25 things I’ve learned in 25 years.

Guys, I’ve made it to quarter life.

I’ve officially been plopped down onto this Earth for 25 years now and, quite frankly, I still feel as if I should be awaiting my “monumental” 21st birthday. I don’t really know where all these years have gone, but I know they’ve happened because, obviously, today is my birthday!

Last year, I posted 24 things I wanted to accomplish and focus on. While I didn’t accomplish all of these things, I did accomplish some – I’d like to think the important ones! So, in honor of my 25th birthday, I am compiling a list of 25 things that I have learned throughout this [crazy] thing called life.

  1. There is no better drink than a fresh cup of coffee.
  2. Family is the most important thing in your life. Don’t let them go unappreciated.
  3. There are friends who will come and go. You shouldn’t get caught up on these friends; you should appreciate the constant friends who have stuck by your side through it all.
  4. Travel as much as you can, especially while you have the time.
  5. It is totally not worth looking “cute” in the winter. Bundle yourself up and keep warm. The only ones who will judge you looking like a marshmallow are the ones who are freezing cold.
  6. Mental health is important. Take a step back and a deep breath when you need it.
  7. College [whether going for an associates, bachelor’s or master’s degree] is one of the hardest paths you will ever walk upon. But in the end, to say you made it is all worth it.
  8. And speaking of college, you totally don’t need to pay full price for textbooks. Rent those suckers!
  9. It’s totally okay to eat donuts for breakfast.
  10. You can never have too many lipsticks.
  11. Or pairs of shoes.
  12. Knowing when to say “no” is the greatest strength you can have.
  13. Cut off all of your hair. Even if you don’t like it, it always grows back.
  14. Never compare yourself to anyone else. You are you for a reason. Embrace it.
  15. Seafood is definitely disgusting.
  16. Go ahead and binge watch shows on Netflix. It’s absolutely socially acceptable.
  17. Guinea pigs make for the best pets.
  18. And it’s totally okay to stalk puppy instagrams.
  19. 90’s alternative music is meant to be sung at the top of your lungs.
  20. Have a dance party in your kitchen. You will feel totally liberated.
  21. Pinterest saves lives. You will find everything you need on one website.
  22. Your one true love is out there. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.
  23. Always order dessert.
  24. Budget the heck out of your money.
  25. Your happiness is, and always be, the thing that matters the most.

Here’s to being another year older! Can’t wait to see what this year brings. xoxo.

Happy birthday, Mom.

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday.

We started the weekend by surprising her and bringing my brother home from college. Because this weekend was filled with family gatherings and celebrations – I totally did not realize that this post did not go up and there was a glitch in the scheduling of it. With that being said, happy birthday mom. Here’s your post – one day later. 

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There is no better friend, supporter, advocate, or love than that shared with your mother. While a mother’s love is the most important you can have, this is no different with mine.

My mom is one of, if not the most, important person in my life. She has sacrificed so much to raise me and it means more than I will ever be able to express in any blog post whatsoever. She is full of love and motivation, always putting the needs of me and my brother before anything and anyone else.

Thank you are two words that mean so little when comparing them to every little thing that she has done for us. Whether it is driving us to countless hockey tournaments or baton competitions, buying us the things that we want but don’t ever ask for, or trying to snuggle us on the couch, even to this day, it does not go unnoticed. For the laughter, the smiles, the lessons, the reminders; for loving, for caring, for worrying, you are the best mom in the world and for that, I am eternally grateful.

So, mom, I love you so much, to the ends of the Earth until the day I am no longer walking on it. Happy 55th birthday, you rock! xoxo.

 

One?!

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One year ago, my boyfriend and I adopted a guinea pig. To a common person, this would not be a big day because, hey, it’s only a guinea pig right? Wrong.

I had wanted a guinea pig since I was about 14 years old, but my house was never too “animal-friendly,” so it turned into something to look forward to in the future. College came and with it brought two hamsters, one that lived over three years, the other that lived under three months.

