I Pledge to Always Eat Cake

DSC_0293Birthdays are a funny thing. For about the first twenty-one to twenty-five years we get excited as our birthday month rolls around. We count down the days until the big celebration. It’s a day full of cake, streamers, decorations, presents and flaunting your new digits. However, people then tend to enter into “the dark years” where they try to keep their birthday hidden from their co-workers, dread the hundreds of Facebook notification and lie about their age, in an attempt to not feel old.

On my twenty-first birthday, I had a woman say to me “enjoy your day, it’s the last ‘fun’
birthday there is.” Granted, this woman did not know me. This woman did not know that I have been a huge Taylor Swift fan for the past ten years. This woman DID NOT KNOW that to me twenty-one only meant that I was one year closer to “feeling 22.” However, recently I’ve been thinking about birthdays and why the transition into the “dark years” occurs for so many people.BirthdayCakePhoto0296

When you’re young, you can’t wait for your birthday because it means more privileges. (Ten = double digits, thirteen = teenage years, sixteen = drivers license, eighteen = officially an adult/buy lotto tickets/gamble at win-star/buy cigarettes, and twenty-one = weekend in Vegas) After that, birthday’s just make you feel more ancient by the year.

However, while you could look at each birthday as another year gone, another year closer to the grave, I choose to take a different approach.

Each birthday is a celebration of another year God blessed me with life on this earth. Another year of memories and accomplishments. Some people don’t make it to their 21st birthday. Some are lucky to see 60. So each birthday should be a bigger celebration that the last.

Today I’m making a pledge in-front of the entire world (well to the 8 relatives and 3 friends who will probably read this blog post) and I hope you pledge along with me. I pledge to celebrate every birthday with as much excitement and joy as I did my sixteenth, eighteenth, and twenty-first. I pledge to always be proud of my age, eat way to much cake and let anyone and everyone wish me a happy birthday.

Just remember, like wine, some things are better with age.

Happy Birthday to all the July birthday babes out there. “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!”

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September 12th

13644232_10207208854481573_1977416454_nIt’s said that the best day of a women’s life is her wedding day. It’s a day when she gets to dress up like a princess, throw a big party, be surrounded by hundreds of flowers and her family and friends. It’s a day when she gets to marry the man of her dreams and start their forever.

Thus far, the best day of my life was September 12, 2015- my big brother’s wedding day and here’s why:

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. I used to love nothing more than curling up on the couch and watching the latest Nicholas Sparks movie or reading another one of my countless romantic novels. However, in the years leading up the September 12th I had grown very cynical. I began to doubt “True Love,” deeming it as a mere fairy-tale. Whenever my “someday wedding” was brought up, I would shut it down, saying I was never getting married. However, September 12th opened my eyes. It made me believe again.

On September 12th, 2015 I watched my big brother marry the women of his dreams. As I stood up at the front of the church and watched Nicholas see his bride for the first time- I lost it. {For those of you who were at the wedding, I apologize that you had to see my ugly crying. ;D) I had never seen him that excited, that nervous, that happy…that in love, in my entire life. Instantly I knew, true love did exist because they had it.

On September 12th, my big brother gained a wife and I gain13644281_10207208855961610_592260887_ned a sister. I now have someone who I can vent all my boy problems to, knowing I’m going to have the most logical advice come my way. I have a sister who’s always there to give me fashion advice, and tips on how to be a successful women in the business world. I have a sister who texts me saying she misses me and reminding me to stay safe on my nights out with friends. Most of all, I have a sister who makes Nicholas take cute photo’s with me (thanks again for the Fourth of July photo. ;D).

When they got engaged I was overjoyed with excitement for them.However, I was also selfishly scared. I thought I would be losing my brother. He’d start this whole new life, with a whole new family. However, the exact opposite happened. Not only did I gain a sister, but I gained an entire new family as well.

This past Fourth of July weekend I laid on the back dock, staring up at the stars, with my eyes filled with tears. I had just had the most amazing day. I went shopping with my sister-in-law and her mom and ran around on the beach. I watched dolphin’s swim and jump through the bay, and as I sat on the boat filled with my brother’s new family they felt like my family too. I had watched Nicholas and Rosalyn bring out the best in one another. I watched them love each other AND their flaws and hoped I would find a love like that one day. I laid there staring at the stars thanking God that he sent Rosalyn into our lives.

Maybe someday my “dream wedding,” will become a reality. I’ll be at a church in Italy, wearing a white dress with sunflowers in my hand, about to marry the man of my dreams. Maybe someday THAT will be the best day of my life. However, for now September 12th is my favorite day because it’s the day I learned to believe in love again. I gained a sister. I gained a new family, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

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Only love can overcome hate 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome to world!” John 16:33 ••• Thursday night hatred struck the city that I love. Hatred struck the city I call home. The Dallas Police Department protects me every day on my commute to work. The Dallas Police Department helps keep me safe every time I venture into the big city I love. They make the concerts, festivals, and fairs-possible. They put their life on the line to keep their city safe. Thursday night was an act of pure hatred and evil. I’m praying for the hero’s who’s lives were taken and their family and friends who will surely miss them. I’m praying for Dallas- I’m praying for the world. Violence is never the answer. Only love can overcome hate. 

