Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Story of a Lost Hiker

*The photos were taken by my talented cousin, up on the same mountain!*



I had been camping up in West Virgina with my family and on that particular day, we sat under our canopy, playing cards while the rain poured down around us. It was chilly up on the mountain as the rain had cooled the air considerably. As our game of Rummy continued on, I heard a voice behind me.

"Excuse me! Excuse me, ma'am! Do you have a cell phone I could borrow?"
I turned my head to see the source of the sound. My eyes found a young male, probably around my age, at the end of our campsite who looked soaking wet, obviously from the rain. Before my brain can even think otherwise, I quickly reply. "Yes, but we don't get any signal up here."

The man looked at me with a face of worry and concern and walked on. The unusual thing was that instead of continuing on to the other campsites, he turned and walked back the direction he came.
This particular campsite was laid out in a circular shape. All of the campsites where on sort of a cup-de-sac and we were the first site on the route. It was odd that he didn't continue on to the next campsite, but instead went out towards the main road.

My aunt, cousins and I went back to our game. After playing for a few minutes, I just felt like something was off. I kept looking over my shoulder and I could have sworn I heard voices yelling in the distance. My aunt, who is hearing impaired, sensed that I was unsettled and grabbed an umbrella and began walking towards the direction he left. She didn't say a word to me but there was no way I was missing out on the action. I ran to catch up to her.

We walked the circular drive through all the camps, and finally came across the young man. He was talking with an elderly man, when my aunt yelled. "Hey, did you wanna try my phone to see if it'd work?"

"Well, I think this guy is going to help me, so let me try with him and then I'll come back to you" he replied.

So we went back to our camp and waited. Not long after, here comes the guy walking back up our campsite. We gave him our phone and for whatever reason, it didn't work. That's when I began asking him questions. For privacy's sake, let's call him Nick.


He briefly told us his story and I'll do my best to recite it to you:
He was hiking a trail with his buddy when his friend noticed that he had lost his hat. His friend decided to go back and look for it while Nic waited for him. Nic waited for hours and his friend never returned. He began walking to see if he could find his friend, but got lost on his way. He decided to get on a rock to get some height to see if he could spot his friend. But as he climbed, he fell off and into a river. He lost everything in the river and even cut himself up pretty badly. Disorientated, he somehow found his way back to the trail and stumbled into some other hikers who led him back to the main road. His friend was no where to be found. As he walked around, he stumbled across our campsite area and began asking people for their phone to call 911 and to get back into town.

He told us that each and every person he went to turned him away.

As I listened to him tell his story, I noticed that he was, at times, not making a lot of sense and the conversation generally seemed off. His one side of the face was swollen and inflamed. I asked him if he was hungry and thirsty, but he said no. I pretty much forced him to eat because he told us that his friend went missing around 11am and it was about 7pm by the time he found us. That was almost 8 hours ago.

My sweet aunt wrapped a blanket around him to help with the shivering and began uniting his hiking boots to get him a dry pair of socks. His foot was so swollen she could barely get the sock on.
While she was putting the new socks on, Nick began to get emotional. He was so strong and held everything together up until then. You know something's up when a grown man begins crying for his mom. We tried to soothe him telling him that's he's okay now and we are going to help him. He seemed so shocked and kept saying 'thank you' and 'no one else would help me.'

Meanwhile, I send my cousin off to go get my uncle who was sleeping nearby to see if he could drive Nick to the nearest hospital. A few moments later, we were loading Nick into the truck.

After they left, we tried our hardest to get back to our game, but we just couldn't. I don't think I really knew or understood what had just happened. As I was sitting there thinking about it, I suddenly got an idea.

"Aunt Necie, what if we try calling the number he dialed on Mimi's (our grandmother) cell phone. She's been getting better signal than we did."

As I was listening to the phone number ring into the cell phone, I was kicking myself for not thinking of this while Nick was here. But as fate would have it, someone answered the phone.

Let me tell you how awkward it was trying to explain to the woman on the phone who I was and why I was calling. I'm actually surprised that she didn't hang up on me! But I tried my best to explain that (who we believe to be) her son had gotten lost. I don't think I will ever get the sound of her voice out of my head...it was pure terror. She was horrified. I tried my best to calm her down and tell her that he was on his way to the nearest hospital, but it was still about a 50 minute drive.

