Sunday, November 30, 2008

NoJoMo #29... a day late!

Sorry for the delay... I have been SO busy this Thanksgiving weekend.  However, it's been so wonderful to see all of the people who I love so much.  These photos are from Thanksgiving day, which was spent at my Uncle Clarke's house.  (1st photo: Coulby, Me, Jack, and Emma.  2nd photo: A Thanksgiving tradition for my family- a bushel of raw oysters.  3rd photo: Me and Jack dancing.  4th photo: My Poppop napping.  5th photo: Jack-Jack Attack.)  PS. In regards to the first photo - do you know how hard it is to make 3 children under the age of 6 ALL look at the camera AND smile at the same time!?!  It's HARD!

It's strange to see photos of myself taken with my camera- I really don't have that many, since I am usually behind the lens and not in front of it.

Tonight I'll post my very last NoJoMo post!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Sucky NoJoMo #28

Thanksgiving was wonderful... it was the best Thanksgiving in a long time.

I'm leaving now to go up to New Jersey to hang out with Elaina tonight.  Tomorrow I'm going over to Em's house and her dad is taking me FLYING!  He's a pilot, and he flies little Cessna planes.  It should be interesting.

Sorry I'm boring today!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

NoJoMo #27- Happy Thanksgiving

This is from Thanksgiving 2005.  It as a really, really rough Thanksgiving for Kelsey and I, since we had attended Liam's viewing 2 nights before, and were 2 days away from his funeral.  However, we still managed to have some fun with our cousins.  For all you PACAA people - we were putting on a skit called "The Four Headed Turkey" (basically the same thing as the "3 Headed Monster")... it was actually pretty fun, and my littlest cousin, Katie loved it.

I'm thankful for so much this year.  My mother's improving health, the great friends that I have, my family, my sister, my North Carolina family, Em, Sydney... the list trails on and on, and I could continue but I have to go dry my hair so that we can get on the road!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NoJoMo #26

I really, really like to photograph children.  Both of these are my cousin, Coulby.  She's actually my cousin Sherri's oldest child.  I love how in the first photo she is climbing a tree in a white lace dress.  That is definitely Coulby for you... she's adventurous, loud, sassy, intelligent, serious, and inquisitive.  

My last few posts have been a few hours behind.  I've made that at wee hours of the morning, once the calendar already states that it is really the next day.  I think it's a good thing though - I haven't had much to do the last few weeks, and me posting late means that I've been doing things instead of sitting around the house, staring at a computer screen!

Tomorrow we are going to Chestertown in the morning.  Kels and I are visiting with my dad's parents around noon, and then heading out to my Uncle Clarke's house in Church Hill.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I love when all of our family (the Bayne side) gets together- we always have a great time, and it's always so laid back.  After that- Kate, Meghan, and Ray are hosting a "Post Thanksgiving Hangover Relief" at Kate and Meg's house.  Tomorrow is going to be packed full of good food and good people.  

NoJoMo #25 - The Thanksgiving Potluck!

On Sunday night we attended the First Annual Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner at the Rugby House.  It was so fantastic!  There were over 40 people there, some I knew and some I didn't.  Everyone mingled with each other and ate some pretty amazing food.  There were THREE turkeys, POUNDS of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens (hey- we are in The South!), meatballs, macaroni and cheese, and lots of other sides.  Plus there was so many cakes and pies and ice cream... it was SO GOOD! (Not to mention all the beer and wine!)   Once everyone was there, we went around and all said what we were thankful for.  It was really cool to hear what ALL of those people were thankful for!

And it reminded me... On the RENT dvd there is a documentary about Jonathon Larson- who wrote the musical.  Every year on Christmas he would have this huge potluck dinner and invite all of his friends.  They would all sit around and drink wine and have these awesome discussions.  It made me happy that we were doing something similar.