The Little Peach House

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It’s amazing how one small peach house can cause so much happiness and so many tears.

When I was three years old a family moved next door- “The Neighbors.” Within no time at all their daughter had become my best friend/the sister I never had. Her family became my family. When I walked through their front door, I felt at home. We grew up together, and so many memories were captured in that little peach house. Afternoon’s filled with arts and crafts, mornings spent watching T.V. in our PJ’s, and countless dinners laughing hysterically around the table. Those memories are engraved in my mind forever, memories I’ll never forget. However, I’ll also never forget the day I was told that my second family (after thirteen years) was moving across the country. It felt like a part of me was moving with them.

Fast forward a few years and that little peach house, once again, had new neighbors moving in. Another two year old little girl, her older brother and their mother and father. Little did I know that when the moving trucks pulled away, they left behind my third family, my neighbors Part II (Not to be associated with the Zac Efron movie.) Before I knew it, I had fallen in love with all four of them, and a new baby was soon on its way. “The Neighbors Part II” became a family who I love with every bit of my heart. The kids became the little siblings I never had. Their door was always open to me, and many summer days were spent painting, baking cookies, making forts, and once again laughing around the table.

Today I heard those three words again… “We are moving,” and my heart broke. While “The Neighbors Part II” are not moving across the county, but to a house close by, I will forever miss yelling and waving good morning as we all headed to work and school. I will forever miss driving onto my street seeing my three favorite kiddos playing outside and flashing those adorable smiles my way. I’ll miss jumping in the puddles with them, making huge snowmen in the middle of our yards and having a front row seat, watching them grow up.

Change is hard. However, it’s harder when it breaks your heart but improves other’s lives in the process, because you have to put on a smile. You have to congratulate them and focus on the positives.

That little peach house has caused my heart to break. It’s caused me many tears. However, it’s also opened up to doors to the most beautiful relationships and the most wonderful memories.

As the quote goes, “We are neighbors, no matter the distance.”

Happy Birthday, Buddy

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I remember it like it was yesterday. As I walked down the hallway in my Little Mermaid nightgown, with a mess of curly ringlets falling into my eyes, I noticed a cardboard box sitting in the middle of the kitchen. Being a curious three year old, I ran over to investigate. As I peeked over the top, I saw a little white cotton ball staring back at me. I remember holding you, kissing you and screeching with excitement. I remember poking you every time you fell asleep because I wanted to play.

We grew up together. You were there during my obsession with Madeline and you expressed your love for my favorite doll by eating off both her legs. *It’s taken me a long time but I forgive you*

You were there when I loved to play house and never objected to being pushed around in a baby doll stroller, dressed up in my favorite nightgown. SCAN0177

You played along when I was determined to teach you how to jump though a Hulu Hoop (which you totally mastered, by the way).

Most of all…throughout all years, whenever the tears came, you were always by my side ready to lick them away.

You were my first dog, my first pet. You taught me responsibility. You taught my unconditional love.

Saying goodbye to you, was by far, one of the hardest nights of my life. You had been the first one to say good morning to me for eighteen years, and I couldn’t imagine a day without you.

The past eight months have been hard. Every time I saw a cute little Bichon at work, my heart ached for you. However, while saying goodbye brought heartache, it’s worth it, for the eighteen wonderful years we shared. Your name might have been Lucky, but it was me who was lucky to have you.

Happy Nineteenth Birthday, Buddy. Love you forever.

 


There is a saying:

 “Every once and a while, a dog enters your life and changes everything.”

If you are looking to add a few paw prints to your heart, check out the link below. Save a life. Make a difference.

https://www.petfinder.com/

Good Old Dad

11537596_10204825791666492_8039391336020925355_okI remember the days of Father Daughter Dances, home-made pizza nights, early morning bicycle rides and afternoons filled with hide and go seek. I remember the nights, everyone gathered around the table, you wearing that silly Rudolph sweatshirt and telling jokes that resulted in a table full of laughter.

I remember when you took me to my first concert *you created a monster by the way.* You surprised me with pit tickets to Hilary Duff. You borrowed my CD and listened to it on your daily commute, learning every single world. I remember you lined up all the dads, creating a barrier around all us young girls, protecting us from the crazy crowd. You watched the entire concert with people ramming into your back, but made sure to keep a smile on your face for my benefit.

Our relationship hasn’t been all roses and sunshine. We’ve argued, fought and bickered more than I’d like to admit. However, bickering aside, you have always been there for me.

Thank you watching “Father of The Bride” with me the million times I’ve asked. Thank you for our early morning talks, always having the best advice to give. Thank you for teaching me how to drive, and dealing with the tears and hysteria that came with it.

Thank you for teaching me that I deserve respect and to always respect others. Thank you teaching me about my faith and encouraging me to fall into God’s arms when times get tough.

Most of all. Thanks for being my dad. Thanks for loving me.
XOXO

Boo Boo

Happy Father’s day to all the men, on earth and in heaven, who have been there for me throughout my life. Thank you all for teaching me what real life “princes” look life.

