You can’t make baby Maria jokes anymore!

Hi friends!!! Sorry that it has been over a month, but we are just now settling into this new semester at college and both Carissa and I have been super busy. Today is/was my birthday!! I’m officially an adult so no more jokes about how I should still be in pre-school. Ha. Quick update: I have pink hair, I chopped 11.5 inches of hair off Carissa, we went to the ER (again), Chelsea and Carissa are coming to TN with me over spring break, Carissa got this huge internship with this cool website called Wattpad, and Chelsea has me addicted to Game of Thrones.

~This post is going to be two-fold, with the first part about dealing with getting older and the second part about being the better person~

So, it’s a well known fact that when we are young all we want to do is grow up. Everyone tries to warn you, telling you to enjoy your childhood while you still have it, but why should we listen to reasonable adults who have already gone through this exact thing? Honestly, I think it stems from children doubting adults once being young. I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to imagine my dad as a kid. Okay, now i’m giggling while thinking about baby Martin- teehee. ANYWAY!! As you grow older, you start to wish you had heeded that advice. It’s hard to grapple with the fact that you can’t go back, there is no rewind, no re-do, nothing. Depending on your religious beliefs, maybe you are okay with that. And good for you. I’m also aware that even if you don’t fear death or aging, it’s hard to get older.

I am now a legal adult. I’m not under the protection of my parents. I have taxes to do, and bills to pay, and consequences to keep in mind, and new freedoms to handle. It kinda sticks a lot. Here’s the thing though- everyone is going through the exact same thing. Whether that comforts you or not, it’s the truth. So you’re roommate who is a year and a half older than you understands what you’re dealing with. So does your almost 30 year-old sister. The song “Never Grow Up” by Taylor Swift describes my feelings on the subject. Stop groaning, it’s actually scary accurate and brings me to tears every time.

Your little hand’s wrapped around my finger
And it’s so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you’re dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything’s funny, you got nothing to regret
I’d give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won’t let nobody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

You’re in the car on the way to the movies
And you’re mortified your mom’s dropping you off
At 14 there’s just so much you can’t do
And you can’t wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don’t make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she’s getting older too
And don’t lose the way that you dance around in your pj’s getting ready for school

Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
No one’s ever burned you, nothing’s ever left you scarred
And even though you want to, just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother’s favorite songs
I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It’s so much colder that I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I’d never grown up
I wish I’d never grown up

Oh I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up
I could still be little
Oh I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up
It could still be simple
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
Won’t let nobody hurt you
Won’t let no one break your heart
And even though you want to, please try to never grow up
Oh, don’t you ever grow up
Oh, never grow up, just never grow up


Okay, enough with the sap and what not, i’m moving on to the “being the better person” topic because Carissa’s little (17) sister has been going through situations that warrant addressing. We’ve all had the experience of someone being rude to us or disrespecting us in a major way and all you really want to do is yell at them and belittle them. DO NOT, WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT DO THIS. It’s taken me a heck of a long time to understand this, but it’s an extremely important life lesson. Be the bigger person. That is so cliche and overused but really, be the bigger person. They aren’t worth your time, and honestly if you stoop to their level how does that make you any different from them? Aren’t you becoming the person you’re against? It’s very easy to make a comment on social media or even to classmates about this person, DON’T DO IT. Take the high road. The probability of this person taking their insecurities out on you is high, and that’s no fault of your. I’m not saying I am great at this- trust me. There have been many times I have wanted to lash out at people for things (ask Carissa lol).

In seventh grade I read this book about the Little Rock Nine. One part of the book that really sticks with me (the whole book has, really) is when the narrator’s body guard gives advice about dealing with bullies. He says something to the effect of “Don’t react. That’s what they are expecting, and it gives them a justification for what they’re doing. Don’t let them have a justification. Make them look unreasonable and horrible. Say things in response they won’t expect.” So basically these people are throwing racial slurs at this poor girl and her response is “thank you.” That is so big to me. People are attacking her. Violating her basic human rights, and her response is thank you??? Bow down. That’s what made MLK Jr. and Gandhi’s movements so big. Nonviolent action. Civil disobedience.

It’s getting a little preachy and I apologize, so i’ll tone it down. As my mama says (the great Queen Elizabeth), there will always be people you don’t like. Even if you’re in the great place ever, there will be at least one person who rubs you the wrong way. You can either dwell on it or realize you’re better than that and move forward.

Much love for everybody! Comment, ask questions, like, etc.

xox,

M

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The 2nd time Maria went to Wisconsin

Hello everybody! Hope y’all are enjoying your break / hope you enjoyed your breaks (if you got one). Last time you heard from us, we were preparing for exam week *cue dramatic fake death*. Carissa and I survived exams (kind of), and she left earlier than I did to go back to Wisconsin (in a semi-truck, lol) which left me all alone in a dark (I forgot lights existed), cold room. I eventually got released from school and was able to come home – wooo!