I'm back in Delaware now... Em, Jay, and I left tonight around 6 and I got here about 2am.  (Em and Jay continued their trip up to NJ)  I'm still kind of wired from the trip (loud singing, caffeine to stay awake, etc.).  Tomorrow Kels is coming home and then Thursday we are heading to Chestertown for Thanksgiving.  I'm pumped - I love holidays!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NoJoMo #24

Today we went to the Natural Science Center with Kim and Jacob. Jake is so cute, and is such a ham. I can't help but photograph him. Even when he isn't posing, he looks like a little Gap Kids model! His skin is like's so pale!

The second photo is of this awesome sheep who was totally posing for me. He would chew his hay and then watch me adjusting my lens, pause and pose for a second, and then after my shutter went off, he'd go back to chewing. It was quite funny.

After the Science Center, Liz, Jay, Em and I enjoyed an amazing dinner at The Mel.ting Pot. Liz is a server there, and our meal was absolutely awesome! I was also very pleased to see that The Pot is doing a fundraiser over the next month or so, where at the end of your meal, your server offers that you can donate $10 to St. Jude's and in return, you get a $20 gift card to TMP! I think that's a great fundraiser, because you really don't lose any money by donating. It would make a nice Christmas gift as well (in my opinion). It's giving the gift that gives twice!

Monday, November 24, 2008

NoJoMo #23

I'm in Greensboro!!  I made a last minute decision on Thursday night to get a cheap last-minute deal on a flight down here for Friday, and I came down.  It's soooo good to be here.

Tonight at the Rugby House, there was a huge Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner.  I have photos, but I haven't loaded them onto my computer yet.  There were over 40 people there, lots of friends and friends of friends.  Jay, Em's brother, is also here visiting, so we all went together!  It was so incredibly great to hang out with my rugby girls again.  
This photo was taken in December of my freshman year at the rugby banquet.  It's me, Suzi, Gaby (our exchange student from Mexico!) and Kim.  Although none of these girls play anymore, they are part of the reason that I fell in love with rugby and enjoyed being on the team so much.  I liked playing, but all of my teammates really made me feel like I had found my "spot" down here at UNCG.  Me and one other player are now the oldest members of the team, which blows my mind.  I can't believe that I am now at the age that Suzi was in this picture.  She was our captain, and now I'm a captain.  So, I kind of feel like this has all come full circle.

Tomorrow we have plans to go over to the Natural Science Center, where they have a great zoo.  If you remember back a few months ago when I was here, I took V. there (the kid who I babysit for).  Em, Jay, and I are going to meet Kim and Jacob, the little boy in my last post.  It should be a fun time, and I'll take my real camera this time!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

NoJoMo #22

"What's one of your earliest memories?" -Lindsey
One of my earliest memories is from when I was 4 years old.  We were living in a townhouse in Wilmington, and my dad had a grill in the backyard.  While he was grilling our dinner, I was running around out there with my next door neighbor friend, Brad.  My dad stepped into the house for a minute, probably to grab something.  Brad was chasing me and I had turned around to see how close behind me he was.  When I turned back around, the grill was about 10 inches from my face.  My arms flew up instinctively, and I crashed into the grill.  Thankfully, I didn't knock it over, but I did burn my arm.  I remember that searing pain so clearly.  I also remember my mom carrying me into the house and laying me on the couch.  That's all I remember about the event.  I asked my mom if I had remembered it correctly, and she said that I had - and that the burn wasn't bad enough to take me to the hospital, but that we did go to the doctor the next day to have it properly bandaged.  

"How many kids do you want and what do you want to name  them?"  -Em
I'm not sure exactly how many kids I want... but definitely at least 3.  I've always wanted a large household.  I'm not totally sure about the names, but I do like the name Jackson.  I also like the name Colton.  For girls I like the name Olivia ("Livie" for short).  Note: This is all subject to change... seeing as 10 years ago I wanted 6 kids and my two favorite names were "Amy" and "Emily" haha.