After I hung up with his mom, I went to go sit in my grandpa's truck to charge the phone in case she was to call back. As we were sitting there, my grandmother just happened to glance at the right time at a passing car.
"Hey! Didn't that car just have a Maryland license plate? Wasn't that where the guy said he was from?"

Immediately, we drove to try to catch up with him. Turns out it was Nick's buddy who he lost on the hike. The friend had called the state troopers and they were on their way up the mountain to look for Nick, to which we told him that Nick is actually on his way down the mountain to the hospital. I was so relieved to know that his buddy was alive and not lost, as the darkness began to surround us.

Not too long later, my uncle pulls back into our campsite. He told us that on his way down the mountain, Nick was shivering and needed the heat on full blast. As he began to warm up, he began telling my uncle his story and how thankful he was for our family.  Somewhere along the ride, my uncle saw two ambulances pass and said to Nick, "Hey I bet those are for you!" They pulled over and he flagged down a trooper that was following them.
 My uncle said to the trooper, "Officer, what is the emergency!?"
"We have a report of a lost hiker up on the mountain."
My uncle points over to Nick "Found him!"

****

The next day, I decided to call his mother to check up on him. She told us that he was released from the hospital last night with a slight laceration to his head, but other than that he was fine. His friend and Nick decided to drive back to Maryland late the previous night and he was sleeping on the couch, exhausted from the precious day's event.

That's when the mom broke down into tears on the phone.
"You have no idea how grateful I am for you and your family. Please let me pay you or give you something for helping him"

I politely denied anything, telling her that that would go against everything I believe in. My family didn't help Nick to gain anything from it. We helped him because it was the right thing to do.

I told her that and she sobbed,  "Thank you so much, I will never forget this. You see, my son is special needs. I have no doubt that this would've ended much worse than it did without you kind people. You've reassured my faith in this world that there are truly good people out there."

Of course, by now, I was wiping tears from my eyes as well. We exchanged information to keep in touch and even became friends on Facebook! How cool, huh!?

****************

Now, looking back on the entire situation, I realize now that we didn't just help Nick, Nick helped us too. He taught me to not judge people based on appearance. Everyone is fighting their own battles and if we all just as human beings choose to uplift, support and help people more often, without judgement, I have no doubt that this world would be in a much better place. 

I also learned another lesson from this experience. Listen to your 'gut' instinct. It scares me to think what would have happened if my aunt hadn't noticed my demeanor and we hadn't gone back after Nick. I have absolutely no doubt that that 'push' I kept feeling, that uneasy feeling that something wasn't right, was God nudging me. Nick and I's paths were meant to cross. There is no doubt in my mind that all it was all apart of His master plan and I am so thankful that He kept nudging me to take action. I am so thankful for my aunt for teaching me to trust my gut. So folks, when you feel those little nudges inside your head telling you to do something, I encourage you too to act on it.



"And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.  So likewisea Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
                                                                                     --Luke 10:25-37

Friday, July 18, 2014

Project Goo: Part 2, The Details

Ok, so I think the way I'm going to go about this is to divide this project into two halves: Makeup and  Skincare, Haircare, etc. Mostly because I don't think I will necessarily use all the makeup up (which is what I want to do with the others) because that would take way too long, but I do want to make a point to use them more. So the makeup section will be more of a 'use more' whereas the rest will be 'I want to use all this up and then throw it away for good'. Does that make sense?

So first up, here's the makeup I plan on including:
So the breakdown:
There's 14 makeup products total
2 lipsticks (both red which I never wear, so I will be rocking the red lip soon!)
2 loose eyeshadows (way messy so I never use, once again will be using soon!)
1 eye primer 
1 blush
1 bronzer
1 cream blush/highlight stick
1 face powder
1 face primer
3 eyeliners
1 eyeshadow palette (blue is typically not my jam)

Now for the Skincare/Haircare!
The breakdown:
16 products total

4 lotions
2 face washes (which suck by the way, but gosh darn it I'm using those stinkers up!)
1 body scrub
1 conditioner (which I've literally had for like 5 years, sad I know.)
1 body wash
1 eye makeup remover
1 spot treatment
1 lip treatment
1 body spray
1 hair oil
2 eye creams

So that's a total of 30 products that I plan on using up and getting rid of... Let Project Goo begin!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Project Goo: Part One

Ok, so as I was taking my shower today, I got a brilliant idea. I was sick of 50 million bottles in my shower that fall everywhere and to be honest, most of them I am just plain tired of staring at them all the time. So I came up with this challenge/project.

