Sunday, July 31, 2011


There's so much to talk about! Where do I even begin? I mean, today is Harry Potter's birthday, it's the beginning of Shark Week (which I'm too scared to watch), and I'm back from my vacation. Plus, someone won a Hell hat! Where to begin?

I'll start out with the winner of the Hell hat giveaway! And that person is...... Vaughn! I'm so sorry to all of you who really wanted one and didn't win. Next time I'm in Hell, I'll pick up a couple more hats and do another giveaway.

I'm back from vacation, and it's bitter sweet. It's always hard to end a vacation. Today I looked at the backseat of my car and saw the remnants of a good time - beach towels, a road map of Michigan, a frisbee, and sand. 

Not only was it wonderful family bonding time (and it was), but for the last day, a few friends came up to enjoy the beauty of Ludington with my sister and me.  They scared everyone on the beach by doing the dead man's float all the way down the river that feeds into Lake Michigan. Or at least, they tried to scare everyone but people are too desensitized these days to be upset by dead bodies floating past them.

People don't even care.

Anyway, like I said, I'm back from my trip. I'm much tanner than I was before the trip, but no one seems to notice that. However, about ten people asked me today about the bruises on my upper arm, as pictured below (the flash made them look lighter than they are).

Smiling through the pain

Here's what happened. On Monday, my aunt, uncle, sister, and I floated down the river leading out to Lake Michigan. The current was really slow that day and the wind was practically pushing us backwards. At one point, when the river was really shallow, my uncle and I got off our rafts and started pulling the others down the river (all the rafts were tied together). Then, unexpectedly, the river got a lot deeper and was THICK with seaweed. Really really really gross seaweed - it looked and felt like snakes. I started screaming and threw myself on my sister because her raft was closest. It wasn't easy to get on her raft because of the depth of the water so I guess in my thrashing about I bumped my arm and got marked up.

Wow that story is lame.

Here's what really happened. A cougar was chasing me through the woods and I used a snake hanging from a tree to pull myself up and to safety. Unfortunately I bumped my arm on the way up. Yeah, that's what really happened.

As much as I'm sad about vacation being over, and July in general (which was a really fun month for me), I take comfort in knowing there's still another month of summer left. Lots more time to swim, play frisbee, deepen my sunburn, and enjoy summer magic. What are your plans for the last month of summer?

I'll leave you with one more picture from my trip (more to come later). A melted Reeses peanut butter cup that I cooled off in my vent till it took a somewhat more edible form. Ahhhh...summer.

How I roll.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

Historically speaking, my vacation posts aren't my most popular posts. I guess it's because my Ludington vacations are ah-mazing and there's really not much to say about that. It's pretty much happy happy joy joy all the time. For the most part. Here are the hardships I've had to face this week:

1. I lost in the race against time with an ice cream cone today.
2. I got for-real scared during campfire stories tonight and then was afraid when I had to pick up a pizza by myself and the restaurant was across the street from the graveyard. I'm not making this up.
3. I lost at a card game against my sisters. And I wasn't a gracious loser.
4. I got sun burnt while floating lazily down the river yesterday.
5. I went down the water slide at the pool and later my 5 year old nephew told me that my butt is too big for the slide and that it's meant for little butts. Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!

You guys, vacation's hard. I've suffered a lot. But besides the late night pizza runs, the scary stories, and the devasting card game losses, the week has been great so far. Beautiful sunsets, daily bike rides to the beach, creative smores, and so on. Instead of making another list, I'll just show you in pictures:

Reeses peanut butter cup smore!

Swimming in the "lagoon."

A failed attempt at a group shot.

I lost this battle.
The view on my daily bike ride to the beach at Lake Michigan.

I tried ribs for the first time!

The aforementioned slide. My butt's totally not too big. For the record.

Not bad.
Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hell Hat Giveaway

You know that expression "when Hell freezes over"? Well, Hell does freeze over. In Hell, Michigan. Of course, I've talked about Hell, Michigan several times on here before. So if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know all about it.

A few weeks ago I received a desperate and sad text from my friend Jesse, telling me that he lost "Hell Hat" to the "mighty Pacific." Jesse bought Hell Hat when he lived in Michigan and came along on our trip last fall. But he lives in Utah now, far away from Hell (or is it? {kidding [or am I?]}), so I did what any friend would do, and drove to Hell and back to get him a replacement: Hell Hat II, as seen below.

so happy together

And as long as I was already in Hell, I spent another $6.66 to buy a Hell Hat for one of you! Imagine the looks on your friend's faces when they read your hat! First they'll be offended at the word Hell, then a smirk of understanding will cross their faces as they continue reading. You will for sure be the most popular person in your group of friends. For sure. It's also a great gift idea! What brother wouldn't love such a hat? And brothers are impossible to shop for. Impossible. (Sorry, I lost my train of thought - it's my brother's birthday this week.)