Flashback to 365 days ago, the apartment freshly moved into, my boyfriend woke up and decided there was no better day than that day – he ok’d me adopting a guinea pig. Again, to a common person, going to a pet store and adopting a guinea pig seemed as if it would be a 5-minute task, right? Wrong. I KID YOU NOT every single pet store in Western New York did not have guinea pigs available to adopt. After miss number five, we decided to be rational and call different pet stores instead of driving around like lunatics, to find that the only pet store that had one was in Niagara Falls. There we went on our merry way!

They had three guinea pigs to choose from, but Kenneth [more to come on this name choice in a second] stuck out the most and we decided to give him a forever home. Guinea pig, cage, food, hay, and accessories in tow, we made our way back to Buffalo.

We decided on the name Kenneth after watching the series 30 Rock, where one of the main characters, an NBC page, was named Kenneth Parcell. Night after night, we would watch this show and kid that this actor looked like a guinea pig, so we found it fitting to name our little lump Kenneth. Also fitting because our obsession with 30 Rock was through the roof. Another quirk about Kenneth [the guinea pig]? He is actually a girl.

This last year has resulted in many pictures, trips to the store for lettuce, the building of an Instagram fandom *follow @kenneth.the.guinea.pig* and many, many more happy memories. With that being said, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENNETH! We are trying to get you to break the world record, so we have many more birthdays to come.

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Am I lame for writing a blog post about a guinea pig? Yes. Do I care? Nope. xoxo.

Time heals all wounds.

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Ten years ago today, I lost my grandfather.

If there is anything I’ve learned over the last ten years, it’s this; I realize now that I was not as old as I thought I was at age fourteen. I remember the day he passed away, and I remember feeling so old. Heck, I was only in 8th grade. But, I remember thinking to myself how lucky I was to have had 14 years spent with him. But now, at 24, I realize that while 14 years is okay, in the overall scheme of life, it is nothing.

There are so many things my Papa missed out on – my high school graduation, my first boyfriend, winning national championships, getting my license, my acceptance to and graduation from college, just to name a few. You don’t realize at that moment how much your loved one will miss until you reach these milestones in your life and realize that there should be someone else there for you, cheering you on.

No matter how it happened, death is never fair. Each loss is equally as hard as the next. Everyone around you is sad, and everyone is sad for you. You are forced to accept change. You are forced to live a life that you aren’t used to. You think your life won’t ever be the same, and honestly, it won’t. Eventually, it will all be fine, but it will be different. The same is a new same, not the old one.

I don’t necessarily think time heals all wounds. I think time just makes them feel a little bit better, a little less painful. I don’t believe you are ever fully healed once you experience a painful loss.

If you are one of the lucky ones out there who have yet to experience a major loss, please, count your blessings. Cherish every moment. Don’t take any time spent with your loved ones for granted. Start to appreciate what you have a little more. I am so blessed to still have three grandparents with me on this earth today, but I really wish I could say I still had four physically here. xoxo.

** I also want to take the time to wish my grandmother a happy birthday. I could never in a million years imagine what her life was like on this day, ten years ago. I hope it is something I never have to experience and I admire her strength more than she probably even knows. I remember going to my grandparents’ house the night my Papa passed. There were flowers on the table from him that he had ordered to be sent to her prior to his passing, wishing her a happy birthday. Nobody should ever have to write an obituary for a significant other on their birthday, I don’t know how she did it.

 

Happy birthday to my best friend!

Today, my honey turns 26 years old, only solidifying the fact that we are now both old and approaching life after retirement. *cringes*

So on the day of your birth [I certainly hope you are reading this at one point in the next couple hours or days] I am going to tell the world why I love you so:

