Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014 Liebster Awards

I cannot believe it's already time for another round of the Liebster awards! I was nominated this year by the sweet Emily from her blog The Country Bluebird!

In case you don't know here are the rules:

-Each person must post 11 things about themselves, by answering the questions that the nominator has set for you

-Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer

-Choose bloggers, with less than 200 followers, and link them in your post.

-Go to their blog and leave them a comment to let them know! 

-No tag backs

Here's the questions I got:

1. If you could change your name,what would you change it to?
It's a running joke in my family that everyone, including me, hates my name. (Amber is TOTALLY a stripper name). In fact, my nana only calls me by nickname (typically AC). 
With that being said, I so wish my first name was my middle name, Caroline. I adore the name and even more so because it was my great grandmothers. 

2. What do you do when you need to clear your head?
As stupid as it sounds, I either go window shopping, read a book, or read blogs. Also, showers are great for me to work through things and to clear my head. Call me weird, I know!

3. What book is the most meaningful to you, and why?
This one's a toughie! Well, most recently, The Fault in our Stars. I kinda dislike how popular it's become (although, not shocked...it's really good!) because I just kinda want it to be mine only. I know how crazy that sounds, but that book is seriously a treasure and the idea that there are other people out there who can't see the beauty in it or only like/dislike it because of the movie, makes my chest hurt. I can't say enough great things about it.

4. Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world?
This one's obvious. France, duh. Actually can I just say Europe in general? I'm dying to see Greece, Spain, Germany and Amsterdam (for reasons unrelated to TFIOS...mainly to see Anne Frank's house. I've had a secret obsession with her since like 2nd grade. Wow, we are way off topic here... ending the parenthesis now). 

5. What about blogging keeps you motivated?
For me, it's a fantastic way to be able to look back on my life and the different stages of life I was in. I love being able to look back on what I was doing/feeling/wearing two years ago, so that motivates me to keep up with it for future reference. I'm totally selfish, I know.

6. Apple or Android? Which do you prefer?
I'm an apple girl. It's what I know and I would be a traitor otherwise since my oldest brother works for Apple. 

7. If you had to choose a favorite musician, who would it be?
Again, if you know me, you'd think my initial answer would be Taylor Swift, which is very true! But more recently, I've been jamming to Ed Sheeran a lot. I love his lyrics and his soulful voice. Right now, the song I'm listening to most by him is this one. So beautiful!

8. Country life or city life?
I'm a city girl by heart, but that doesn't mean I don't like escaping to the country every once in a while. Luckily some of my extended family live in the country so it's nice to visit them, but also reeeeeally nice to get back to the big town. 

9. What book character do you relate to the most?
I just finished a book called Nash and I kept thinking that I was struggling with a lot of the same things the main character, Saint, was dealing with. She had a lot of the same insecurities as I do and it gave me hope that one day I can overcome them!

10. What motivates you to get out of bed and get going?
I wouldn't say that anything necessarily motivates me, but really just a lot of obligations I have require me to actually get out of my bed. Ha! But really, I know that I want good grades, so even though I'm getting up at 6:30 everyday, I know it's worth it. Same on days when I'm working...
money > sleep
Strange concept, huh? 

11. Would you rather have dessert or entree?
Dessert ALL THE WAY. In fact, there are days where I don't even eat dinner, I just skip to dessert. Bad, Amber. Bad. 

Okay, so here are my nominees:

and here are all of your questions!

1. What is one of your funniest childhood memories?

2. If you could pick one season (Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter) to live in for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

3. What is one of your holy-grail beauty products?

4. What are your top 2 favorite movies and why?

5. What book(s) do you like to reread over and over again? If you don't do that (maybe I'm the only crazy one who does) what is your all time favorite book?

6. Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate or neither?

7. Where do you go/what do you do when you're having a bad day?

8. Who/what has made the biggest impact on your life?

9. If you have five minutes to talk to whoever you wanted (dead or alive or from the future) who would it be and what would you say?

10. Tell me about a time when you failed.
(No this isn't a job interview, I'm just curious!)

11. Name a song that you currently have on repeat!

Can't wait to hear your answers!

