Four score and seven years ago…

slice of seventh birthday cake

Fun fact: I don’t even like cake.

…this little blog came about. Or something like that. Doesn’t four score mean 40 years? ‘Cause that’s not technically right. But it sounded good…

Anyway. Seven years ago – in 2009 – I started a blog. It was my third or fourth attempt at one – I had a blogspot in college, a blog on myspace and one for work. None stuck.

One would argue this didn’t either, completely, as it has been almost 7 months since I wrote a post.

Sensing a theme here? 7 is my lucky number, though. Born at 7:07, weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz., dad’s the oldest of 7 kids, I was the 7th granddaughter on my mom’s side, if you add up my birthdate (w/out the year) it equals 7…. you get the picture.

So maybe 7 will be a lucky year in terms of blogging. Probably the year I get a book deal, right? Isn’t that how this blogging thing works?

I will say I’ve missed writing. A lot. So I promised myself to get back to it. And now’s a good a time as any, right?

I do have a couple favorite posts from the year to share, as per usual, and you should take a look at the very first birthday of the blog, awww.

Oh and like a ton of posts lined up and scheduled for the foreseeable future. Because I’m prepared like that.

See? 7 IS lucky.

Now for the stuff I actually liked that I wrote last year…

180: https://on-account-of.com/2015/08/25/one-hundred-and-eighty/

More tinder bullshit: https://on-account-of.com/2015/07/08/the-tinder-chronicles-pt-2/

The day it all changed: https://on-account-of.com/2015/06/03/on-hold/

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One Hundred and Eighty

A week from today marks three months since I quit my job and everything changed.

Before June 1, 2015..I couldn’t tell you the last time I was legitimately, not-faking-it, seriously happy. I mean, y’all know. You’ve read this blog. How many times have I talked about my depression and anxiety and the toll it was taking on me?

(Answer: Three or four, I think).

Friends, I write to you from the other side…. and it is amazing.

Disclaimer: I’m not “cured” of depression and anxiety. That doesn’t happen. Nor do I want it to. It’s part of who I am and I’ve learned how to live with it.

The thing is.. now? It’s the most under control I’ve ever had it.

It’s ridiculous almost, how much one bad thing in one part of your life can take hold of the rest of it and completely bring you down. And I fully believe that one thing was that job.

So much has happened since the day I walked out of that office and breathed a huge sigh of relief because I never had to return to it. And now, I’m going to catch you up on (almost all of) it.

First of all, I only really had a week in there where I wasn’t sure what I would do. It was that first week after I quit, and it ended up serving as a little vacation, as much as you can call it that. I slept in a few days, but mostly I spent it trying to figure out my next move. Plus I went to that interview within two hours of quitting (that didn’t end up panning out but softened the blow of freaking out about income until I heard back haha).

Luckily, within the second week, I had not one but two amazing friends who stepped up and offered me things to do part-time. I’ve thanked them both about 100 times but probably will continue to, because they saved me a ton of stress in this interim. One of those jobs potentially could end up becoming full-time and I would take it in a heartbeat, because I’ve loved what I’ve been doing for them.

Not long after that, I got a three-day-a-week baby-sitting job through a friend of a friend. And then recently, I got a couple more regular baby-sitting gigs.

I got a part-time job running social media for probably my favorite restaurant in the city.

And soon, I will start work with one of my athletes from Special Olympics as a CLS worker, helping get him out of the house and involved in the community, working with him on budgeting and getting to appointments, finding employment and going back to school and just spending time with him.

I have said at least five times that I am basically Kirk from Gilmore Girls – which if you don’t get, I’m sorry, but this video should help some.

There’s been a little stress about the job and about money off and on, but I’ve managed to get every bill paid, even if they were a little late once.

I’ve gotten by, cutting back on things I don’t need while not becoming a hermit. I have paid much more attention to any signs I see about earning money — during a particularly stressful week, I saw a couple lost dog signs in my neighborhood offering rewards and thought about dedicating a few days to nothing but finding those dogs because that made all the sense. And money.

