It’s More Than Just A Backpack

Standard

During my teen years, for almost a year, I lived with my Grandma and Grandpa on my mom’s side. Not having a stable home made things difficult for me, having a stable home when growing home helps makes high school some what easier. I am forever thankful that my Grandma and Grandpa were there for me and are still always here for me no matter what.  Throughout that year, I lived at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the weekdays and I would go home sometimes on the weekends. The things i treasured most were split half and half at the two houses I was living at during that time.

The things that I carried with me were the things that i needed on a daily basis or things that were held dear to my heart. I carried a backpack with me and inside where my medications, clothes, my glasses and contacts, phone charger, backpack, and the things i needed to get ready for school in the morning. The things that I carried that i held dear to my heart were pictures of my family and pets, my favorite book, my jornal,my ipod, and the comfort of my family, Those things and people helped me get through that difficult time because they spoke to me in several different ways

Being a soldier, I could not imagine being able to only bring what is needed in one backpack. The main thing a soldier needs is food and water, being at war, those are the two most important things. And those two things being the most important would most likely take up more than half of one’s back pack. Each soldier carries diffirent things in order to survive at war. Clothes is another thing that was mentioned in “The Things They Carried.” Soldiers fight to stay dry,weather it’s too cold or hot outside. I’m sure a soldier could never pack too many clothes into their backpack. But space is limited and ends up weighing about 90 pounds.

backpack_1466801c

I couldn’t imagine how difficult being at war is with only a few friends that were made along the way, and no family. My cousin Joe, is in the Air Force and last year he was deployed to Afganistan. The things he carried with him to get him through the difficult time wertr the letters that his family and friends sent him. Having very little time to do anything by free will, there was not much time to even think. The letters are what got him through that difficult time.

For that little time of living between two houses and the things that mattered to me spilt into two doesn’t seem so impossible. I couldn’t imagine having piecesof paper being the only thing I hold dear to my heart during a difficult time. My prayers always go out the soldiers fighting for our freedom and risking it all every day. Every person has certain things they need to survive and certain things that help during the difficult times. It just takes the right things for a person to over come a difficult time, and even the right people.

The Pelicans In My Grandpa’s Pond

Standard

When I was five years old, my parents decided that we were going to go visit my dad’s parents, my grandma and grandpa in Florida. That was my tenth road trip to go see my grandma and grandpa, and my brother’s sixth time. We went to visit them twice a year, Christmas and during the summer. They would come visit us Thanksgiving and Easter for a week.  Each visit was only a week, as seeing how my dad always had to work and was considered lucky to get off twice a year for a week each visit. It was the beginning of July when my parents decided to go on that road trip, we were able to spend the hot Fourth of July in Florida with my grandma and grandpa.

Being five years old, I was starting to become very curious and adventurous and my brother looked up to me. My grandpa found that out about me quickly and decided to take my brother and I to the pond in their back yard and teach us how to fish. He took us to the garage and let us watch him put a fresh slimy worm on his large pole and my small pole. My brother was still too young to have a fishing pole of his own, so he was going to help our grandpa bring in his big fish. After our grandpa baited our hooks we followed him to the big blue pond out back with several large pelicans and a small boat.

ImageMy grandpa took about a half hour to teach me how to cast my small pink fishing pole into the large pond. My brother became impatient, so he put us into his small boat and then casted out both of our fishing poles, then the wait for a bite began. While we waited my grandpa kept sipping from his beer and explaining that we needed to be patient in order to bring in a big fish. As we waited for a bite, we watched the pelicans on the other side of the pond straight across from us. After being there for awhile, I noticed two of the large pelicans flying in the sunset sky with fish in their mouths.

I decided to ask my grandpa why did the pelicans have fish in their mouths, and he told my brother and I that’s how fish end up in his pond. The pelicans helped out my grandpa by bringing him big fish to the pond to fish for and to eat for dinner. He told us that the pelicans were helping my grandpa catch big fish because he couldn’t do it alone. Fishing for almost two hours in the pond, my grandpa and brother caught six big fish and I caught two fish. We walked back up to the garage and grandpa showed us how to clean the fish with water. After my brother and I showed our parents and grandma our fish and Grandpa was done showing us how to clean the fish, he told my brother and I to go take a bath while he cooked the fish for dinner.