 

 

Summer Lovin’

13428367_10207051840276316_5742435370332650328_nDallas. A city full of life and wonder. A city where the streets are filled with suits and brief cases during the day and laughter and beer at night. Dallas. A city where memories are made. A city where I feel at home.

This summer is a summer of first and a summer of lasts. Summer twenty-sixteen is my last “official summer.” Next June, ready or not…I’ll be a college graduate, thrown out into the real world. It’s been my goal to make summer twenty-sixteen a summer I’ll never forget. A summer full of learning, growing, laughing, and making memories to last a life time.


Last night was one of those nights that summers all about. One of my all-time best friends, Rachel and I headed into Dallas for a night of friends, food, art, and music. We ventured down bustling city streets filled with food trucks, trumpet players, dance lessons, and street vendors. We explored the Nasher Sculpture Center and laughed over our ridiculous analysis of each piece. We sat on a picnic blanket in the middle of the city, surrounded by hundreds of people and watched a movie beneath the stars. (Okay…it’s Dallas. There weren’t any stars, but there were twinkly lights and my eye glass prescription is getting old.)

Ready to be amazed?

I went down to Dallas with my best friend, met new people, made wonderful memories…and I only spent $10 on pizza and a drink. That’s it. {Art exhibit=free, concerts=free, movie beneath the “stars”= free, dance lesson on the street=free, and the list could go on…} As Taylor Swift once said, “The best things in life are free.” *sorry, I had too*

You may not have the funds to go to Hawaii, sky diving or backpacking through India. However, you have the choice to put away the computer and video games, turn off the T.V. and go explore. There are things, each and every day, that don’t cost a dime. So I challenge you: Make YOUR summer the best summer.

{Check back later this week for my summer 2016 bucket list <3}

 

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My Tinderella Tale

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a beautiful twenty-one-year-old princess named Tinderella… just kidding. This isn’t that kind of tale.

A few months ago, I sat on the couch watching Rom-Coms while eating Mexican food and throwing a pity party over my (what seemed like) “permanent single status.” It was at this point that my mother decided to take action. My mother decided to suggest I get a Tinder. As I began to explain the connotation behind Tinder, this suggestion became funnier and funnier. However, she stood by her original statement.

She claimed: “Bailey, tons of people meet their significant others on online dating sites. Get a Christian Mingle, get a Tinder, get something.”

I figured, what’s there to lose? (Other than my dignity.) So, I downloaded a new app. An app called Tinder.

My Tinderella days were s13230313_10206868005960573_5663576985306253031_nhort lived as I soon realized that I was looking for a prince in a sea of frogs. Now I am not saying, in any way, fashion, or form, that there aren’t good people on Tinder. I know for a fact that there are. However, as the saying goes, “you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.” Sadly many of these frogs wanted to do a whole lot more than kissing, and well…I’m just not that kind of girl. 😉

I received inappropriate pick up line after pick up line, and I talked to guys who I thought were the “good ones” only to be proven wrong.  Then, it dawned on me. What did I expect? All of my life I had been taught to “not judge a book by its cover,” but that’s exactly what I was doing. I was swiping right or swiping left based on how attractive a guy’s profile photo was. How did I expect to find someone who wanted to get to know me, not my bra size, if we were judging each other solely off of a bio and a few profile photos? What if the good guys (The ones who would make me laugh, take me to the movies, and would still think I looked beautiful in a t-shirt with no makeup) were the ones I swiped left to?

It was then that I realized the glass slipper was a few sizes too small. I kicked off the heels, deleted the app and made a big sign that now hangs on my wall:

“You don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life. To BE significant.”

I’ve always been embarrassed by my “single status.” However, since leaving the Tinder world behind I’ve been focusing on bettering myself, growing closing to my family, friends, and God. I think that’s why I’ve been so happy these past few months. I’m not looking for someone to complete me. There isn’t some void I’m trying to fill. I’m happy.

I’ve realized that it’s all in God’s plan, and as for me, I’m going to put away the dating apps and live life. If I find my prince, he will be in God’s time not on my Tinder notifications.

May We Band Together In Prayer

As much as I like to think that this world is full of rainbows, happinessBible, and butterflies, the harsh truth is that it’s not. There is anger, hatred, terrorism and evil. My heart is heavy this morning, thinking of Christina Grimmie and the pain her family and friends have ahead. My heart is heavy this morning, thinking of the lives lost in the Florida shooting and all those fighting to stay alive.

Last night, people all across America went out. Just like any other Saturday night. They flooded movie theaters, restaurants, concerts and bars: making memories, living life to the fullest. However, 50 innocent individuals didn’t make it home. 50 innocent souls didn’t live to see the sunrise, and my heart breaks for this tragedy that has occurred. Still, there are 53 individuals currently fighting to see tomorrow.

The greatest weapon is the power of prayer. May we all band together and pray for the lives lost this morning, and those who will surely miss them. May we all band together and pray that God looks over the injured and gives them strength, courage, and comfort in the days to come. As Luke 18:1 says, always pray and never give up.