Here’s the thing though. That stress? Nothing compared to the stress I felt when I was at a job that made more than enough to pay my bills. Weird how that works.

What else… I have gotten a ton of stuff done for youth group-related events because I finally have time to work ahead. I got to go on a week-long trip with them to Montreat, which I am so grateful for because of the impact it had on every single one of us who attended.

I have become about 5 times more involved in Special Olympics, which I’ll discuss in another post soon.

A friend from elementary/high school got in touch with me early on this summer to join a group that focuses on accountability with getting healthier. It’s proved an awesome motivation for me and I can’t thank her enough. I have regularly hit up the gym, so much so that I need new workout clothes because mine fall off me. I’m not really a fan of my current situation, holding up my workout pants while I run, but it’s a damn good problem to have.

Everyone notices a difference in me overall. I was miserable before and it wasn’t hidden. At least 3 friends have said how much better I am to be around these days and I agree. I am happier to be around myself too.

The other night someone asked “So how are you? Are you ok?” And I said, with no sarcasm or irony or anything – “I am the happiest I have been in a very long time.” And I meant it.

As of June 2, 2015, I was venturing into the unknown, more excited than scared. I had no clue where any of it would lead. But going into it with the attitude that I would be OK and I would get better has made all the difference, because that’s what has happened.

I can’t say it enough, or really even in the right way I don’t think, but the support and love I’ve gotten since I made that decision almost 3 months ago have helped me maintain this new (old) way of living and looking at things. I am very blessed to have the friends and family I do.

Besides those that love me helping me in basically every way they could, keeping busy has been most helpful in preventing me from sliding into the sadness that could have come out of that decision June 1. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t have something to do that is either helping pay my bills or making me happy or both. And it’s usually both. Crazy, right?

When I wrote about my decision on Facebook, it got almost 200 likes and a ridiculous amount of comments. ALL of them supportive. One that stuck out especially to me was from a good friend’s mother: “You will be surprised where you are lead. It will be awesome.”

I was and it is. And I can’t wait to see what’s next.

So fresh and so clean…ish

So cleaning month is going pretty well. So well, in fact, that it will have to continue into the next month because I still haven’t tackled that guest bedroom closet yet.

But for good reason – I had company here for Derby and also May is always the most insane month of all months (everyone schedules everything for the same days and times and not a weekend is free in May. Ever.)

Anyways, this is not about what I haven’t cleaned, but what I HAVE.

You already saw the closet and clothes overhaul-type thing.

I also had two nightstands I had to clean out…one of which I haven’t even looked in since I moved in (A year ago, today, in fact, woot!).

It proved to be a treasure trove of sorts. I found lots of pictures, perfect for #tbt possibilities, and essentials like my garter from prom 13 years ago, entirely too many unused legal pads (#writerprobs), a small London phone booth decoration, TiVo remote for a system I no longer have, and hospital information for post-appendectomy life.

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Post-appendectomy life is very gassy. Other than that, relatively normal. It’s time to part with the paperwork.

That was a couple weeks ago. And I cleaned out a box’s worth of crap. Most of the stuff in those pictures was tossed, including that folder, from a Feature Writing class in college where I had a professor who once made me decorate her Christmas tree and claimed she could feel earthquakes before they happened. In Kentucky.

Anyway.

Speaking of crazy. Did I mention the month of May is?

So just because I haven’t been home doesn’t mean I haven’t been cleaning.

I’m on a delete spree, guys.

I have entirely too many emails I don’t need in my email inbox taking up space. I have people’s phone numbers I talked two twice and/or not for years now. I have texts from two years ago, thanks iPhone. I have annoying Twitter accounts I follow.

CLEANED THAT SHIT UP.

Still a bit in the process with that one, in fact. Like today, when, in honor of one year of home ownership, my AC stopped working and I didn’t feel like moving cause I was a puddle of sweat, I deleted doubles of photos on my phone, apps I haven’t used since downloading, files I don’t need off my computer (which is still saying it’s about out of storage space).