On New Year’s Day I flew up to Wisconsin to visit Carissa and her family (also learned Carissa can’t count nor can she read things very well and didn’t know what day I was flying up)! Wisconsin is still weird, in case you were wondering. Got to finally meet Grandma June (the one who wanted to talk to me and not Carissa on move-in day), saw Aunt Brenda and Aunt Robin again, and I found out Carissa calls Shirley Temples “kitty cocktails” (she had no idea they were the same thing). The cats were still adorable even though Runty is still M.I.A.

Carissa and I went grocery shopping together at the Dollar General (everything is so cheap and I love it?!). I didn’t get to go ice fishing since there was supposed to be a big ice storm headed to Coleman so my parents got me home early. Which turned out to be the right thing considering I now have the flu (yuck). ON A MORE IMPORTANT NOTE I DISCOVERED CHEESE CURDS!! They are so amazing and I love them warmed up. Wow. Yum.

Anyway, this wasn’t supposed to be very riveting, but just figured an update would be appreciated. I’m headed up to Indiana tomorrow with my mum but won’t be back in the dorm until Sunday. I’m very ready to be back to college (pretty sure Carissa is too).

Much love and a happy HanuKwanzaMasNewYear!!

xox,

M

Mass Update

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

If anyone was wondering, Maria did not end up dying from Ebola (because she didn’t have Ebola), and I am still procrastinating.  Considering that’s the last you heard of either of us, I figured I’d clear that up.

And because it’s been centuries since our last post, we’re going to let you know what we’ve been up to since the end of October.  A nice bullet-point list seems like an effective way to get you all back up to speed.  Here we go.

Since you heard of us last:

  • We didn’t really do anything for Halloween outside of dressing up like Pink Ladies for a few classes.
  • That was also family weekend here, and because my family was unable to make it, I became an unofficial sixth member of Maria’s family.  We all ate a lot of food and had a lot of fun.
  • November brought with it colder weather, and my parents were kind enough to ship me my Castle jacket (for those of you who don’t know what that is, please Google it; they are not a type of wasp) and some more sweatshirts.  Also, my grandma sent Halloween candy for both Maria and I (the Grandma who wanted to speak to Maria on the phone when I first got to Butler and not me).
  • We took a trip to the ER at 11pm on a Monday night with our lovely RA because I had an infection where I was previously operated on a few years back.  Strictly precaution.  All is swell.
  • Taylor Swift released her new album 1989, and because I am an avid T-Swizzle fan, I refused to listen to anything else in our dorm room, and by the end of the first week Maria was undoubtedly hooked.
  • To add to that, on November 17th One Direction also released an album (FOUR), and guess what that meant for poor Maria?  The only thing we were allowed to listen to from that point on was a playlist made up of 1989 and FOUR, and if you were wondering, it is now December 8th and that’s still all we’re listening to.
  • Basically Maria has gone full-on Directioner, because she also willingly — WILLINGLY — watched the One Direction movie, This Is Us, and is now very much in love with them.  We’ve even planned our double wedding — she will become Mrs. Liam Payne and I will become Mrs. Harry Styles.  It’s inevitable.
  • November 17th was also our friend Chelsea’s birthday.
  • We registered for our classes for next semester, as well.  As freshmen, we were last to able to do that, and that meant we basically got leftovers.  It was a little difficult to get every class we wanted at all the right times, but in the end I think we both came out with a schedule we’re excited about.
  • We had a bit of a dispute, as well.  And by dispute I mean an argument that nearly drove Maria to spend the night in a different room (woah, right?).  It ended up being a large misunderstanding, and despite two days spent ignoring/avoiding each other, we ended up fine.
  • Thanksgiving break finally arrived, and I found that we’re lucky to have the entire week off while other colleges had classes on Monday and Tuesday (sometimes even Wednesday).  I went back to Wisconsin for the week with my cousin and her boyfriend who were driving home from North Carolina and swung by to pick me up at 3am, and Maria’s parents picked her up and brought her back to Tennessee.  I think it was a much needed break for both of us, not from each other but from college in general.  We’ll probably make a post going into detail about each of our breaks.
  • When we got back to campus, I brought Christmas decorations with me.  We spent that night hanging garland on our walls and snowflakes from our curtain rod, and we attempted to personalize our own stockings but glitter glue was brought into the world by Satan I swear and that didn’t work out very well.  Our wall clings didn’t cling, and our window clings didn’t work out because we forgot that we had screens, but we made what we had work.  The window clings went on our body-length mirror, and where the wall clings were, we created a Christmas tree of sorts with green twine and used our Taylor Swift 1989 polaroids as the “ornaments.”  Easily the coolest thing we did with our room.
  • Maria’s mother sent her back with Death by Chocolate, and I can’t properly explain what exactly they are, but basically they are delicious and will probably end up killing me, so thanks a lot Queen Elizabeth.
  • Maria isn’t one for Christmas festivities usually, so it sort of surprised me that we got to decorate the room.  However, that’s about where she draws the line.  While I love Tay Tay and 1D, I have to admit that now that it’s December I am craving my Christmas music.  I’ve got a nice long playlist on iTunes that she refuses to let me listen to, but I do fully intend to have her just as hooked on that as she is on Taylor Swift and One Direction (she doesn’t think it’ll happen) (she’s so wrong).
  • This past weekend Maria went to her sister’s house for a couple nights, and I didn’t exactly leave my room because I needed to catch up on Supernatural.  I did, though, accompany Chelsea yesterday to her old high school’s Holiday Spectacular, and it was absolutely fabulous.  I had the best time.  Chelsea and her parents were a little dismayed that it wasn’t up to par with previous years, but I was fascinated by the entire thing and can’t wait to go next year.  My current Christmas jam, “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson, was even performed.