ImageWhile my mom was giving me a bath, I told her about how we saw the pelicans when we were fishing in grandpa’s pond. Mom was washing my hair and she asked me if we saw the pelicans eat any fish. I smiled and said mommy they don’t eat the fish, they help grandpa bring big fish into the pond. My mom brought my dad into the bathroom and had me explain what I told my mom to him. My dad smiled and laughed and went outside by my grandpa. When I was fourteen my dad, grandpa, brother, and I were walking to the back yard to go going fishing in the pond  and my dad told me what my grandpa use to tell my brother and I about the pelicans. My dad said that my grandpa told my aunt and him the same exact story when they were younger so they wouldn’t get upset that the pelicans were eating all of the fish in the pond.

What Type Of Driver Are You?!

Standard

There are many different types of drivers on every main road, back road, highway, and frontage road. Every state has different rules that apply to the roads and highways, such as speed limits. Being a driver consists of being cautious and aware of other drivers, every single time we get into our vehlicles to drive. Some drivers may be excellent at driving, but the people driving around us are not nesessarily always excellent drivers. It is up to us to make sure we are as safe as possible while driving because you never now what can happen. When driving, not to many people think about what type of drivers are driving around them. The truth is, any type of driver can be around you at any time while driving.

blog 6

One of the personalitlies that we should be aware of while driving is the diligent drivers. A diligent driver is an extremely conscientious drivers who consistently follows the rules of the road. Following the rules of the road is diligent because being too careful can cause an accident, just like a reckless driver can.The drivers around the diligent drivers are at least going five over the speed limit and on the highway this may cause a problem. Following the rules can also be a good thing because the diligent drivers are more aware of their surroundings when driving. Even pulling into or out of a drive way, and as well as a parking space. Another positive to being a diligent driver, is having fewer chances of getting pulled over by a police officer for speeding.

blog six second pic

A neutral navigator is a driver that takes a steady “middle-of-the-road” approach to driving and typically goes with the flow. Being a neutral navigator consists of going with flow because neutral drivers find driving some what relaxing or enjoyable. They feel that they will get to their destination when they arrive at their own speed. Neutral navigators tend to be most of the driving population because most drivers are driving to or from work and find that part of their day relaxing. Just rushing to get to a destination can cause more problems and accidents. That’s why neutral navigators like to stick to a safe and simple drive as much as possible. These drivers tend to do five over the speed limit because it is a reasonable approach to driving.

blog 6 last picA courageous commuter is a bold driver who does what it takes to overcome the obstacles and complexities of daily driving. Courageous commuters are often reffered to as aggressive and dangerous drivers. On the highway these drivers are swerving in and out of lanes to get to where they need to be as soon as possible. Courageous commuter’s may also not enjoy driving or do not simpily have the patients to. Most drivers around a courageous commuter are unfortunatley going too slow for them. Courageous commuter’s are the drivers that tend to be at fault for a car accident due to reckless driving. It is important to always be aware of courageous commuter’s because these driver’s are an accident waiting to happen.

Being a diligent driver, a neutral navigator, or a courageous commuter all have there pros and cons. No matter what type of driver you are, there is always a chance of an accident. There is always a chance of being a cautious driver, no matter what type of driver you are. Where ever we drive there are always rules that apply to each and every driver. Wheather drivers decide to follow the rules or not, is completely up to them. There are very minor consiquences to being a diligent driver and there a many more consiquences to being a courageous driver. Being a neutral navigator places drivers in the middle of being a diligent driver and a courageous commuter. What type of driver are you?

The Essential Experiences Of Canada

Standard

Just a little over a year and a half ago, Addison and Bella planned for their vacation to Canada. When Bella was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, they decided that they were going to live life to the fullest together. Being best friends since high school, they had only gone out of town together twice; both times being just for the weekend. When Bella over came the battle with breast cancer, in less than a month, they finished their plans for their vacation. As planned, they were going to vacation for a week this time, not just a short weekend trip. Nothing was going to hold these best friends back from having a good time on their vacation to Canada.

canada

They packed Addison’s red Italian sports car full of their belongings. Since space was seriously limited in the vehicle, they had to strap some of their luggage on the roof of the car. Finally after an hour of trying to fit everything into the car like a game of Tetris, they were about to head out. That is, until Addison claimed she forgot the most important part of this vacation. Of course, she came back with her GPS and a box of alcohol. They could not stop laughing because they had to shove the alcohol under the seats, the car was crammed and there was offically no room.

blooogg 555

About an hour into the trip, Bella realized that Addison had been sipping alcohol out of a pink breast cancer flask since they left the house. Bella had only noticed she was drinking because Addison loves to sing when she starts to feel the alcohol consume her. Bella couldn’t believe that Addison was going to turn this vacation into a party, so she decided to confront her about her drinking problem. She claimed it wasn’t a problem at all and that they were just celebrating Bella’s triumphant battle against breast cancer and living life to it’s fullest. Bella knew that Addison had been drinking much more often since her husband left her for another woman. It was especially rough for her after being sick for the last five years and constantly checking in and out of the hospital. Bella had no idea it had become such a problem in Addison’s life. That was the one thing she didn’t know about her best friend until that long drive, so she decided to take over driving. There was nothing else Bella could do at this point.