Monday, September 8, 2014

An Update

tap tap... screeeeeeeeach
Is this thing still on?

Welp, that was a really long, unexpected blog break!

I have excuses though! No really!! I do!

For starters, I started school again. I took a break last semester after I got my associates degree, with every intention on going back to get my bachelors. So I've started up at the University of North Texas! I'm taking 5 courses (two online) and am LOVING it so far.

I just smile while walking around campus. Now, don't get me wrong, I certainly don't regret going to community college first but there's something so magical about walking around a university. The trees, the lecture halls, the sororities, the speeding bikers passing by you...it's just this magnificent atmosphere that I am so excited to be apart of. I've also officially declared my major: Interdisciplinary Studies of EC-6th grade with a specialization in Special education.... which is just a bunch of fancy words for an elementary teacher that can also teach special ed!

All of the 5 courses I'm taking are specific to my major which makes them really interesting to me. If you're curious, here are the courses I'm taking: School and community health, Parenting in diverse families, Educational aspects of exceptional learners, musical foundations (which is a really cool class on the power of teaching with music...I have to learn to play guitar for the final!) and Linguistic studies. I'm truly loving them all so far. Ask me again in about 2 months, though!

So needless to say, school has been taking up a lot of my time recently!

Something else though has been a major event in my life over the past three weeks...

My mom and youngest brother have moved to the Sunshine State! I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here on the blog, but we are all originally from Florida, in fact, all of us were born there! It's always been a dream of ours to move back and after over 16 years in Texas and certain things falling into place, it was the perfect time. Currently, my mom is staying with my aunt in Tampa until she finds a job...she has several great leads, so fingers crossed!

Now where am I you ask?
Good question. For a while I thought it was going to be a tent on the campgrounds here in town...but a couple of good family friends offered me a place to stay temporarily. I've felt so much love from family and friends who were all so sweet and kind in welcoming me a place to live. Ultimately, a family friend, Janet, just bought a new house in Denton (where UNT is located) and I thought it was meant to be. She has a whole upstairs she's not using, so we are officially roomies! It's been so nice to be 5 minutes from campus (as opposed to the 1hr 15min drive I was doing). I am so thankful for her and to all of the other friends who were so generous to me!

So with all that being said, the past two weeks, we've packed up our apartment, moved me to Denton and my mom off to FL! There were a lot of tears sending her off, especially knowing that it's just me and my oldest brother left here in TX, but I am so excited for the future. I'm so proud that my mom is following her dreams, proud that my brother is going to be finishing high school early, and proud of myself for being brave enough to live on my own! It's been a huge leap of faith for all of us....but I have faith that we are going towards the right direction.

So anyway, that's what's been going on in my life recently. I'll be back to regular scheduled programming soon :D

Monday, August 18, 2014

Longest Yard Sale Finds

My grandparents live right off highway 157 which holds the world's longest yard sale every year (first week in August).
I've been going for about three years now and enjoy it so much! I am an avid yard sale-r...well actually my entire family is, so we all really have so much fun going!

Over the years we've learned little secrets...like where the best spots are and how to spot antique dealers vs real yard sales. 

This year I didn't walk away with too many things, but I figured I'd share my biggest find.

An elder woman had a small tent on the side of the road and we pulled over to check her sale out. 

I glanced around and didn't see anything, so I began walking back to my car.

My mom called me to come over to look into a box.
I asked her what it was and she just told me to come and see.

I'm so glad I did!

These little (ok, big!) gems were inside.
That blue...I die. 
Seriously. I about fell over when I saw these vintage blue mason jars!
I dreaded asking her how much they were because I had seen plenty at other sales for over $8 each!!!

She told me $20 for all and winked at me.

for 17 jars.
I'm pretty sure I jumped for joy then ran to the car to hide my finds from the rest of the world so they couldn't get their hands on them before I did.

Yep. I still can't believe I got all these for $20. 
I'm planning on selling a few and keeping some for me :)

I also got a few books (shocking), a brand new Kate Spade phone case for $3 and a few clothing items to sell.

Can't wait for the Longest Yard Sale 2015!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Sister

When I was a little girl, I would beg my parents for a sister. I wanted a someone to share clothes with, to paint each others nails with, someone who I could dish about the latest boyfriend drama with...everything you do with a sister. 