"Has your new camera changed how you look at things?" -Lindsey
I can answer this question with complete confidence.  Yes!  I feel like I caught a bug or something- everywhere I go, I see things and think to myself "man, those lines are awesome" or "I could really make this look more interesting with my camera".  I see scenes all the time that I would love to capture - which has led to me carrying my camera to pretty much everywhere I go.  The first two photos were taken at my cousin Meghan's house in Chestertown, and the last photo was taken today at a surprise party.  The little boy, Jacob, is so awesome.  He has two mommies and an older brother.  Kim has been babysitting for their family since Jacob was a teeny tiny baby.  I've been so lucky to get to know them through Kim.  Their family is SO cool, and the only same parent family (with kids) that I actually know and have spent time with.

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Snow! NoJoMo #21

My mom woke me up at 7:06 am, jumping around saying, "It snowed, It snowed!!"  I rolled out of bed to find about 2 inches of snow blanketing the ground.  And it's still coming down.

She made pancakes and coffee, which I enjoyed thoroughly.  Now, I might go back to sleep for a few hours  ;-)

PS. Please excuse the poor quality of the photo - it was easier to just snap a picture with my cell phone.  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Life Soundtrack! NoJoMo #20

"Make a soundtrack of you. The 15 songs you would pick if a movie was made about you and why you are choosing them." -Erin

1. "River of Dreams" by Billy Joel. I grew up listening to this song in the car with my parents, and I always loved it. I think because it's pretty repetitive, so I was able to remember the words. This was my very first "favorite song".

2. "Can't Touch This" by M.C. Hammer. If a movie was made about my life, there would have to be a scene in which my dad is holding me and dancing with me around the living room to this song. I know it's silly, but this song will forever remind me of my dad and my childhood - in a good way.

3. "One Love" by Bob Marley. I have always loved this song, and when I was in middle school, I started listening to music that my friends didn't listen to, including Marley, Dave Matthews, and The Grateful Dead. It was really a turning point for me- when I realized that I didn't have to be just like everyone else around me.

4. "At the Beginning" by Donna Lewis. This is the song from Anastasia. When I was a freshman and sophomore in high school, I was transitioning into a new group of friends, and they played this song a lot. I wasn't really sure where it was from, but I learned fast. This song reminds me of them every time I hear it, and it used to be the unofficial song of the LSC. (Yes, our group of friends had a nickname, and EVERYONE used it haha) "I'll be there when the world stops turning. I'll be there when the storm is through. In the end I want to be standing at the beginning with you."

5. "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf. This song is a tradition at PACAA. Every year, we have a dance, and at the end of the dance we play this song. The girls line up on one side, and the boys line up on the other side- everyone with a partner. It's just a fun thing that we do- some people don't approve because the song doesn't exactly have the best message, but it's one of my favorite things about Leaders and plus I love traditions!

6. "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens. When September 11th happened, I was a freshman in high school. I played Field Hockey that year, and the parents made a slideshow for us- I still have a VHS copy. They used this song in the beginning, which began my love affair with Cat Stevens at age 14.

7. "Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos. This song was introduced to me when I was in high school by my friend Rachel. I don't think she knows that it ended up being the song I played over and over, and sang to myself to be able to fall asleep during those nights when I was too scared to be in the dark by myself and terrorized by flashbacks. "Silent all these..years go by will I still be waiting for somebody else to understand? Years go by if I'm stripped of my beauty and the orange clouds raining in my head...Do you think there's a heaven where the screams have gone?"

8. "Tonight, Not Again" by Jason Mraz. When I was a freshman in high school, I started listening to Jason Mraz with my friend Becky. She was really into him and I'd never heard of him, but instantly fell in love with his voice and the amazing lyrics to his songs. This was way before he was on the radio or anyone knew who he was. This was my favorite song by him, and I was so excited when a couple of years later, he mainstreamed and hit the radio. This song is special because the summer of '03 was like out of a movie for me. It was just perfect, and my friend Max and I would listen to this song over and over. It was ours, and for years whenever one of us was at a Jason Mraz concert, we would call each other during this song. "It's when you cry just a little, but you laugh in the middle, that you've made it.."