I am a self-professed Goo Hoarder. I literally save every single product that I tell myself I may need in the future. Who really needs 5 different bottles of lotion at one time? The answer to that is no one.

So over the next few weeks or so, I am going to make a point to use up all those silly products that I have in my shower, in my cabinets, etc.

And so I introduce you to PROJECT GOO! What a perfect way to hold myself accountable and to maybe inspire you as well.


Tomorrow I think I will write down all the different things I plan on including (I was going to do it now, but I just realized I have a whole other goo hiding spot. See, it's a problem.) So stay tuned!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hey, How's It Going?!?

Long time...no talk, eh!?!?! I'm back home in the great state of Texas after a month's long journey that was so much fun I am in a bit of a shock having to go back to real life. For example: I have to be at work at 7:45 tomorrow morning and I'm already dragging my feet about it! But the good news is for all you readers is that now that I have all this free time (ha!) I will finally get back to my blog schedule!  As a place holder, I leave you with this video...trust me, it's a must see.


Read the full article HERE!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Currently

I saw a few bloggers (I stole this one directly from The Lovely One) do this and I figured I'd do one too!

Reading: Right now, I'm reading Fahrenheit 451. I started it a few weeks ago and between the beach trip and camping, I didn't get a chance to finish it. I'm back to it now!

Watching: Well, last night my cousins and I watched Horrible Bosses together. Let me tell you, that's a hilarious movie!

Listening to: I'm currently addicted to Ed Sheeran! Right now I'm obsessed with Little Bird and Kiss Me. And no, I haven't got his new CD yet...I'm dying, though!



Writing: Believe it or not, I've got two blog posts I'm working on besides this one! Both are a lot of writing and are actually pretty long stories, so we will see...

Playing: An app called Covet Fashion. Oh my word, guys have you played this before?! It's like dress up dolls for adults!!

Eating:  I just had an everything bagel with whipped cream cheese...mmmmm

Drinking: Well, I just had a small glass of OJ.

Wearing: My Ron Jon's tee and PJ shorts...hey, it's summer vacation!

Waiting: hmmm, I don't know that I'm necessarily waiting for anything. Oh! Wait! I am waiting for a few events to end on my Covet game. Hahaha!

Loving:  Being around family. We always have a blast when we are together. 

Needing:  The new Ed Sheeran CD ;)

Wanting: Can I say the new Ed Sheeran CD? haha, just kidding. Right now, I'm wanting a big fat Bahama Bucks sno-cone. It's an addiction, really.

Thinking: Man, I have to go back to work in a few weeks. BOO!

Feeling: A bit cranky. I have no reason at all for it. But, nevertheless, I'm cranky. Maybe because I know I have to go back to work soon.

Hoping: that we have a fantastic holiday weekend! Family is coming into town and I'm very excited!

Dreaming: of a few weeks ago when I was on the beach reading with my best friend.

Being Inspired By:  My aunt! She amazes me. For instance, the other day she was angry and instead of hiding it (like I would) she let the person know that she was angry and then moved on. It inspired me to try and be the same way. I don't want ever want to be a prisoner to my emotions!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer-ize Your Makeup Routine!

For me, makeup becomes non-important during the summertime. I normally don't wear it all that often and if I do, I want it as simple as possible. Whether I'm at the beach, pool, or riding a roller coaster, I really want my makeup to stay put and to protect me from the sun. 

Here's 5 ways to simplify and 'summer-ize' your makeup:


1. Trade your primer for sunscreen
I don't know about you but I'm not a big fan of skin cancer. Technically, I should be wearing this year round, but I really step up on wearing sunscreen daily during the summer. While yes, primer will help my makeup stay put longer, sunscreen is way more important.
I use the The Neutrogena Sheer Dry-touch Sunscreen SPF 100 because it dries clear and doesn't show   through my other face makeup.