See, you can still be productive when you’re having a “lazy” weekend! There is hope!

Not to mention I feel guilty on days I don’t do anything at all, even if they are really few and far between.

But this cleaning (and realizing today that I’ve been in here a year) has led me to my next month of this project, that I’ll start soon…and I’ll give you a hint about what that is. It involves my condo.

I’m sure this has been suuuuper exciting for y’all to read about, but I promise, it’s made me happy and my house more comfortable and better looking. So there’s that.

Any of you done any major cleaning sprees lately? Spring cleaning and whatnot? Find anything good?

The land of lost sunglasses, chapstick and tiny hats?

There were a few things I knew I’d find in the process of cleaning out my bedroom closet.

• Clothes I haven’t worn since I moved in last May

• This tiny hat hair clip I bought for New Years 2015 and will never wear again

• Every newspaper clipping of mine since the beginning of college

• Approximately 9,130 partially used chapsticks.

• Four pairs of sunglasses

I was close. Found all of the above, though the number of partially used chapsticks was closer to 8. But the 9,000 number makes for a better lead. #journalism

And there were three pairs of sunglasses. Damn.

See here’s the thing. I get sunglasses and chapstick – apparently at the same time, because I have about the same amount of each. Then I use/wear them all of about 2 days. Then they’re lost in the abyss. And by abyss, I apparently mean my closet.

Too many apparentlys in that sentence. Soon I’m gonna sound like this kid.

As part of my first month of the Me Project, I eased on in and spent a couple hours last weekend going through my bedroom closet. It wasn’t out of control, as you can see by these pics…

But I knew I had shit in there I didn’t need that was just taking up space and it made me anxious. And if you know me in the slightest, you know this girl doesn’t need any more anxiety in her life.

I started with clothes.

Note on my clothes. I am not fashional. I am working on it though, so I used that as motivation to get rid of some of the stuff I was questionable on.

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The shelves weren’t bad, but I do have every color of the rainbow as far as tissue paper goes because I kept buying it thinking I was out. In reality it was all hiding in the corner of my bedroom closet. Where I do all my present wrapping.

I filled two entire garbage bags with trash, including some clothes with holes in them or that I didn’t even want to inflict on the nice people shopping at Goodwill (I’m looking at you, high school marching band wind suit with giant coffee stain on the inside).

I even wound up with an entire trash bag full of clothes to give to Goodwill. And I got to organize my clothes by type. BECAUSE I AM A FREAK OF NATURE.

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I realize this all may not be that interesting to you all, because I didn’t find anything too crazy (but the guest bedroom closet is still to come, and that’s where the magic’s gonna happen).

And in return for you making it this far, please enjoy these photos of my best friend, Ashley, with some of the treasures she found in her closet clean-out. She got motivated by my first post and tackled it last weekend. And I for one am really happy she still has those bright white Basic Editions from her Patti Mayonnaise costume.

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After the clothes were properly, obsessively put up and the shelves cleaned off, it was time for the binders.

You guys, I have a disgusting amount of binders. BUT THEY ARE SO USEFUL. I have binders for work, two for youth group (that I separated out from one giant one and it made me insanely happy). And probably 10 just filled with my clips from working at the various newspapers over the years. Because I want to have them someday, if and when print goes extinct like some people think. Also because I’m a narcissist. (One of those statements is a lie. I’ll let you guess which one).

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There they are. Also included – the binders full of things I didn’t want to throw away for whatever reason. Cards from various years’ birthdays and graduations and stuff, wedding invitations and whatnot.

Plus things I should never throw out like these signs and notes made for me in high school, toooooootally not during class or anything, ever.

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Oh and there was this time when I was immature and got this hat because it said Peckers. And also because the guy I liked was called that and I thought it was cute and funny and I should not have admitted that out loud….