9. "Crazy Game of Poker" by O.A.R. Another band that I listened to long before they were on the radio. Every time I hear this song, it brings me back to being 15 and riding in Becky's backseat, where it was my job to play the bongo while this song played. This is one band that I'm sad went mainstream though... their style of music really changed and became much more commercial and less unique once they started getting more attention. I guess things change, though.

10. "World Spins Madly On" by The Weepies. On the flight home the day after Liam died, I listened to this song on repeat on the plane, crying my eyes out. It's sad, but now I listen to it and it makes me smile and think of Liam. "I thought of you and where you'd gone. And the world spins madly on.."

11. "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles. This song represents me going to college, finding out new things about myself, and being extremely happy with my life for the first time in a long while. Plus, it's a great tune!

12. "I Kissed a Girl" by Jill Sobule. Hahaha...self explanatory! "I kissed a girl, her lips were sweet. She was just like kissing me...but better!"

13. "Small Town" by John Mellencamp. This song always makes me think of Chestertown. I love all John Mellencamp, and he actually put on one of the best concerts that I've ever been to! This song makes me feel happy to have a connection to a small town. "I cannot forget from where it is that I come from. I cannot forget the people that love me. I can be myself here in this small town. Where people let me be just what I want to be..."

14. "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel. This song represents a period of my life where I was positively sure that I was going to go into Deaf Education. When I was in high school, I took ASL classes at the local college, and I taught myself much of what I know (or, knew..) I chose my university based off of my Deaf Ed major- UNCG has an outstanding program. Even though I don't plan on going into this field anymore, it was a huge part of my life for many years. "People talking without speaking. People hearing without listening. People writing songs that voices never shared. And no one dare disturb the sound of silence."

15. "One Safe Place" by Marc Cohn. This song has always been a favorite, and was the inspiration for the name of this blog. It represents this point in my life where I am finally beginning to feel "safe" - in a lot of different ways. "How many roads you've traveled. How many dreams you've chased. Across sand and sky and gravel. Looking for one safe place."

Bonus Track! "This is Him (Hurricane Song)" by Virginia Coalition. This song is seared into my brain!! During the summer when I lived at 2004 Walker, Kim and I would come home drunk, crank this song up, and dance around the kitchen and do the dishes. I can't count how many times we've blasted this song with the windows down, singing and dancing and getting stares at stoplights. It's a great, great song. "So this is me, I'll be no one else... There's nothing wrong with the sound you've been needin' all along!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shine Your Light. NoJoMo #19

He lives in you
He lives in me
He watches over
Everything we see
Into the water
Into the truth
In your reflection
He lives in you

Liam James Kane, I miss you with my whole heart!  I can't believe it's been 3 whole years since you've graced this planet with your beautiful smile, gorgeous eyes, loving heart, and playful personality.  We miss you so much here, and we will never, EVER forget you!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NoJoMo #18

I mentioned in an earlier post that while I was in Vermont, we visited Harpoon Brewery in Windsor.  The weather was miserable on Saturday, so we thought a good way to spend it would be tasting beers!  It was about a 2 hour drive down to the brewery.  When we got there, we all ordered a pint and sat by the fireplace, looking out the window and talking.  The tour was great, and afterwards we sampled a bunch of beers.  My favorite was the Winter Warmer, which had nutmeg and cinnamon.  It was so good, it was like sucking on an atomic fireball and then drinking a beer.  They also had a Chocolate Stout, which tasted like it had Hershey's Dark Chocolate mixed in it.  It was also amazing, however it was pretty heavy and I probably couldn't have finished a whole pint.  There was also a raspberry beer that I really enjoyed.
(Photos: Front of the Brewery, Colin and Rachel during the tour, and Rachel in the store room standing next to TONS of her fav. beer!)

In other news, it's snowing here.  Just flurries, but everything looks "blue" outside... I'm not sure how to describe it.  It just looks like snow.  