After a few days of trading shifts driving and sleeping, they were finally in Canada. When they finally reached the beautiful cabin they were going to be staying in for the next week they both got cleaned up and ready to go out to dinner. On their way home from dinner, they decided to drive around and do some sight seeing of the breathe taking scenery around them before going back to the cabin. They parked in a parking lot and stepped out on a large deck that overlooked the land. The best friends talked about life together, what they did best.

blog 5

They then look at each other and hear a cry for help, not a very loud cry, but it most certainly was someone far away screaming for help. They both start walking towards the cry and when they finally reach the origin there is a middle aged man sitting on the ground and his legs partially in the water. In his bloody left hand is one of the biggest fish I have ever seen. In his right hand was a large knife. When Bella asked the man what happened, he cryed out that he was trying to gut the fish and cut open his hand by accident. Addison ran to her car to get the first aid kit from the trunk of her car while Bella stayed with the man to help put pressure on the wound.

blog five # 2

When she returned back from the car with the first aid kit, they both began to clean up the man’s hand to see where exactly the cut was. Before Addison’s husband left her and she became an alcoholic she was an RN, a good one. Unfortunately, some things got the best of her and now she says selling Avon makes her happier than being an RN. They decided to take the man to the hospital because his arm wouldn’t stop gushing blood. In the E.R, the gentleman admitted he was just trying to have a relaxing time drinking and fishing, but it became more about the drinking when he became bored with the fishing. All that drinking led to him to become hungry so he decided that he was going to cook his dinner right then and there.

When the doctor finished wrapping up Brad’s hand and arm, he told him that he was very lucky that he was still alive because if the knife would have went any further into his nerve he could have easily been left at that lake to die if it weren’t for Addison and Bella. After they took Brad home and he thanked them several times, he said that he couldn’t believe how much alcohol he had consumed and that he is thankful that the accident wasn’t any worse than what it was. When we finally got back to our cabin, Addison started pouring out the bottles of alcohol into the empty sink. Bella asked what she was doing, and Addison said i’m done being blind and need to start being thankful for the gift of being alive every day.

bloggggAddison learned something from a stranger that day. If it weren’t for Addison meeting Brad, who knows what, if anything at all would have made her realize she was starting down a dark path. Bella hopes that Addison continues to stay in the mindset that she was in an hour ago. It would be hard for Bella to seek help for her best friend to overcome becoming an alcoholic. Both Addison and Bella have gone through a battle in life, maybe even several battles, but at least they are able to go through life together by each other’s side.

The Gentleman Who Holds My Heart

Standard

It’s particularly hard for me to choose one single person that I love because I have so many wonderful people in my life that I am thankful for. The person that truly has my heart, is my boyfriend of almost five months. Andrew and I went to high school together and we were really good friends, but after high school we went our seperate ways to start our journey of life in the real world. We were always there for each other no matter what, he was one of the few people I could actually trust. One of the many reasons Andrew is so special to me is due to the fact that he is still that person I can easily open up to and trust. Just this summer Andrew followed me on twitter and shortly after I decided to write my old friend a message. Just like old times, we bonded so quickly and there hasn’t been a single day we haven’t talked since.

Over the summer, he stayed in California with his uncle to spend time with family and work. The very end of August, Andrew came home from California. We made plans to meet up and hang out at the beach the same day he came home. At that point, I hadn’t seen Andrew in almost three years. The butterflies in my stomach were indeed overwhelming. Seeing him August 31st is undescribable, I have never had so many emotions approach me because of a person in less than a few seconds. That day was very significant to me and still is to this day, we talked for hours just watching the waves roar over the rocks. Both of our eyes caught the light house and I mentioned that I had always wanted to go there. Andrew said, “Let’s go on an adventure!” Another reason Andrew is so special to me is the fact that he is always up for trying new things. 

blog

Our relationship started on September 23rd when Andrew looked at me like no other person has before and asked me if I would do the wonderful honor of being his girlfriend. The emotions and butterflies once again returned, just like the day I seen him after three very long years. Those butterflies that came along with the many emotions did not fail to tell me that he was the man for me, the man for my heart and soul. The butterflies and the emotions that Andrew give me still to this day is a constant reminder of why he is so special to me. September 23rd was the beginning of an amazing journey and the start of something so powerful.