I realize now that sisters, just like my two brothers, can drive you crazy and I'm kinda thankful now that I never got my wish because I like being the only girl in the family.
Let's just say I get certain privileges... ;)
Which also a lot of disadvantages, but I digress. 

But when I look back on my childhood, I can see now that I really did have a sister all along. 

Maybe not the conventional kind...In fact, some may call me crazy for thinking that I consider my pet a sibling, but it's true. You see, I believe wholeheartedly that dogs (all pets for that matter) are family. 

Truth is, there's not a memory from my youth that didn't include my Char-char.

She was there snuggling with me when I skinned my knee the first time on my new bike.
She kissed my nose when I would put bows on her ears...and promptly nudged them off.

She even christened every new house we moved to with a prompt barf all over the carpet.
She entertains us at every holiday or special occasion by getting into some sort of trouble.
 and I swear she listened to me as I cried about my parent's divorce.

And as I've gotten older, of course I've realized that time is short...that life is short.

Even more so for our animals.  
Every moment is special. 

Even when they eat your perfectly cooked Christmas ham off the dining room table.

Even when you have to shovel up the dead squirrel in the backyard from their afternoon 'hunt'. 

Even when you are chasing them down the street after they took off on a leisurely run through the neighborhood. 

Those are the memories you will carry with you for the rest of your life. 
And as I pet my lovely Charlotte as she rests on her favorite orthopedic bed, (spoiled, eh?)
I smile because all that time I really did have a sister, 

and I still do... even if its only for a short while longer on this planet.

and you know what? 
I may or may not have painted her nails on occasion. 

She drew the line at sharing clothes, though.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Reading: Mini Reviews

This summer I've pretty much had my nose stuck in a book non-stop.
 (Ok, so maybe this is a regular occurrence... not just this summer)
 I wanted to get a lot of reading in before I start school in the fall because I knew I wouldn't have as much time to with schoolwork and required reading. 
I figured today I'd share what I've read this summer and post little mini reviews on each book!

Note: I'm not reviewing these in any order at all, it's purely random ;)
Synopsis are taken from Amazon

When You Reach Me

"By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late."

This is a book that I couldn't put down until I finished because I just had to figure it out. And once you do, it's like mind-blown and I did NOT see the twist coming. 
This book is genius, I tell you. Pure Genius. I'm pretty sure it's actually a children's chapter book so I finished it rather quickly. Do yourself a favor and read this book. You won't be disappointed. 

The Marked Men Series
 (read in picture order)

Synopsis for Rule:
"Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want--and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other"

I'd recommend this series for anyone who loves a good love story. They're hot and sexy but also pretty darn romantic and I like really Jay's style of writing. These are easy reads that require no thought. Rule (#1 in the series) is by far my favorite out of the three I've read (there are 4 out now, and two more coming soon) with Rome being my second fav. I've added the fourth Nash onto my continuously-growing 'To Read' list.

Fahrenheit 451

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

"Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life."

I never had to read this in school, but I've been told I really need to read it. They were right, it is a fantastic book. I actually added this to my top 5 favorite books of all time I liked it so much...haha!
There's not much to say, except that if you've never read this book before...READ IT!
I absolutely love Ray Bradbury and his writing style and I loved the little note he wrote at the end of the book. 
This is a classic book that I think everyone should read at some point in their lives!

Beautiful Disaster/Walking Disaster

Synopsis for Beautiful Disaster:
"The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match."

I just finished this series and liked it. It had some major plot holes for me that I felt weren't cleared up which kinda bothered me. But it's a cute romance love story and the characters will stay with me, nonetheless.
Once again, these are easy reads that require no thought but still are entertaining. Walking Disaster got a bit redundant at times because it is just retelling the story from the guy's point of view, but I still enjoyed peeking into his brain and feelings during the story.
  I'm hopefully going to finish the rest of the series (Beautiful Wedding and Beautiful Oblivion) soon!

Looking For Alaska

"Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .

After. Nothing is ever the same."

