Happy Father’s Day

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Growing up, everyone always said I looked exactly like my Dad but I never saw it until today. It’s insane how similar we look in every single one of these Father Daughter Dance photos. I’m fortunate to have inherited more than good looks from my Dad. Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Through his example, I know the value of hard work, and more importantly, honest work as it is never worth it to cheat or lie to get ahead. Without my Gary, I would not love big cars, black Dobermans or the middle of nowhere as much as I do today.

We had so much fun at every single one of these father daughter dances. Although the themes in third and fifth grade were unclear, we always had fun dressing to the themes of the other dances, such as Hollywood in first grade, Hawaii in second, and The Wild West in fourth. Because I went to a Catholic middle school, our annual tradition of attending the Ladies Choice event didn’t have to end until eighth grade. I would share those photos as well, however, middle school was such an awkward stage, I couldn’t bring myself to publish the evidence on the internet… too cringe worthy.

I’m so glad my Dad and I got to have fun nights out every year for eight consecutive years. I’m so lucky to have the supportive father that I do, one that willingly moves me in and out of college and shows up to trailer my friends and I out of a show; one that supports me in my education and in my hobbies. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I got you a hammock for me to lay in, it’s on the way!!!

Donut Day

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Happy National Donut Day! I celebrated by picking up a half-dozen of Allie’s Donuts to bring home plus some extras to eat in the car, they’re just the best! I made sure to coordinate my first donut of the day with my outfit; did you really celebrate Donut Day if you didn’t twin with your donut? I think not. Whoever came up with the idea for this holiday is simply genius, it’s definitely on my list of favorites.

Easter Sunday

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Happy Easter! This morning I woke up to a lovely Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies on the front porch next to some beautiful daffodils. I then went for my annual Easter egg hunt that was a little different this year. My parents hid eggs throughout the woods so I’d have to follow the trail to get to different ‘baskets’ which were actually Lilly bags! Inside the bags I found two adorable Lilly shifts (one of which I’m wearing today),  some more chocolate and an adorable button down! It was so much fun to walk through the woods with my parents and dogs while Easter egg hunting. My puppy Delila ended up helping me find some of the eggs I missed. We spent the remainder of the day having dinner and spending time with family. He has truly risen, Alleluia!

The Easter Horse

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Jupiter transformed into the Easter Bunny this afternoon! EveryBUNNY loves carrots, and he was no exception. I made the mistake of feeding him an entire carrot before our little photoshoot was over and was blessed with some lovely photos of him chewing as he thoroughly enjoyed himself- too cute! He surprisingly didn’t mind wearing the bunny ears, he’s such a good sport. Afterwards, he was treated to a nice long trail ride cantering through the woods. He even got to jump over a little log. We had such a fun day, now it’s time to get excited for Easter!

Lenten Sacrifice

I can’t believe tomorrow is Ash Wednesday! For the past week or so, I’ve been thinking about what to give up this year. Every year, thinking of something seems to get more and more difficult. I’m beyond the point of giving up something frivolous such as chocolate or sugar, especially since giving up one of those things would make me unhappy and less likely to spread love to those that I encounter. I’ve noticed many of my friends also struggling to think of something to give up for Lent this year, so I complied a list of ideas including some I’ve done in past years and some that I’m considering doing this year. Many of these ideas include giving up nothing at all. You don’t necessarily have to give something up for Lent. The idea behind a Lenten Sacrifice is to prepare for the coming of our Savior. We want to be as pure as possible by the time Easter Sunday rolls around. For this reason, it is important not to be selfish in our sacrifices and to make sure we aren’t taking on too much. It’s better to abstain from one thing well than to fail at several and get nowhere spiritually.  Remember, the whole reason for Lenten Sacrifice is to get closer to Christ.