Andrew is the deffinition of a gentleman. Before dating Andrew, I didn’t even have the slightest clue of what a gentleman was or acted like, other than my father. He has a great amount of respect for not only me, his family and friends, but for my family and friends as well. Andrew would bend over backwards for the people that matter most to him, never have I met a man of his word. Andrew being a gentleman is special to me because it shows how much of a caring man he truly is. Holding or opening doors for me or other people, having good manners, good with his actions and words, having respect, and always offering guidance is Andrew, a gentleman.

Throughout our journey, we have created so many wonderful memories together. Andrew has expressed to me what it feels like to be in love. Every day is an adventure and a new memory created, with many more to come. Andrew is special to me for endless reasons, but the most important one is that each and every day he reteaches me to live life to the fullest. Never in the last twenty years did I think someone capable of teaching me how to live life, but Andrew most certainly has over these past months. Even though Andrew and I have been dating only for almost five months, I feel like we have been together so much longer because of the amount of effort we put into our relationship to make our bond stronger.

wedding

Andrew is so special to me because of the amount of space he has in my heart. The fact that I can open up to him so easily and trust him with my life allows me to be myself with him. He drives me to try new things, even things I never thought would cross my mind to try. Feelings I thought I never knew existed have been expressed to show my love for Andrew. I can now talk to him about my feelings, which has always been a struggle for me to do. My caring boyfriend has shown me how i should be treated, and what a gentleman is. Andrew has taught me how live life to the fullest and to always make sure there is never a dull moment. Being able to take his hand in this precious life every day knowing that I am loved is special. What the future has in store for Andrew and I will only be told with time, but until then I am going to hold what is special to me close to my heart and enjoy the journey of life.

Magical Chalk That Brings A Magical Summer . . .

Standard

This morning when I woke up, I decided that I was going to do laundry and clean the house today. As I am cleaning up after lunch, I tell the children, “You guys should go play in the back yard because mommy has to clean and do some laundry.” Andrew, my husband, goes outside with our children to mow the yard and keep an eye on them. Before I start cleaning, I bring Chloe and Chase both a juice box because it is pretty hot outside today. When I return back inside, I start gathering everything I need to clean. Being OCD, everything needs to be cleaned in this house and it needs to be done perfectly.

I start cleaning in Chloe’s room because she has so many toys laying around that need to be sorted through. As I am taking everything out of her toy bins, I find this box of chalk that my mom got Chloe for Christmas. I bring the chalk out by Chloe, “Chloe, this is the second time that dad has told you that the chalk needs to stay put away in the garage. It needs to stay out here hunny.” I hand it to her and she empty’s the box of chalk onto the driveway and screams, “Chase, want to draw with this chalk mom found?” He runs over by Chloe to draw. I hurry back inside to continue sorting through the toy bins.

After Chloe’s room, I move into Chase’s bedroom to clean. I hear a knock at the door, which is strange because Andrew and I weren’t expecting anyone. I drop Chase’s sheets and pillow cases on the floor and head to the front door where I hear a second knock. I unlock the screen door and open it, looking around there is no one to be found. I return back to bringing the sheets and pillow cases to the laundry room to put them in the wash machine and to move Chloe’s sheets and pillow cases from the dryer back to her bedroom. As I open the dryer door, the sheets I put in there aren’t there. I go to Chloe’s room to look to see if I maybe brought the sheets in there already, but the sheets were already on her bed and covered in pink chalk.

Blog 3

The door bell rings again, I run for the door this time and I see a pink stick figure skipping to the back yard with some flowers in this “things” hand. I run downstairs to the back yard and I see Chloe and Chase talking to the pink stick figure, I know for a fact Chloe drew that stick figure because how it’s hands are tiny. “Mommy, the chalk grandma gave me is MAGIC! Everything brother and I draw comes to life! Try it mommy!” I walk closer to my children in shock, I can’t even process this. My husband gets off of the lawn mower and heads towards me, Chloe explains to Andrew what happens when they draw with the chalk. My troubled husband and I just stare at each other. He takes the green chalk from my hand and draws a vase for the stick figures flowers. It comes to life too!

My husband then decides to crank out the hose and point it at the pink stick figure and blast it with water, it vanishes. Andrew looks at me and smiles, his smile tells me that he has an idea. Instead of cleaning the house and doing laundry, Andrew, Chloe, Chase, and I decide to make a river with rafts. When the drawing comes to life, Andrew and the kids change into their swimming suites and jump into the river. I on the other hand, am giving my mother a call. “Mom, that chalk you gave Chloe for Christmas is…” my mom cuts me off and says, “magical dear? enjoy.” and she hangs up the phone. I’ve always known with a little bit of imagination, something can go a long way, but I’ve never heard of magical chalk. Instead of doing house chores that day, I decided to spend the rest of the day with my family.