You know my summer wouldn't be complete without a little John Green, would it?
Once again, I've fallen in love with another one of his novels. It's brilliant and witty and funny and heartbreaking. I love this one for its own reasons, but it's my third favorite out of the three John Green novels I've read. (TFIOS, Paper Towns and LOA) 
Oh, and if you've read it and wondering my opinion about "IT" (if you've read it you'll know what I'm talking about)  I feel though it wasn't planned, but still a spur-of-the-moment choice
Let me know what your thoughts are...I ask everyone who has read it because I love hearing the different opinions on it. 

Beautifully Broken Series
(read in picture order)

Synopsis for If You Stay:
"Twenty-four-year-old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He's a tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a tough attitude to match. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with an intense guilt that he doesn't understand. What he does know is that he and his dad were left alone, and they have never been close. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the black void in his soul. He pretends that the emptiness isn't there and this has always worked . . . until he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air that Pax has never known in his life. He doesn't know how to not hurt her-but he quickly realizes that he'd better figure it out because he needs her to breathe. When the memories of his mother's death resurface to haunt Pax, Mila is there to save him from his overwhelming guilt. Mila restores his broken heart, even as she evokes his powerful, sexual desires. Now for Pax to keep Mila, he needs to work on his issues-and stop being an asshole. But is that enough to make her stay?"

This series is also a good, cheesy romance with excellent no-brainer love stories. I'd recommend these if you need a good, easy read! 
I loved If You Stay and fell in more love with the second book, If You Leave. I'm pretty sure I need a Gabe in my life ;) 
Then I read the sample of Before We Fall and decided that that relationship was too broken for me...haha. It was just a little too raunchy for me, but my friend who read it filled me in on what I missed so I skipped to Until We Fly. I liked the first two the most and enjoyed the fourth. I'm kinda curious now about the third so I will probably just end up finishing it anyway. ;)

Flat Out Love

"He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy.
So, that was Matt.  Who Julie Seagle likes. A lot.  But there is also Finn.  Who she flat out loves.
Complicated? Awkward?  Completely.
But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother's? This was all supposed to be temporary.  Julie wasn't supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers.  Especially the one she's never quite met. But what does that really matter?  Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.
But here's the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves.  And no one ever escapes unscathed."

I loved this! It was a nice light read that had me guessing the entire way though. Another book that I couldn't put it down because I just had to figure out. It has a twist...which I kinda saw coming, but it was still awesome either way. It's a good, heart-warming read that had me laughing and wiping a few tears here and there. 
I just found out there are two other novels in the series: Flat Out Celeste and Flat Out Matt, which I am totally adding onto my list. 

What books have you been reading this summer? Any I should add onto my list?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Epic Tale Of How I Missed A Plane and More Series of Unfortunate Events

A couple months ago, I missed a plane for the first time in my life, and what happened afterwords turned out to be pretty comical...
Note: This is meant to be funny and I'm not trying to complain at all because it really was all my fault! I'm kinda glad though, because now, I have a pretty hilarious (and long, sorry!) story to tell.
 (Yeah, it wasn't at all hilarious at the time, though.)

It all starts with...
 I guess this whole story begins the day before my scheduled flight. My aunt and I left our family camping trip early so we didn't have to rush home the next day to make it to the airport. That night, as  usual, my aunt and I got a little carried away with time. We were giggling and laughing until probably about 3 am, knowing full well we'd have to be up at 6am to make the 2 hour drive to the airport so I could be on time for take-off. 
I told my aunt not to worry, I'd set an alarm so we would be up at the right time. 

I awoke with a yawn and stretched my arms out feeling well rested. At that moment, it clicked. I shouldn't feel well rested on only 3 hours of sleep. Speaking of which, why do I not hear an alarm going off??
I jump out of bed faster than a speeding bullet and sprint to the next room to wake my aunt. 
My plane was scheduled for take off at 10 am. 
I had to be at the gate 1 hour before scheduled take-off.
  (I was flying Allegiant which begins boarding an hour before take off...crazy, I know)
It was at least a 2 hour drive to the airport. 

We got ready as quickly as possible and bolted out the door at around 7:20 and we were all good until we got halfway through the next town before I realized that I had forgotten my boarding pass on the kitchen table. 