  1. You gave into my obsession and let me adopt a guinea pig. In addition to the whole adoption part of this, you also let me name her Kenneth, and you let her live at the apartment and sleep next to your bed. You don’t get annoyed with my 8,000 pictures of her daily, and you send me 8,000 more back. And you didn’t make fun of me when I suggested we create an Instagram page for her [PSA: FOLLOW @kenneth.the.guinea.pig – you won’t regret it].
  2. You constantly compliment me, even when I feel or look like shit. It annoys the crap out of me that you think I look just as good in sweats with no makeup as I do when I am all dressed for work, but hey, guess it could be worse!
  3. You make me laugh. You are literally the funniest person I know. And your laugh makes me laugh harder – it’s a vicious cycle.
  4. We make a good team. We can do anything together. No matter what it is, we always have a good time. We say the same things at the same times. We think the same thoughts. Sometimes our clothes even match. And, we always run the table in beer pong. *high five*
  5. We always have fun. Whether it’s eating ice cream out of the carton watching Netflix in bed, going to the store at 10PM, or going away for a mini-vacation, we always have a good time. I didn’t know trips to Wegmans could be so much fun before I met you.
  6. You always support me and my life decisions. There is not one thing that I have done with my life that you have not supported. You always tell me how proud you are of me, and that means more to me than you’ll ever know.
  7. You never give up on me. You’ve seen me at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and at the end of the day, you are always there.
  8. You love me at my best and my worst. I can act like a weirdo and you don’t question any of it. You love that I wear weird clothes and eat strange things that you don’t like. You’re always there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on or a person to laugh at. You’ve taken care of me when I was sick, and take care of me when I’m healthy.
  9. You’re so good looking. Especially with that new haircut. And dressed for work. And in crewneck sweatshirts. And always.
  10. You’re my best friend. You mean more to me than anyone in the entire universe ever has, and I’m so glad we get to adventure through this crazy life together.HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you! xoxo.

24 things I want to accomplish + focus on in my 24th year

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Today is my birthday, and I have made it my goal for this year to complete everything on this list during my 24th year of life. Let’s get it!

  • Worry less about the things that don’t matter. [I tend to stress over every little thing, so this is my main goal for this year].
  • Learn to put down my phone and pay more attention to life around me. Sometimes I can get so caught up in technology that I forget there are things happening in the now.
  • Attend at least one concert. Doesn’t matter who or where, just one
  • Get a 4.0 GPA for at least one semester. This has been a goal of mine for a while, and I always come so close, but never have accomplished this feat.
  • Religiously go to the gym [and lose 10 pounds]. I’ve been feeling kind of blah about myself lately and the way I look, so losing some weight will help build my confidence.
  • Eat better / more nutritious foods. I’m usually not too terrible in this aspect, but pizza is my friend, and also my enemy.
  • But also continue to eat ice cream every once in a while. Because who doesn’t love ice cream?
  • Drink more tea instead of coffee. I waste sooo much money on coffee, it’s borderline ridiculous. And I’ve recently gotten into a bad habit of adding cream and sugar that I don’t need.
  • Watch my brother graduate from high school. This will happen. But it’s an important milestone.
  • Send my brother off to college. He doesn’t know where he’s going yet, but he knows he is moving away from home, as every college he’s applied to is out of our hometown, so moving him out will also be an important milestone this year.
  • Reorganize / redecorate my bedroom. I desperately need to de-clutter and get rid of some old clothes.
  • Save more money. I’m usually pretty good with this, but I can definitely do better.
  • Travel. A lot. Preferably to places I’ve never been before.
  • Try seafood. I despise everything that swims, but I’m ready to try and face my fears. At least once.
  • Find a new job doing something I love. I feel like I am at a dead end with my current job, so a fresh start might be good for me.
  • Enroll in a how-to class — like cooking, painting, pottery, etc. with my best friend or boyfriend. This is something I’ve talked about a lot, but now I just need to man up and do it.
  • Continue to take dance classes once a week. I love this, so this shouldn’t be any issue to continue on.
  • Spend more time with family. I still live at home, so this isn’t hard. But with our 4 different schedules, sometimes it is harder to all sit down as family than one might think.
  • Capture more memories. Sometimes I regret not taking pictures of important moments. I need to step my game up.
  • Read more books. I love reading, but I tend to get distracted by other things. I need to force myself to make time to do this.
  • Have more me time. I tend to focus on everyone else. I need to have some time to myself to relax.
  • Start going to church more. This is a big one. I used to go religiously, going to Catholic school and all, and have really fallen off this path.
  • Spread love. So important. Everyone needs to know they are loved once in a while.
  • Be happy.