I know that most of you probably won't do this, but I'll throw it out there just incase.  I do a good amount of Christmas shopping online, and I'm sure you guys have heard about those websites where you can choose a charity, and then when you shop through their site, a portion of your spending gets donated to your chosen charity. is a great one - they have over 700 participating online stores, including, Apple, Apple iTunes, Best Buy, Brooks Brothers, Ebay, Gap, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Kohl's, L.L. Bean, Old Navy, Patagonia, Pottery Barn, REI, Ritz Camera,, and Travelocity.  I couldn't believe it when I was looking at the list of stores, I have definitely shopped at some of these online stores for gifts, and I know that people I know shopped at some of these stores last year for Christmas.

Signing up is very easy and free.  If you go to, there is a place to search for causes.  If you'd like to support Neuroblastoma research, search for "Band of Parents Foundation".  When you click it, it gives a description of the organization.  They fund some amazing trials around the US and are involved in funding some very cutting edge research.  I cannot think of a better place to donate money (And, you technically aren't even giving any money!)  After you choose your organization, you just sign up and then shop.  It's very easy.

I know that no one needs me to harp about Neuroblastoma and how desperate these families are for new and better treatments.  Listen to this alarming statistic.  EVERY YEAR, MORE MEN DIE FROM BREAST CANCER THAN CHILDREN DIE FROM NEUROBLASTOMA.  That is how rare this cancer is.  It needs more recognition, and more funding.  The children who have lost their lives to this cancer are constantly running through my mind, and the ones who are still fighting are my heroes. 

Go read Prince Liam's last few updates on his website.  I can guarantee that you will be blown away by his strength and resilience.  I wish with my whole heart that I could just give every cent to my name to this cause, but even that money wouldn't make a dent in the amount needed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

NoJoMo #17

Even though I already posted once today, I'm going to go ahead and post my NoJoMo 17 now so that I don't have to worry about it tomorrow, after a long drive.  It's technically November 17 now anyway.

"Do you have any regrets in your life thus far?"  -Lindsey

I have small regrets that I hardly think of on a day to day basis.  I wish I had studied abroad earlier in my college career, instead of holding back because of rugby.  I regret not staying in better contact with certain people over the last few years.  Things like that. 

My biggest regret is that I didn't pursue something that I really should have.  This is probably the closest that I will ever come to writing about The Unbloggable.  

Something awful happened when I was 16 years old.  It was a few days before Christmas, my junior year of high school.  I made a bad decision, actually a series of bad decisions.  This led to me being in a vulnerable position, and I was violated in a major way (really, beyond major) by someone who I trusted and considered a friend.  I went through all of the stages (although, I didn't even know what those stages were at the time.  I didn't learn about them until years later.)  Shock, Denial, Anger, etc.  I sat in the "Denial" stage for awhile there...not denying that it had happened, but denying that it was as bad as everyone kept acting like it was.  

The circumstances were strange.  I really didn't feel that I was "backed" by any adult, and the only adult who ever really validated my experience was an amazing teacher I had my senior year.  My AP Psych.ology teacher, Ms. B.  However, because things were not properly dealt with, it took me longer to adjust after the violence.  Also, I could not consider taking any legal action, especially without full support of some very key people.

By the time I had reached a better place emotionally and mentally, I was getting ready to go off to college, escaping the hell that had been my life for the last 18 months of my high school career.  I tried to push all of the memories and thoughts away, which worked for a good amount of time.  However, I will always be wracked by guilt and regret the fact that I did not take legal action after what happened.  The details from the event are horrendous, sickening, and absurd. There is no doubt in my mind that this person has hurt other girls/women since then, and all I can do is apologize silently to all of his other anonymous victims.  As a person who does whatever I can to help, love and nurture those around me, the thought of me not pursuing that is embarrassing, sad, and makes me feel responsible and guilty.

There is a thing called a sta.tute of limit.ations.  There is a certain amount of time that a victim has to prosecute after a crime like that is committed.  In the state of Delaware, it is 5 years from the date of the crime.  My stat.ute of limit.ations is up on December 20th, 2008.  So, a little over a month from now.  I am choosing not to do anything, for a host of reasons.  However, I think that when December 20th rolls around, it might be somewhat of a rough day.  My last chance to make things right, but I know I'll never do it.  