Knowing I wouldn't have time to wait in line at the airport, my aunt flipped a u-turn and zoomed back towards the house.

 We were back on route towards the airport.

I made a promise to myself to calm down and not to panic...
and also not glance over at the speedometer. My aunt Denise was flying down the interstate.
Don't mess with her! haha!

We pulled into the airport just in time.
I began to feel concerned when I didn't see Allegiant airlines on any of the signs. At this point though, I didn't think too much of it and chalked it up to Allegiant just being a small airlines.

I flew out of the car, just barely kissing Denise on the cheek, and bolted to the security line.
Thankfully, there wasn't a line at all and I went right up to the TSA agent and handed him my boarding pass.

He looked at it and said "One moment, miss."
He walked away to another agent, and asked her something. I was too far away to hear, but it didn't look good, whatever it was.

"Ma'am, Allegiant doesn't fly to this airport. You have to go to the OTHER airport."
"Oh, Rickenbacker? It's on the OTHER side of Columbus."
I glanced at the clock, 9:20. There was still a chance.
I snatched my ticket without so much as a thank you (Sorry TSA agent, it was a bad day for me) and called my sweet aunt who was still waiting and she swung by again. I ran to the car and began telling her all the info quickly. Before, I even finished, we were headed to the opposite side of the city. The GPS said that we'd arrive at 9:55 and he plane wasn't scheduled to leave until 10, so we had a very very slim chance but a chance at that.
The funny thing is that when I told her that there was actually another airport she didn't believe me.
"Amber, I've lived in this area for years and have never in my life heard of that airport" she told me.
Yep. Freaking Rickenbacker.

Precisely 9:58am:
As fate would have it, as soon as we pulled into this unheard-of, mysterious Rickenbacker airport (which only consisted of one gate that was smaller than a CVS store), there goes my sad, little plane taxiing to the runway. I kid you not, it was like a scene out of a movie and I seriously contemplated running after it a la Woody and Buzz in Toy Story 2 (ultimately I decided it probably wasn't safe)

Ride Like the Wind Bullseye! 

At this point, I burst into tears. After I calmed down a bit, we ran inside the 'airport' (I use this term loosely) to try to talk to an agent, but IT WAS CLOSED.
Yes, you read that right.
Apparently there is only 1 flight out of this 'airport' a day, which just so happened to be mine. A security guard saw me emotional, asked us if we were okay and we shared what had just happened. To which she replied "Ma'am I'll ya, that happens eerrrysingleday. You'da be surprised" in her thick country draw. When we asked why we couldn't get into the airport, she told us that they close it 10 minutes before departure. I remember hearing a slur of hushed words behind me coming from my aunt.
I just laughed.
#goodpointthough #tellmeaboutit

That night,approx 5pm:
After holding on the phone for what seemed like all day (numerous times for over an hour and when the call finally connected to a human, my flipping cell battery died), I finally figured out my options. I could A: Wait until the next Allegiant flight out, which wasn't for another 2 days
or B: I could find another airline that left the next day.

I went with B.
The only good news was that my return flight didn't get canceled because I missed the first flight.
So I bought a ticket for the following day, departing at 1pm at the RIGHT airport. I had a connection in Charlotte, but I'd be in Florida by 6pm. (Ha! So I thought...)

For dinner that night, we decided to go to Wendy's for a quick bite to eat. My aunt sent me inside to get the food and as I stood in line, I contemplated ordering a frosty.
When I got back to the car with our bag of food and my gigantic frozen drink, my aunt eyed my spur-of-the-moment frosty decision speculatively.
I just looked at her, reading her inner thoughts and said "Hey. I missed my flight today for the first time in my life. I think I deserve it, so I got myself a damn Frosty.  I ultimately went with a medium instead of a large because I figured my day wasn't that bad. " We both just crack up laughing.

This phrase is now used at every possible chance we get.
I don't want to do the dishes...so I'm gettin' myself a damn frosty!
You have to go to work? Get yourself a damn frosty!
Need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up? Get yourself a damn frosty!