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But who am I kidding – I still am immature and think it’s funny that it says Peckers and I would wear it but it got all gross.

Next up is the guest bedroom, which I’ll likely tackle after Derby, because I’ve got company in town next week and also this is Louisville and EVERYTHING stops for Derby.

Have you all done any major cleanups lately? How’d it make you feel?

I know for me, going into that closet now is definitely less stressful because I’m not staring directly at the row of shirts I don’t wear anymore.

Lesson one from this project: It’s the little things.

31: The Year of Happiness (or something like that)

If you’ve read this blog…ever…you know that me and happiness go back and forth. I continuously try for it and have gotten so much closer in the past few years in so many ways. So, for a while, people kept telling me “You need to read this book, the Happiness Project.” Never one to shy away from a good book suggestion, I finally gave it a try about a month ago.

I knew the premise – a woman took a year and month by month, she tried to do different things (and in some cases cut out different things) to try and make herself happier.

As a writer, I didn’t really like the book, because of her writing style. She’s a former lawyer, and it read at times like a lawsuit. Small tangent: Yes, I know what those read like because I used to have to read them at times as a part of my job at a community newspaper. JARGON CITY.

And then there was the month where she mentioned in passing that she was trying to curb her habit of eating a spoonful of brown sugar out of the jar whenever she passed it in the kitchen. WTF.

Anyways. Criticisms of the writing aside, I loved the idea. Each month, she was taking a different aspect of her life and focusing on it and how she could be happier in it. One month it was family, so she focused on creating good memories with her kids and new traditions and taking time to slow down and enjoy her time with them. Another month was work, and she made the promise to herself of a certain amount of writing a day. She also planned to write a book in a month – so she did.

The basic principles were there. I wanted to do it. I didn’t wanna copy it completely, but there was so much I could learn and apply on my own. And by doing it on my blog, I would have the opportunity to hopefully communicate with others who may be doing the same or who could give ideas and feedback.

Plus there’s the fact that I need this right now. Maybe more than before. I recently made the heart-wrenching decision to find a new home for my sweet puppy, because it’s what is best for him, though it won’t make saying goodbye any easier. I also recently made the decision to talk to my doctor about my medicine and making a change. My therapist – who I will somehow name a child after one day – and I have had some discussions and think this may help things even more with my moods and anxieties and depression. (I’m not going down in dosage again, it’s not that. Just FYI.)

So I need a distraction. I need a project. I need something.

As for a start date? What better than a birthday? Today I turn 31. (ACK). So why not make 31 the year of my own Happiness Project?

I don’t have it all mapped out yet, but I have started a bit of a list. (Go ahead, act surprised even though I know you’re not.)

But here’s the premise. Each month I focus on something different. The whole month I work on that and that alone. It may be something I only have to do once. It may be something I continue to do throughout the year as I add in the different months and their goals. I currently have 9 ideas for the project and have known since I finished the book which one I would start with.

The way it will work? At the beginning I’ll announce the focus and why. That month, I’ll do different things in that vein. We will see if it makes me happier, but as I’m writing this entry I’m coming to the realization that it’s not even so much about happiness, it’s about focusing on me, something I really don’t do and when I do I don’t do it well. (Drink every time I say focus in this post and you’re too hammered to read this sentence.)

Throughout the month, though, I’ll keep you updated of the progress and of what I’m doing to accomplish that month’s goals. At the end of the month we’ll see what changes/differences if any, it’s made.

And the first month starts today.

I didn’t wanna jump in TOO crazy-like, because turning 31 is a lot to process on it’s own (I’m OLD), but the first month I knew needed to be about cleaning up.

ME PROJECT, MONTH #1: Cleaning up, decluttering and dehoarding

I’m not messy. And I’m definitely not a hoarder. But when I moved last year? Boxes would come in I hadn’t seen or touched since I moved into my last place. So did I need what was in them? Probably not. Yet several are sitting in my guest bedroom closet, just kind of taunting me. Not that I have, like, other stuff to put in there, really, but I know for a fact in there right now are most of my folders from classes from college. WHY? Don’t tell A&E about me, guys.