So sleepy... that's all for now.  It took me over an hour to write that, and it was completely emotionally exhausting.  However, even though what happened was unthinkable and horrific, I am only a stronger person today because of it.  "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" ... and I am surely lucky to be alive today.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

NoJoMo #16

Here are a few photos from my drive up on Friday.

I'm heading home tomorrow morning.  This has been a great and very much needed little get-away.  I got to see so many people, it's been great.  Not only did I get to hang out with Rachel all weekend, but I got to see my friend Matt from high school.  Also, today I met up with the Mec.oni's for lunch.  Suzi's parents live right across Lake Champlain, so they took the ferry to Burlington and took Rachel and I out to lunch.  It was so good to see them, they are amazing people who I love a lot.

Today we got home from lunch and Rach started some homework while I napped on her very soft and comfy bed.  Then she woke me up for dinner and we had leftovers, and now she's finishing up some work before we head to Wal.mart to get me a tape adapter for my iPod and Ben & Jerry's for a milkshake.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

NoJoMo #15

I took these two photos in Chestertown last week.  

Vermont is great!  Today Rachel and her boyfriend Colin and I went to Harpoon, which is a brewery in southern VT.  We went on the tour and tried some amazing beers.  After that we stopped at another smaller brewery and got a snack before heading home to make lasagna.  

More substantial post still on it's way...

NoJoMo #14

Too tired... Even if I tried to make a coherent post right now, it would suck.

I'm here in Burlington, VT - it's so good to be back.  I truly love this place.  The photo posted is one that I took back in March 2006, during my first trip here.  (The same trip where I met Barack!)  Outside of Rachel's dorm there were huge murals that students had painted.  They were very cool.  

Burlington is extremely liberal and gay friendly.  I was downtown for about 3 hours tonight, and I saw at least 10 gay couples.  I love going to bars here, because makeup and heels are not required.  (Not that it's ever required... I just feel so much more comfortable).

Tonight, Rachel and I walked around downtown and I was able to meet her boyfriend.  He's very nice, and a Phillies fan.  We had a good time, but I was exhausted from driving over 6 hours.  

There was a part of the drive where I ended up in central Vermont and had to drive north.  The drive was breathtaking.  Rachel had warned me of the long, desolate road with no cell phone service and lots of cows.  But, the Adirondak Mountains were to my left, with the sun setting over them, and I got some amazing photos!  I'll try to load them onto my computer tomorrow, and post them.  The scene literally took my breath away.  I took a random detour down a random back country road, along farms and old barns turned into houses.  I would pull over every few seconds, as the sun was shifting in between the clouds, causing these beautiful bursts of color and shine.  It made me very happy.

More substantial post ASAP.  Promise.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NoJoMo #13

"Do you have any regrets in your life thus far?"  -Lindsey

I do have regrets.  As much as we would like to say that we live with no regrets ("Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.."), I think it's really hard for someone to say that they have zero regrets in their life.  And if someone does and truly feels that way, then I commend them.

My biggest regret is tied to "The Unbloggable".  I borrowed that term from another blog that I read.  I'm not sure what her "Unbloggable" event was, but mine is something that I've hinted at here and there, but never written freely about.  

I'd really like to be able to share it with all of you, so I'm going to think of a way that I can, without going into too much detail.  I'm very wary about what I write on the internet about it, because you never know who is reading and what will get back to whom.  

With that being said, I will work on it.  So, this post isn't really an answer... just a prelude of what is to come.  I promised that I would answer every question truthfully.

Tonight I'm going to an awards dinner with my mom (She's worked at Riddle now for 20 years!)  She's taking me as her date.  From there, I am leaving to go up to NJ to spend the night with Meg, before leaving tomorrow morning to drive up to Burlington, VT.  I have some great friends up there who I'm going to spend the weekend with.  The drive isn't really that bad - about 5 hours from NJ.  I'll try my hardest to update while I'm there, but I'm not sure of the internet situation.  We'll see.

