunch. We grabbed some cheap dinner and then went back to the hotel for some swimming. Friday was our last day and after checking out we went to The Cheesecake Factory, visited the Skydeck in the Willis Tower and headed home.

The day after we got back, I went to see my friends David and Helen who I hadn't seen in a long time. It was a wonderful visit (but NOT LONG ENOUGH!)

Now I am looking towards the future. I graduate in less than 45 days. I will be moving out of Riverfront at that same time. I just had an interview with one of the companies I applied to yesterday, here's to hoping something comes from that. It's all changing, so so fast. But I am so ready for the change. I am ready to open the next chapter of my life!