Small tangent again: Is that show on anymore? I guess not. They brought Intervention back, though, so maybe there’s hope. Also anytime I watch that show it just makes me wanna throw out EVERYTHING. Also vomit.

I also need to admit I got a slight head-start on this month in a way. I have a ridiculous amount of T-shirts from college (because sorority and also free shit). They’ve been sitting in my dresser/closet/giant Rubbermaid container for the 9 years since I graduated just collecting dust, basically. I wasn’t going to throw them out or donate them because the sorority shirts at least, did mean something. And I spent a lot of cash on ‘em.

Luckily, a good friend’s mom quilts and makes blankets and is a pro. She’d just made my friend a T-shirt quilt out of her old lacrosse shirts and I asked her to do the same for my shirts and she luckily, thankfully, agreed. The Rubbermaid container full of shirts is no longer taking up space in my front hall closet and I’ll have an awesome new blanket soon that means something special.

I have a couple of other things in mind to do, but I’ll save those for later posts and update you on my progress as I go.

Have some ideas for my project? Are you doing your own? What’d you think of the Happiness Project book? Do you eat a spoonful of brown sugar every time you pass it in your kitchen?

Oh. And Happy Birthday to Me, I suppose.

Best one yet? I’m thinking yes.

Besides the first one, obviously, but I don’t remember that one.

Oh, what am I talking about? Birthdays.

‘Member how I turned 30?

Well. It was kind of a big deal.

So.. I think I’ve been surprised maybe twice in my life. And usually it’s just been a matter of someone showing up somewhere that I didn’t expect to see them. I’m more of a startled person – like don’t jump out at me or you’ll get hit.

I bet I am making no kind of sense, am I?

OK. So last weekend was my 30th birthday. I had made a few plans and thought everyone was going along with it, but boy was I wrong.

A few weeks before the day, I told a few people I wanted to go out to dinner – we’d dress up fancy and just go somewhere and have a small, chill thing. I pitched it in the group text with the Game Night Bitchezzz and they were down, and suggested a pre-party before, because that’s what we do.

My sister, Rachel, convinced me to let Dad make reservations for the dinner so I’m not planning my own birthday stuff and that’s that.

Oh, and I went and bought a dress. It wasn’t only for my birthday, but the birthday seemed a good enough excuse as any.

And I didn’t think anything else about any of it.

Birthday Day came and started awesomely. Lots of birthday love from the second I woke up from friends and family, and of course, all over Facebook because that’s how it counts.

My friend, Stephanie, and I had plans to go get pedicures, so we did that and followed it up with lunch at Havana Rumba, pretty much the best restaurant ever.

Then it was time to go home and get ready.

You guys, I spent soooo much time getting ready. If I wear eye makeup, it must be important, and I worked on that shit for a while. Then put on my dress and headed over to Jenn’s where she said she’d “do my hair before dinner.”

And that, my friends, is when I lost any control I had on the day.

You see, I got to Jennifer’s and before I could get in the door, I was blindfolded, turned around, and told there had been other plans made for the day.

Jenn and Matt kidnapped me, basically, and put me in their car, and were playing some version of good cop, bad cop – meaning Matt was being nice to me and Jennifer was verbally abusing me. Anyone who doesn’t know her would think that’s bad, but as her best friend and after 14 years, I know it’s just the way she shows she loves you.

So here I am, my eye makeup now ruined (I’m thinking) and my hair not gonna get done and I hope wherever they’re taking me isn’t expecting me to look as amazing as I thought I was going to.

Oprah taught me never to be taken to a second location, but that didn’t work in this case and we discussed my impending death, because that had to be what was happening, they were taking me somewhere to kill me.

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I had even brought tiny margaritas for the pre-party. Who would drink them when my best friends murdered me?