So what do you have to do to win your own Hell Hat? Well, I'd love it if you'd "follow" this blog, but honestly, if you don't want to you, you don't have to. Secondly, you have to answer this road trip themed "would you rather" question:

Would you rather:

Go on a week long road trip with a stranger who it turns out (after a day of driving together) you don't really like and who has horrible taste in car music?


Go on a week long road trip with someone you kinda like, but who has B.O. and forgot to bring any clean shirts?

Answer the question to get an entry! You have one week to enter!

Friday, July 22, 2011

What I do to entertain myself at work

We got these as a freebie at work last year. It's a little sticky headed man (or woman, I guess) that has the name of our company on the side. Mine's just been sitting on my desk for the past year. Yesterday I threw it up on the wall and as of this afternoon, it hasn't fallen yet. Awesome.

Justin has specific instructions to put the cap back on his head if he falls next week while I'm on vacation. If he's still up on the wall when I get back the next week, I'm going to be pretty impressed.

Being easily amused is what gets me through most days.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

It's so hot and humid. So hot and humid. The cicadas are buzzing loudly which seems to make the air feel even hotter. The cicada buzz is how you know you're in the dog days of summer. Not that I'm complaining. I'll take summer over winter every day. I'm just saying...  it's hot.

All I could think about yesterday was the water park and how much I needed its cooling powers. So I contacted my friend Sarah and asked if she'd meet me after work to head over to the water park with me. She agreed and my life was complete.

First on the agenda was the lazy river. Sarah mentioned that she usually does the mature thing and avoids the part of the river with the over head water dumping/cooling devices, like the buckets below (this is me - I promise I wasn't nude, but it's hard to draw a bathing suit on a stick figure). I couldn't allow maturity today (it's too hot for maturity) so we headed into the fun section of the lazy river:

From there, we scurried over to the water slide. Sarah was a little reluctant but a little positive peer pressure got her on my side (it wasn't that hard to persuade her, really). There were two water slides available - one where you sit on an inner tube and one without. Inner tubes seemed to be the obvious choice, don't you think? I haven't been on a water slide in quite a long time and I forgot about the rush you get as you go around the curves and fear going over the side. As my inner tube slid up the side of curves I was almost positive my short life was coming to an abrupt end:

After that adventure, the wave pool was the last thing on our list. With the temperatures near 100 degrees and the humidity stifling, the pool was packed. I couldn't stop laughing as we swam into the middle of the hoard of people. You couldn't even see the water for the inner tubes covering it! This is an overhead picture an airplane took of us:

the curvy lines are waves, not snakes

In conclusion, day at the water park: success!

What are you doing to survive the heat? 

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hair Story

One of the most evil things about facebook is how people looooove adding awful pictures from bad hair years. I get it - it's fun to catch up with friends and laugh about how funny we looked back in the day. The only problem is that all my facebook friends can also see those pictures and um, I'm single. You get what I'm saying? I don't need cute boys I'm crushing on seeing that my hair used to look like this. Exactly like this:

Big, frizzy, too blonde (dyed), with short bangs. I am NOT proud of this. But I'm starting to find it amusing. Slightly. Kinda.... Well, I'm getting there.

Yesterday I faced what I hate the most: a cute guy saw my senior picture! I don't know how to explain my hair back then. Does saying "it was the 90's" excuse me at all? Please? And I am not being humble or self deprecating when I say it was bad. It was for real bad.

Do you guys want to see it? Because it's Monday, and we all need a little laugh
 at the beginning of the week, here it is.


Here's another picture of me a year or two later. Thank goodness 1-2 years after this I grew out my bangs and stopped dying my hair. I still highlight it, but my crazy haired days are mostly a thing of the past. (Except in the mornings.)

why i have a fake tatoo at a fake
luau, I have no idea.

Nowadays my hair pretty much take two forms: curly or straight (or something in between, but only by accident). Here are both looks:

(left: no make up last summer, right: Instagram from a few months ago)

Am I going to look back on these pictures years from now and be embarrassed? Probably. What was your worst hair style ever?

Friday, July 15, 2011


I haven't written about my grandma in awhile, but rest assured she's just as funny and feisty and ready to go to heaven (much to my chagrin) as ever. For years she's been predicting her impending death to the point where it's become a joke to her (and only her).

She doesn't mind the idea of death - in fact, she welcomes it. She has a strong belief in the after life and wants to see her husband and daughter (my aunt) again, along with her siblings and so many others who've already passed away. She likes life well enough, but her body aches and she's 91, which she says is just too long to stay alive. I constantly disagree with her about that, but she just laughs.

Here are a couple recent quotes from her that may make you laugh if you have a dark sense of humor. Don't feel bad if you do laugh - she'd want you to.

"I almost forgot about my doctor's appointment the other day. I made the appointment six months and ago and didn't write it down 'cause I figured I'd be dead by then."