This summer day had the same meaning as Christmas Day, to celebrate with your family. It doesn’t have to be a birthday or a holiday to spend time with your family. Sometimes we take the people we love for granted without realizing it. I’m glad I realized it today with this magical chalk, because if it weren’t for the chalk my mom gave to Chloe for Christmas, I would still be inside the house cleaning and doing laundry. I am going to enjoy the rest of my day with a drink in my hand, sitting in a raft with Andrew in the river while watching our kids play with their friends. Cleaning and laundry can now wait until I put my two wonderful children to sleep tonight and every time I decide to clean from here on out. It will most certainly be a magical summer to say the least.

yes

The most beautiful smile I ever saw . . .

Image

Throughout my four years at Union Grove Union High School I was in choir. I have been in choir since first grade at Dr. Jones Elementary School. I have a strong passion for singing and as well as music in general. Most of my knowledge on music and singing was learned throughout my four years of high school by Mrs. Novaez. Not only did she teach her class the material we needed to know, but she also taught us how to have a great outlook and attitude towards people and any situation that is capable of occurring in life.

I learned so much over those four years and so many memories were created with the choir family. In choir, my class and I were offered some unbelievable once in a life time opportunities because Mrs. Novaez believed in us. We have sang places that people dream of going to. By my senior year of high school, I had easily sang in front of hundreds of people. I have sang at Milwaukee Brewer Game’s, Hockey games, nursing homes, hospitals, museums, veteran’s homes, many performance centers, and in Hawaii. As a group, we also put on several concerts a year at Union Grove Union High School. We even toured to other schools every year.

choir fam

Choir was were I wanted to spend all of my time in high school. Mrs. Novaez is what made the choir family, she had so much love to share and was truly an amazing person that we all looked up to. She and her husband, Captain Novaez, didn’t have any children of there own, but they always said the choir family were their many children. When Mrs. Novaez was with Captain she had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen, they truly loved each other. When my senior year finally came, it was to good to be true. Everything I worked for in choir the last three years of high school lead up to my senior year. My goal was to try my best to receive a scholarship to continue singing and learning music and to turn it into a possible career.

Little did my choir family know, come October 9th, just a month into the school year, that there was going to be a turn for the worst situation for the choir and for Union Grove. Unfortunately, our beloved Mrs. Novaez and Captain hit an SUV because the driver failed to yield at a right of way on a Sunday afternoon motorcycle joy ride. Captain passed away at the scene of the accident and Mrs. Novaez passed away shortly at the hospital after surgery for her leg. Mrs. Novaez’s leg was severed when the motorcycle crashed, and she also suffered from sever internal injuries. That was the start to becoming even more of a family than we already were. The whole school was in shock for weeks, we kept asking ourselves how could something like this happen to such wonderful people. That year was not as easy as I thought it was going to be, instead, it was the hardest year of high school, the hardest year of my life.

beautiful

The choir had gone through a long process of grieving and the high school trying to find a new teacher after a week was not making it any easier on any of us. Many of us dropped out before we received a new teacher. I stayed in choir because Mrs. Novaez worked too hard for me to just walk away from it, she would have wanted me to continue singing, for all of us to continue singing. Five teacher had gone through that choir room until Union Grove Union High School found a suitable teacher. She was not Mrs. Novaez, she didn’t make me feel interested in the material we were learning at all. Truth is, I was hurt, hurt that God needed Mrs. Novaez and Captain more than the people on earth needed them. So I decided to perform in the memorial concert for Mrs. Novaez and Captain with what was left of my choir family. Then I decided to graduate high school early, I made up my mind that there was nothing left at that high school for me.

That night at the memorial concert, I can promise you Mrs. Novaez and Captain were there watching over every single one of us and even today they are. Something that night told me to graduate early and move on with my life because I had already accomplished everything I needed to there. Instead of going to college to further my education in singing and learning music, I decided I was going to do what Mrs. Novaez taught me to do best, help others, so I am currently going to college to become an RN. After becoming an RN, I plan to hopefully further my education even more and become a Nurse Practitioner in Children’s Health. Even though the two most beautiful angels that lived on earth for others were needed by God doesn’t mean there spirit has gone away, they are very much here. There children, will forever carry them in their hearts, remember the good times, and cherish the memories they shared with them because I will most certainly continue to do the same each and every day. I am eternity thankful for the angels that were brought into my life for those four memorable years of my life.