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I was allowed to ask questions, but it got me pretty much nowhere.. because I had NO clue where we were going, who would be there, or what I was in for, as you can see.

Please note the “pop pop pop pop pop” sound as soon as the door’s opened. That doesn’t do much to soothe the worries of someone who thinks they are being taken to their death.

But SURPRISE!!!! No dying!!! It was paintball!

When I opened my eyes I saw five of my very favorite people dressed the complete opposite of me, ready to help me cross something off my list.

I found out later, that my best friend, because she’s awesome (despite the verbal abuse from earlier in the day) had decided a couple months ago to do something big for my birthday. She got on this blog and looked at my list for something she could help me cross off. And since my friends wanted to play paintball too, that got chosen!

First of all – the paintball experience in itself is getting its own post. Second of all – I wouldn’t in a million years have thought that’s where they were taking me. So much fun. And I was covered in paint when it was time to change back into my dress to go to dinner.

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Fancy.

So yes, it was at this point I thought we were going to a nice steak restaurant for dinner that I’d never been to before. You know, the one with the small group.

NOPE.

Blindfolded again. At this point I’m figuring we’re ending up at a party somewhere – someone’s house or something. No clue though, really. But I know it’s not the steak place.

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Again I’m completely caught off guard because my family and friends have organized a second surprise for the day. Lining the patio outside of our favorite Mexican restaurant up the street were about 30 people I love a lot. I couldn’t believe it.

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And the rest? Is history. I’ll let the pictures explain, especially since it gets a little bit fuzzy after about 30 minutes of being at the restaurant…

I’ve said it many times before but it bears repeating. I am blessed with some amazingly awesome people in my life. I am so grateful for every single one of them, and they made my (potentially scary) 30th birthday the best I’ve ever had. Love you all!

Highlights? Dad and I slow-dancing at a bar to Liz karaoke-ing to Usher’s “Let It Burn.”

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Oh and my grandma had some tequila.

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Dirty 30

That headline alone should get some clicks, don’t ya think?

It’s not what you think. Or maybe it is. I don’t know how your brain works.

Today I turn 30.

Holy shit.

I thought that was old, once upon a time. And I still feel like it’s old every once in a while. But I am also at the point where my friends are hitting that age first (I’m the baby of one group of friends). And I haven’t seen any major “OMG” moments happening because the 3 is the first number now.

I don’t know what I expected…but when you’re younger, 30 always seems so far, so significant. Like, “by the time I’m 30 I’ll have this and do this and blah blah blah” and that’s not how it is at all when you get there.

Within the past few years or so I have, I’ll admit, had the momentary freak-outs of “Is this where I’m supposed to be in my life, at this age?” And, well, that’s kind of dumb.

Do you know who decides who you should be and when you should be it? YOU.

What a concept, right? Took me a bit to figure that out, but I got there. Eventually.

And, believe it or not, I think I’m right where I need to be. Recently I’ve been reminded of that, because as I got even closer to that “milestone” of turning 30, things have been getting better and better.

I am closing on a condo in the next month. I might will be getting a puppy. I got a raise at work. The photography thing is picking back up and I have a couple other things in the hopper (HOPPA – friggin’ love that commercial and that accent so much) in the near future that could mean even more big changes. Hopefully. I am where I want to be in my relationships – I am beyond blessed with friends and family that I am grateful for every second of every day.

I am happy. I am happier than I’ve been in a long while. And for someone like me who has struggled with the four flat tires of depression for as long as I can remember and who even got pretty low a couple months ago, that’s HUGE.

The happiness thing has made me want to share that feeling with others..but, how should I do it?

I had a grand plan a few weeks ago to do this big thing for my birthday. Remember the girl I told you about we saw in New York? That got 2,900 flowers donated to give out for her 29th birthday and used them to urge others to be kind and pass along her kindness? I wanted to do something similar. And silly me thought with little planning I could make it happen and get it all done in a day.

Change of plans.