Me, opening a medicine packet for her: When did you have the last dose? Has it been long enough?
Grandma, swallowing the pills with a laugh: Oh, the worst it could do is kill me.
Me: Grandma!

My only comfort is that she worries so much about the family, she won't pass on until all our problems (like me not being married) are solved. I expect to have many more years with her.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mitten Smitten

It's mitten shaped. Case
you didn't notice.
My friend Emily is visiting this week. Though she lives in Utah now, Emily still has major Michigan pride. On Monday when I saw her, she was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of the state of Michigan on it and our state motto, "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." I have to be honest, I've never loved our state motto. It's just not tough enough, in my opinion. But it is true, I suppose. Michigan is a pleasant peninsula. Two peninsulas, actually.

I looked up some Michigan t-shirts the other day and my favorites were the ones that had these messages on them:

America's high five
America's first line of defense against Canada

The second one is kind of silly but made me laugh. Everyone in Michigan has at least a few cents in Canadian change in their pockets at any given time. And in much of Michigan, you can drive south to get to Canada! Pretty crazy, huh? There's so much more I could tell you about Michigan but I'll just convince you of its beauty with some pictures I've taken in the last year.

Thanks for letting me share some of my Michigan love with you all! If you're from Ohio, feel free not to comment on this post. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

I can't lie - life has been a little tricky for me lately. I've had a lot on my mind and haven't really felt like writing in ye olde' blog. But I think I'll be coming back to center here shortly. Meanwhile, I can't leave you guys hanging with Wednesday Thoughts! I know exactly what you want: a distraction from your responsibilities for five minutes. Well, I aim to please.

I went back to the Mystery Spot in Irish Hills with my friend again last night. Guess what? Foiled again. And not only that, but the real reason we went back to Irish Hills was to get some good BBQ but sadly, we were denied there too. It was too late and everything was closed. We ended up getting McDonald's and eating it in the backseat of my car while watching the Simpsons movie on my dvd player. So I guess the trip wasn't a total waste. It was worth the hour drive.

The thing that really ticked me off was the happy faces of the people who had just left the Mystery Spot. It's not fair.

Once again, Leo's living a life I can only dream of.

Summer is halfway over (less, really) and I plan on reclaiming my summer personality. I've spent too much of this summer feeling mrrrrrr. "Mrrrrrr" is winter me, not summer me. Sometimes life is just hard though and there's no denying it. Life is confusing and weird and sometimes disappointing. But it's also happy and surprising and joyful. Right? Right. Right right right right right. (It helps to repeat it many times, trust me. Even though it looks crazy.)

Some happy thoughts for the day:

We still have half the summer left! :)
The Tigers are in first place! JV!
Life is full of surprises.
Prayer works. This I know for sure.
I have a vacation coming up.
I have a freezer full of bomb pops.
I have all of you guys.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I don't feel like using words tonight but I do feel like updating my blog. Solution? Sharing some instagram photos with y'all (I lived in Texas for over a year so I have written permission to say y'all). I just got the instagram ap* and I'm lovin it. Check out some of these photos.

My shadow - I'm wearing a bike helmet and I look
like a little person. Kinda cool.
sidewalk chalk
my niece and me - I'm the one on the left
Water balloons from this weekend. Nothing makes
people happy like water balloons. It's a scientific fact.

We carved a helmet out of a watermelon. This is my cousin
shoving it on his fiance's head
(there's a napkin in it {of course}).

Which is your favorite?

*"ap" is in my top 2 least favorite words but it's unavoidable.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I only had one word when I got this notification from Twitter today: "whoa."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

I wish I wasn't such a passionate person. I was talking with someone the other day about what super power we would choose if we could pick one and I chose the ability to control my own emotions better. Living passionately is fun in some ways - I feel like I really experience everything I'm doing. But in other ways, it can make you feel all k!jcei(*(#L2kjkao%c. You know?

K, I'll calm down now.

So, I found an amazing bike path I never knew about, and it's very close to where I live! I've been going there nearly every evening around dusk and riding until it gets dark. The best part about this bike path is that it is home to hundreds of fireflies. I've never seen so many fireflies in one spot! It's honestly magical riding down this path with fireflies sparkling like crazy all around me.

It looks something like this.

In other Wednesday thoughts, happy (two days after) Independence Day! Did you have a good one? My weekend was a lot of fun. I went on a mini-road trip on Saturday. We had no real destination in mind, so we just kept driving until we hit Lake Michigan. We ended up in South Haven, which is a super cute town. The only regret I have for the day is that the Mystery Spot we drove by wasn't open yet and we never made it back. Now I'll never get to see a ball roll uphill!

Have any of you ever been to one of those Mystery Spots? It's one of my life goals to go to one. I just don't feel like my life will be complete until I see gravity defied.

Another thing I enjoyed about my weekend was learning how to make ice cream in a bag! So simple, yet so delicious! If you want the recipe, let me know! Exclamation points!

Happy people making ice cream

Happy Wednesday!