2. Trade your foundation for a BB cream
If I can even be bothered enough to put any sort of foundation on my face, I will always opt to go as light as possible as far as coverage. BB cream is a no fuss product that you can slap on easily with your fingers. It still gives you a fair amount of coverage (I'd say lighter than a light coverage foundation) Try the Maybelline Dream Pure BB Skin Perfecter as a great drugstore option!

3.Trade powder eye shadow for cream shadow
To be honest, I don't even normally wear anything on my eyes besides mascara during the hotter months, but sometimes I like to swipe a neutral shade all over the lid. Trade the powder shadows for a cream shadow because they blend easier and will withstand water and sweat longer. I really like the Elf Studio Cream Shadows because of the shade options and its longevity. 

4. Trade regular mascara for waterproof mascara
This one seems brainless but really does help. I doubt that if you're swimming in a pool or beach you want those hideous black streaks under your eyes. With a simple switch to waterproof mascara, the problem's solved! My favorite is the L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara (psssst. it's on sale for less than $5!)

5. Trade lipstick for a lip stain
Lipstick can tend to look heavy on the lips. For summer, I like low maintenance (as I've said) so I don't want to have to reapply my lipstick. Switch your fav lipstick for a moisturizing lip stain that will stain your lips and will last all day! My favorite drugstore option are the Wet N Wild MegaLast Lip Stains. Plus, it feels like chapstick on the lips!

Things I skip for a low maintenance makeup look:
Eyeliner
Bronzer
Highlighter
finishing powder

If I have time I'll add blush, concealer and my eyebrow pencil, although it's not always necessary!
What's your go-to summer makeup look?


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yes I'm Alive + Where I've been!

I guess I should apologize for my absence on this ol' blog, but truth be told, it was a nice break! Sometimes it's nice to break from things in order to stop and recollect your goals, etc, so I hope you understand. Nevertheless, I've been having a fantastic June! As I think I remember sharing, I am currently up in Ohio visiting my sweet Auntie! We've pretty much had a blast since the day I arrived. About two weeks ago, we met up with my other Uncle, cousins, grandparents and my father and went camping up in Holly Sods, WV.
It was more like traditional camping because I had to get used to using a hole in the ground as a toilet and didn't shower for 4 days (ew).

My cousin, Will, and I built our first fire!

We hardly took any photos for some reason but I love the two we got!

 I'll never forget this trip for several reasons.
A. I got to spend good quality time with my family I don't get to see that often.
B. It was my first time legit camping.
C. We rescued a lost hiker, which deserves it's own blog post!

So yeah, it was a lot of fun.

Then, we drove to the airport (also deserves it's own post, don't worry) and long story short, I ended up getting into Tampa almost two days later than originally scheduled. But, I made it and was so excited to spend 10 days in the Sunshine State!

My other side of the family usually gets together each summer for a vacation. Each year it's somewhere different, this year was our hometown of St. Pete/Clearwater area! My mom actually wrote daily recaps, click here to read them! I'm just going to do a brief photo dump.


The entire gang, minus my mom who's taking the pic!

The fun thing was that my best friend for over 8 years got to come in from SC and spend the week with us. I was elated because I hadn't seen her in over 2 years! She's beautiful, huh!?

All of these dudes have grown up with me and I consider each of them brothers! Actually, I consider all my cousins, brothers. (The guy in pink on the right is my only actual brother, the left are cousins and the right pic are family friends! Oh, plus my BFF on the left pic!)

The sunsets were just breathtaking!

One night, we went to a Rays game and had a ball (Ha! Get it!?!!) 

Ev caught a starfish!

Pretty rainbows!

Touring the GORGEOUS Don CeSar hotel, which I've already decided is the site of my future wedding. No I don't even have a boyfriend. 

We got bored and started a 500 piece puzzle. We both wanted to give up but I mean, once you start a dang puzzle YOU. MUST. FINISH. We did and the most annoying thing on the planet happened: ONE PIECE WAS MISSING. Grr....



Oh, and we finally saw TFIOS. My thoughts were good, but obviously the book is way better. But it still gave us an overload of the feels (as seen above). Formal thoughts to be continued.

Our last sunset!

Can you tell it's been a freaking awesome month!?!?! 
Well, it has.