THE DAY AFTER,Late Morning:
My lovely aunt dropped me off at the correct airport (we checked I believe 50 times)
 promptly 2 hours before the flight was scheduled to depart. There was no way I was missing this one. She decided to wait in the Cell Lot until I texted her I was on the plane.

As I sat at the gate, I tried to finally relax for the first time since yesterday morning. 

I glanced at my watch suddenly feeling anxious because it was already 12:45 and we still hadn't started boarding yet. 
As if they could hear my worried thoughts, the loud speaker came on around me.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a little pickle. Your plane hasn't left Charlotte yet for a maintenance issue, which means there will be a 2 hour delay. If you will miss your connecting flight, please come up and see me."

I think to myself "Okay, don't panic. They will reschedule your connecting flight and you'll make it there just a few hours later than I expected."
After waiting in a never-ending line, I got my connecting flight changed just as I thought, 2 hours later than expected. I called everyone and let them know and went and sat back down to read. 

Mind you, once I told my aunt (who hates flying) what happened she promptly called United to make sure the plane would be safe. Gosh, I love her!

Late Afternoon:

Well, 2 hours came and went and guess what never showed up?
Yep. I was beginning to think I had the worst luck in the world. Little did I know those words would serve as a challenge.

So I got back in the never-ending line after they announced that the plane was canceled. 
I overheard the conversation ahead of me and heard that most of the next flights out were full. The lady behind me saw how upset I was and whispered in my ear. "You have to lie. Make up a reason why you have to be wherever you're going today. Otherwise, they won't make it a priority." 
I smiled briefly to the lady behind me thinking that she was crazy and handed the agent my info. She typed away into her computer. 
After an eternity, she looked up at me and said "Miss, unfortunately there's nothing else out today. You're best bet is tomm-"
That's when something came over me and I suddenly told the biggest lie of the century. "WHAT!?! NO!!!! My brother's wedding is tomorrow and I am a bridesmaid! I HAVE to be there tonight!!!! Ma'am, you don't understand!!!" and I begin to cry. I'll admit the tears were real because I was just so sick and tired of dealing with airports but I instantly felt guilty about lying. 
She saw my red blotchy, tear-stained face and said "Hold on ma'am, let me see what I can do." 
She got back to typing. 
After forever, she said "OK, I am switching you onto American and you'll leave here at 5:30 and connect into Miami and you'll depart to Tampa arriving at 9:30. Is that okay?"
"Perfect." I said wiping my tears with a smile.
As I began walking back to my chair, the lady behind me winked and whispered "Nice job, Sister."
I grinned. 
I know, I am horrible.

Luckily, my aunt was still waiting all this time in the Cell Lot and picked me back up for a quick bite to eat before I had to leave again. I hugged her goodbye as she dropped me back off and made sure to tell her that this would be the last time she saw me until a week. 

The plane boarded on time and even though I was the legit last seat in the very back of the plane, I was just happy to be on an airplane.  I buckled my seat belt, pulled out my book and began to relax for the first time in the last 36 hours. 

The thing was though, I was relaxing an awful lot and the plane didn't seem to be moving. I looked up and noticed that everyone had already boarded and we had pulled away from the gate but that was it. We hadn't moved for at least 15 minutes. 

The loud over-head speaker roared 
"It seems that the plane has had a bit of a technical issue. We are working on it, the technician is on his way, and we should be on our way shortly."

I officially had the worst luck or someone had a vendetta against me because it looked like I just wasn't supposed to make it to Florida. 
Panicked, the guy sitting next to me helped me figure out that as long as we left Columbus in the next 30 minutes, I would still make my connecting flight to Tampa. I had to book it though, because I would only have a 10 minute layover and I had to be at the other end of the airport. 

Finally, the odds were in my favor, because 30 minutes later the issue had been fixed and we were at 20,000 feet heading to the Sunshine State. 

Late Evening:
I smiled as I looked out the window and finally saw palm trees. It's the small things, guys. 