And now that you’re all caught up, we’d like to apologize.  Things got a little hectic for a while, but hopefully we’ll be keeping you updated on our journey more frequently again.  Finals are quickly approaching, and we’ll be letting you know how that works.  I hear that there are going to puppies on campus as a de-stress mechanism, and I know Maria is really looking forward to that.

Until then, take care.

Carissa (and Maria, who has been watching me type this entire post)

Camo, four wheelers, and dead things – oh my!

Hey everybody! So sorry that it has been a century since our last post, but college has gotten time consuming (surprise!) This post will be an update as well as a lesson to be learned for all those who struggle with second guessing.

So last Sunday (the 5th of October) Carissa and I decided we would make a trip to her homeland – Wisconsin. That Friday was her school’s homecoming game and her freshman brother was going to suit up with the varsity players (he’s just that good), and also her cat just had kittens (floofies)! The only question was how we were going to get there. Plane tickets were extremely expensive, AmTrak’s website wasn’t working, and my mum already banned the bus. We managed to persuade Carissa’s friend Nathan to drive down to Indiana on Thursday, pick us up, drive us back to Wisconsin on Friday, and then on Sunday he drives us back to Indiana and turns around and drives back to Wisconsin. Well the first problem was that Nathan couldn’t get off work on Thursday, so he would be driving for over 15 hours on Friday nonstop. While we were figuring out how he would drive for that long without a break, I was flipping between wanting to go and not wanting to go. No, it had nothing to do with Wisconsin or Carissa’s family, I had mid-term exams coming up on Monday and Tuesday which I wanted to study for (nerd, I know).

While I had come to the decision that I would not be going with Carissa on her voyage home that Friday mid-morning, Thursday afternoon had arrived. Carissa and I were sitting doing our own separate work, when suddenly, she just pops out of her seat, flings open the door, and vanishes. I didn’t think too much of it, considering we don’t need to tell each other where we are going constantly and she only brought her phone and keys. About five minutes later she comes into the room and trailing behind her is her friend Nathan with a grin mirroring the one on Carissa’s face. I was suddenly unsure of my decision – go or stay? I called my mum and she told me to do whatever, it was my choice, but to always live in the moment. Here is where the “point” of this post comes in; this flip-flopping between options was eerily similar to what happens when my anxiety cripples my test-taking ability. I took a few deep breaths and went with my original answer considering the second guessing is what usually causes me problems on tests.

Wisconsin was amazing. There was so much camo and dead animals everywhere. It was weird, oh so weird, but really fantastic too. Carissa’s high school won their homecoming game against their rivals, I got to meet all her friends (the slut of the county loves me? no one can figure out why), spent time with her family (her aunt touched my butt), went TP-ing for the first time (rebel), got to see the bar/gas station Carissa worked at, rode a four wheeler for the first time (I also drove it), saw her “deer camp,” her little brothers whipped me with kitchen towels (I have bruises as proof), hung out with kittens, made friends with the runt of the litter (he would sleep in the crook of my neck, and I would wake up in the morning to him licking my cheek), and most importantly, I didn’t regret my decision one bit.

This weekend I get to go home to Tennessee and spend time with my family and pup, so Carissa will be all alone except for Chelsea (can you say trouble?)

Any requests for a post? Comment!

xox,

M

*Currently laughing because Maria typed “cameo” every time she meant “camo”*

*Also because she called my bar/gas station a “diner” lolololol we don’t even serve food there*

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

So you’ve just experienced my hometown and family through Maria’s eyes, but here’s my version of the series of events that occurred this past weekend.