This year, in honor of 30 awesome years behind me (some more awesome than others, of course), I am going to do 30 awesome things. That could be anything – from spending an entire day doing acts of kindness to a trip somewhere to taking part in an experience I’ve never had before. It may include checking some stuff off my list.

The possibilities are endless. I want your input – your suggestions, your help, and, if possible, your company on some of these! Thoughts?

There is absolutely no reason not to make 30 (and every year after it) something great. So. Leggoooooo.

New Year’s Eve Mystery: The Case

Like I said in the last post, when I thought about wanting to do a Murder Mystery Party at some point, I knew who I was asking first – the Game Night group. I knew they’d take little to no convincing, as we tend to like dressing up to play games because that’s pretty much the only way to get us to play a full game anymore – unless it involves alcohol.

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This time, the only alcohol was a shot before the game (for the adults) and the rest was saved until the case was solved. And thank God, too, because there was a lot to keep straight. I was giggly without alcohol. I just kept looking around the room saying “My dream has come true.”

It’s really better to show you how the night went, rather than tell you. But the gist of it is, everyone has a part to play and everyone has a motive. The murderer didn’t know they were the murderer until after they’d committed the crime (which basically was us turning off the light for a second and then back on and looking at Oreo – our pretend victim – and screaming).

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(Note: No animals were harmed in the making of this post. Nor were they hurt at the event. Nor have they stopped being called Steve sometimes.)

The rest of the night we spent questioning and blaming and talking about each other – because that’s what our assignments we received said to do. However, not a single one of us guessed who the murderer was when that time came at the end. Wasn’t the alcohol’s fault – or our acting, everyone put on a good show. We just didn’t look at the provided “evidence” close enough and therefore none of us should be detectives in real life. Except maybe Brendan. He was close at one point.

Some highlights of the evening:
– Caitlin fainting after the murder
– Jennifer’s voice getting progressively deeper the further she got into character
– Jennifer helping Rachel with stretches (as seen here)

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– No one talking about it beforehand but all deciding to treat Liz the same way (as someone you don’t want to be talking to for longer than about 10 seconds). I was the only exception, because I was her lawyer.

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– Shane somehow convincing everyone to give him money.
– The dance-off

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– Rachel dancing along w/Janet Jackson on TV, but on a delay
– Sami and Austin’s in-character drama
– Shane going full guido in the middle of the game and also sounding a lot like Fonzie from Happy Days
– Shane checking envelopes and drinks for Chuckie before he handed them to him
– Brendan’s accusing of so many people
– Matt just giggling and smiling a lot
– Watching my best friends have so much fun with this party and saying how much they wanted to do it again once it was over.

So here is (part of) our night in photos. I love these kids.

Unconditionally

There’s this new-ish song I like. And surprise, surprise, it’s by Katy Perry. She of the mega girl crush I have. I love her.

Anyways. I bought her new album not too long after it came out and there are a few on there I’ve kept on repeat, but none more than this one.

It’s called “Unconditionally,” and besides the fact that its a great song and so much fun to belt in the car when I’m by myself, I like what she says in the lyrics. And I can definitely relate.

Supposedly she wrote it about John Mayer and it basically says “no matter what you did or what baggage you’ve got or what faults or mistakes or anything, I will love you. And all you have to do is do the same for me.”

And if ever a song was relatable for me, it’s this one. Not in the exact same way, necessarily, but the overall message.

I’ve always prided myself on being a pretty nonjudgmental person. I give people the benefit of the doubt most of the time (sometimes when I shouldn’t) but generally, if you’re in my life and you’re someone I care about – friend, family member, boyfriend, whatever – I love you unconditionally. No matter what you’ve done or not done or been through or whatever. And all I expect is the same in return. When I haven’t gotten it, I’ve moved on (took me a while to realize it in my younger days, but we all have lessons to learn).

Basically, it’s the holidays and late at night and I’m sappy and in a good mood and want you all to hear this song. And to know I love y’all, unconditionally.