  1. Go to Adoration weekly: You can also decide to attend stations of the Cross and other Lenten services offered by your parish. Just make sure that before you pledge to do this, you’ll be able to follow through and attend everything you plan to.
  2. Community Service: Why not give back more this Lenten season? Set aside time every week to give back to your community and grow closer to Christ.
  3. Be More Friendly: This is what I “gave up” for Lent last year. By the time Easter rolled around, it had become a routine. I’m still far from perfect, but I’m more likely to be friendly to others now than I was a year ago.
  4. Going to mass weekly: Okay, this one will only work if you aren’t attending mass every weekend already. Doing this for the season of Lent will put you in the routine of going every weekend and hopefully make you keep going after Easter.
  5. Going to daily mass: I love going to daily mass, and hopefully, one of these years, I’ll be able to do this everyday for Lent. Unfortunately, my school schedule has been too busy and unpredictable both in years past and now to fully commit to doing this.
  6. Stress: Giving stress up for Lent can definitely backfire and cause you to stress about not stressing. But, it is also a really beneficial and healthy thing to give up for Lent. It allows you to focus on whats more important and prepare for the Resurrection of Christ. My friends and I tried this one out junior year of high school and it worked. I definitely stress less to this day.
  7. Pray a decade of the rosary every day: This one is definitely easier said than done. Although it sounds quick and easy, pulling out your beads every day for the next 40 days is going to take dedication. If you do decide to commit, listening to rosary on tape in the car is a way to make this one easier.
  8. Swearing: I don’t think swearing is necessarily anti-Catholic but its not very classy and in the  wrong context can be disrespectful. Giving up negative and hateful speech, wether it be curse words, gossip or bullying for Lent would be a great idea if that’s something you’re struggling with.
  9. Go to Confession weekly: Again, if you’re doing this already it probably won’t count as a Lenten Sacrifice, and just like going to weekly mass, this is an idea that could easily paired with something else.
  10. Daily Prayer: Setting time aside every day to pray and be with Christ is very important, especially in the 40 days leading up to Easter. There’s no time like the present to get closer to God. You could even mix it up and pray to a different Patron Saint every day for intervention for different intentions.
  11. Acknowledge others: Instead of looking down at your phone or failing to smile at others when you walk by them on the street or in the hallway, say hello or smile at them instead. It’s a good way to be friendly and spread positivity and the spirit of Christ to those you encounter.
  12. Complaining: I’m definitely guilty of complaining a lot, and it’s a bad habit I need to kick. Complaining frequently makes you look like a negative person who isn’t grateful for what you have.
  13. Your Phone: Not completely; don’t panic! So many people are glued to their phones to the point that they’d rather be on it than have a legitimate conversation with the person sitting across from them. Others are so addicted that they’ll go on it instead of doing work, homework, or real world activities. It this is you, be conscious of your phone consumption for Lent or limit yourself to one phone battery every day. If that still seems like too much, try turning it off every time you’re planning on working or spending time with someone instead.

 

Valentine

Happy St. Valentines Day from Jupiter and I! Even though I won’t be seeing him today due to the few hundred miles separating us, he’s still my Valentine. He’s the cutest, sweetest little boy who tries so hard to please and never fails to put a smile on my face. I love him so much!

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2016 Reflections

2016 was a crazy year filled with changes and memories that I will have forever. It’s the year I turned 18, graduated high school and moved 346 miles away from home to attend college in Washington, DC. This year I became more independent than I ever have been before; I even learned how to do laundry.

 

The year started hectic and overwhelming at school. I finished applying to colleges and prepared to attend my final winter ball, dateless, of course. Next thing I knew, it was February and I was celebrating my 18th birthday with a snow day. However, I hardly looked my age. I’m still mistaken for a twelve year old and every time I present my ID at an airport I’m gawked at and asked about my ‘real’ age. Seriously. I also won my senior prom dress via a social media contest which was definitely a highlight of the year that I’ll remember forever.

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Before I knew it, March had arrived and acceptance letters began arriving. I was accepted everywhere I applied. I remember being shocked when I got into Boston College and George Washington, my two top choices. Nearly 20% of my graduating class had also applied to these schools and out of all of us, the schools chose me.

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With April came the stark realization that high school was coming to an end, and that I had to find a prom date. I played my last orchestra concert and began to finish up my classes to prepare for AP exams. I voted in my first primary election.  I looked high and low trying to find a prom date, even stopping at Dave’s market a few too many times to scope out potential dates.  I went on college visits and visited my grandparents for the first time in Florida. Before I knew it, May first had arrived and it was time for me to make a crucial decision: where I would attend college. I honestly had no idea. I couldn’t make a wrong choice, yet sometimes I wonder if I did. I sat down at my computer and at that very instant made a decision. I logged into my George Washington account and sent my deposit. I was headed to DC.

 

But first… I had to finish up high school. A few weeks later I was pinned as an alum and took my final exams. I celebrated with my class at our Baccalaureate Mass and our Class Day. I got my first spray tan and headed to prom, with a date! And just like that High School was over; the only thing left to do to graduate.

On June 6, 2016, I walked down the aisle of the Cathedral and graduated from high school. The summer that followed was one for the books. I rode amazing horses, made amazing friends and went on numerous adventures. I got my wisdom teeth out, registered for my first classes, cursing my new school all the while, and biked 10 miles daily.

In the blink of an eye it was August 27th and I was in the car heading to DC. Once I arrived at The George Washington University I headed to hand pick my own dorm. Yes, I’m just that special. I slid down the Lincoln Memorial and excelled in my first classes.  I cooked dinner for myself every night and (somewhat) got used to living with my peers. I flew home every chance I got and had a say in who was elected president for the first time via mail in ballot. DC was my playground and I was exploring it. I frequently walked to Georgetown and ran across a highway to get there the first time, before I learned the safe shortcut. I made friends, visited museums and the National Christmas Tree.

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After what felt like the quickest semester of my life, yet the slowest, I flew home for Christmas, and to ring in the new year. 2016 was a great one. I accomplished a lot and experienced many milestones. I will never forget this year and all I learned. 2016 was a year of breaking the boundaries of my comfort zone to allow for new growth. I’m sure 2017 will be similar in that aspect, yet, I can’t help but hope it will be a more comfortable year, still filled with adventures, laughs and memories to last a lifetime.