Once we landed, I deboarded and quickly checked the flight-status board to confirm the gate I needed to be at and that it was still on time. It read that the gate and time were on schedule which meant I had 8 minutes to get onto my next plane. 
I began to run like my life depended on it, faster than I ever had before. 
I once again felt like I was in a movie... I dodged several people & golf carts and my lungs were screaming at me once I reached my gate.
 Only, when I got there...the gate wasn't empty. There were still people sitting there and the plane was still at the gate. 
My heart fell as I looked at the board and it said 
in big red letters. 

Of course it was. 
Because that was just my luck.

Well, I realized that I had another hour and a half to spend in Miami, I might as well make the most of it. 
It was actually pretty cool because the world cup had just begun and seeing that Miami is a hub for South America, there were tons of people with jerseys and huge flags. The atmosphere in the airport felt like a giant party, I loved it!

About 10 minutes before boarding, a lady with a baby strapped to her chest, who looked exhausted walked by and asked if I wanted some magazines because she had read them too many times. 
I suddenly realized that I could've had it a lot worse and I was thankful for her sweet gesture. 

Smiling, I told her thank you and that her sweet little one was adorable. She laughed and told me that I should've heard him 10 minutes ago. I chuckled.

As I handed my ticket to the agent so she could scan it, I saw something that shocked me
"Wait, what does that say?" I said out loud. 

"Miss, you're in first class! Lucky you!"

The irony was not lost on me. 

I nestled into my first class seat, utterly spent from the day and glanced over at what was happening next to me. 

I began to notice something. People that were walking by kept shaking the hand of the man sitting next to me, 'saying good luck, Governor' or 'thank you, Governor.'

Perplexed, I did the one thing that can solve all questions...
I consulted the Google.

Under images, I typed 
'Governor of Florida'
but that wasn't him, the picture didn't match. 
So I typed
'Former Governor of Florida'


I was seated next to Charlie Crist, who happened to be running again for Governor. 

When everyone had boarded the plane, he sat back in his seat and looked over at me, reaching to shake my hand. 
"Hi, I'm Charlie Crist. Where are you from?"
"Hi, I know who you are and I'm from Dallas."
His brow furrowed, obviously confused. "How do you know who I am if you're from Texas."
I rested back in my seat, buckled my seat belt and looked over at him with a smile.
"That's the power of google" I said. 

Less than an hour later, at around 12:30 am, the wheels finally, 
touched down in Tampa. 

I finally made it. 
I just happened to be about 48 hours short of when I was originally supposed to be there...
but I was there and that was all that mattered.

Except when I began thinking that if I would've just went with option A, I would've been in Tampa at almost the same time with probably a lot less hassle.

 But I quickly denied that reasoning because I had a wild adventure and one day, I would look back on this and laugh and that would make it all worth it. 

I was right.

And that my friends, was the epic tale of how I missed my plane for the first time in my life, which ultimately lead to a lot more series of unfortunate events. 

Ask me if I'll ever miss another plane, I dare ya. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dumpster Find of a Lifetime: The BEFORE

"Fine" I pouted, "I'll do it" I said begrudgingly to my mom. 
"But I'm not happy about it" I whispered as I walked out the door. 
She asked me to drive our bags of trash over to the dumpster, a necessary evil of living in an apartment.
It's a job that normally belongs to my brother, but since he was out, I was given the task. I hated it. It always smelled, it was really hot outside and I just plain didn't want to. But I did...

and boy am I glad. 

As I pulled into the dumpster area, I glanced up and saw angels descend from the heavens. I'm pretty sure trumpets were sounding and the clouds were parting too.

I glanced left and right, making sure no one was around and to be 100% sure of what was before my eyes. I ran up to her, and made sure again that no one was around that she belonged to. 

Then, I did what my mama raised me to do... I snatched her up and placed her in my hatchback. 
She was coming home with me. 

And I'm sure you can see why:
Ain't she a looker!?! 
Well, maybe not to you, but in my eyes, I saw potential. 

I couldn't wait to give her a makeover. I could envision what she looked like in her prime days, beautiful and majestic, but she was old now and in need of some help. Even though, I loved the finish of the wood and the color of the fabric, Sister needed some help.
 She was falling apart at the seems and it was our job to fix her. 
That's just what we did.

For the record,when I got home and showed my mom the chair she said:
"See, you need to take the trash out more often."

Nice try, Mom. Nice try.