That whole bit with Nathan just showing up out of the blue, Maria nailed pretty much right on the head.  And then the entire ride back to Wisconsin Friday morning was spent singing all of our favorite songs (Love Is An Open Door) (Maria hated it), listening to Maria and Nathan freak out over cool cars that they happened to spot, and watching Nathan down way too many Mountain Dews than could possibly be healthy for him (but he does that all the time).  The forty-five minute stretch from Green Bay to my hometown was almost more than I could bare, which leads me to this: despite not exactly feeling homesick here at Butler, you can bet I was crazy excited to be home.  I nearly cried.

We spent a couple hours at home with my family (minus my freshman brother) after having surprised them, and I caught up with my dog and met the kittens.  But we only had a couple hours to kill before the football game started, and we had to be there early in order to see the homecoming court announcements and band performances beforehand.  My sister played in the band and my brother was being announced as freshman representative, so basically we all agreed that this would be the perfect time to surprise my brother, who was still unaware that I was back in Wisconsin.

I think that this moment was my favorite part of the weekend, to be honest.  If you knew my family, you’d know that the six of us are pretty much split right down the middle in terms of our personalities.  My brother and I are like our dad, who doesn’t necessarily feel the need to express mushy, lovey notions…ever.  My sister and other brother (he’s in the sixth grade) are much more like our mom.  They seek all that stuff from us, and you know, normally they’re not going to get it.  It just makes us uncomfortable.  The odd part about this dynamic is that with other family members, hugs are a given.  Saying “I love you” is a given.  You do not leave a full family gathering here without hugging every single person there.  And yet, with just our immediate family, that isn’t really the case.

It’s weird, I know.

So anyway, my point for telling you all that will become clear in a second.  We’re at the football game, the band has just performed their first song, they form an aisle down the middle and the freshmen representatives get announced.  My brother is all decked out in his football uniform, holding his helmet in one arm and leading the girl representative with his other arm, and he looked so grown up and he wasn’t smiling because he was a football player so he felt the need to look tough, you know, as one does.  And my mom was trying to take pictures and complaining that her camera wasn’t working, and we were literally directly in front of him behind the fence, in front of all of the bleachers even, and he couldn’t see us waving because he was purposely not trying to see anyone he knew.  So Maria starts yelling his name.  Naturally, I’m trying to get her to shut up because this isn’t a time you’re supposed to be loud (because now they’re announcing the sophomore representatives), but then it didn’t matter because he looked our way.

First he saw her, and he looked a little confused.  My sister and mom were the only ones who had met Maria before that weekend, but my brother recognized her from my Snapchat stories and Instagram posts.  So when he saw her, he was basically like what?  And then he saw me, looked away quickly like he was seeing things, and then looked again.  This was when he just like broke out into this huge smile and of course had to stay standing there while all the other representatives and the homecoming king and queen lined up beside him.  The band played another full song before they were finally able to disperse, and although he was supposed to return to the field to finish warming up for the game, he ran over to the fence and gave me literally the biggest hug I’ve ever received from anyone in our family, let alone him.  His shoulder pads were absolutely crushing me, but I didn’t care, which was almost weirder than the hug itself.  And then he hugged Maria, which was awesome (it was the beginning of an awkward-to-me friendship, really).

Immediately following that, a few of my guy friends from high school appeared behind us and tapped on my shoulder (these were actually people that I legitimately liked and was happy to see), including my best friend who has been unable to come visit me on campus, and it was so nice to see him again.  I also ended up bumping into my cousin who is my “superhero” (I’m her sidekick), and she had no idea I was coming so she almost cried, and yeah.  It was actually wonderful.

Maria basically covered everything else that happened that weekend apart from the time I went to take pictures of my brother’s homecoming group while she stayed at home and napped/hung out with her people (i.e. the kittens).  Oh, and also that on Saturday night we took her dinner at The Barn, which is literally a little supper club inside of a barn that used to house cows and be a milking parlor and all that.  The sign out front says, “Come sit and relax and drink where the cows used to stink!”  Fun fact: they only have two menus.  Other fun fact: apparently they had three on Wednesday.

So while Maria had some trouble with second-guessing herself, I knew that as soon as the opportunity was actually presenting itself, there was no way I’d miss this chance to go home.  However, I probably should have been in the same boat she was in, because I am now neck deep in papers and presentations and meditations and reading assignments and so many other things that I’m so behind on, things that I should have and could have done all of that weekend.  But I wouldn’t take back my choice.  I haven’t missed a homecoming football game since before middle school, and I didn’t intend to start now.

I don’t exactly have a lesson like Maria did, so…sorry.  You read my entire half of this post and gained nothing from it.

Have a great week.

Carissa