Great Video of Little Kid at Phillies World Series Parade

Here is the text from next to the video: "We snuck out into the middle of Broad Street to snap a pic in front of City Hall and all the crowds. When Will raised his hands for the picture, cheers erupted. So he continued to repeat the gesture, getting wild response from the crowd on both sides of the street up and down the street as far as we could see. We couldn't have planned this if we practiced and practiced."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NoJoMo #12

"What has the proudest moment of your life been so far?" -Elaina 

I have definitely had proud moments in my lifetime, however, none of them seem worthy enough to be deemed the proudest moment.  I've been throwing this question around in my head for a few days, and I think I know what my answer is.

My freshman year of college started off perfectly.  I had a great roommate who I became fast friends with.  I loved my classes and my campus.  I joined rugby and was a starter, even though I'd only been playing for a month.  I even formed a team for the Relay for Life, which was to take place the next April.  Everything was perfect!  

I flew home for fall break (my very first time flying alone, and 2nd time flying ever).  While I was home, Mrs. Kane got in touch with me.  She wanted me to see Liam while I was home, and there seemed to be some urgency in her voice.  The day before I left, Liam was in outpatient at A.I. duPont Children's Hospital (about 5 minutes from my house) getting platelets, so I visited him with Kelsey and Dan.  When it was time to leave, I walked away, glancing over my shoulder at Liam every few seconds.  The last time I looked at him before walking through the door, he was looking intently up at his father, while Mr. Kane was talking to him.  

It was the last time I saw Liam with life running through his little body.  39 days later, while I was 450 miles away, Liam passed away at home, in his parents' arms.  My mom called me... I was at the caf on campus, eating lunch with two friends.  I had just sat down with my tray when I answered my phone.  " is the day that Liam died".  I will never, ever forget those words.  "What?" I screeched.  "What? What? What?"  I just kept saying "what" and "No!"  I left my friends and tray behind, ran out of the caf, pounded down the stairs and burst into the fountain area.  I paced the sidewalk, crying so hard I couldn't see, dialing numbers...calling Kim and Suzi.  I called my mom back and she immediately got me a flight home for the next day.  The rest is a big blur.  Suzi had been on her way to work and she came to campus right away with Kim.  My friends from the caf abandoned their lunches and came to find me.  While we were still outside, I was sobbing and a cop came over to make sure everything was okay.  Kim and Suzi took me up to my room and packed my bag for me.  Kim took me to her apartment, where I spent the evening and night curled up on the couch, trying to watch television through my tears.  I boarded a flight the next morning and the rest is somewhat of a blur.

When I got back to Greensboro after Thanksgiving, I promised myself that I would still do the Relay for Life.  I had an even better reason and motivation now.  I worked so hard on that team.  We called it "Legs for Liam" and I became passionate about raising money.  My original goal of $750 was passed, so I raised it to $1,000, which I then reached.  When I realized that checks and cash were reaching my mailbox in record numbers, I upped my goal to $2,000.  I reached that goal with ease, and raised somewhere around $2,400.  Our team raised by FAR the most money in the entire Relay for Life.  We raised $5,462.  I was so proud of my team and of myself.  I felt like Liam was proud of me, which was the best feeling in the entire world.  I was on Cloud Nine the entire night of the relay.  My mom and sister drove down for it, and they brought with them a package from the Kanes.  They sent a HUGE tub full of Liams favorite foods and drinks.  His favorite cookies, favorite chips, favorite gatorade... I remember pulling the team together before the relay started and reading them the letter from the Kanes (which I still have, and read sometimes).  When I finished and looked up, so many people had tears in their eyes, and I felt like Liam was making a difference.

I was so proud of myself for putting that team together.  I had really kickass tshirts made and went to all of the meetings.  I remember swelling with pride at every collection night.  I would bring up the latest bunch of checks or cash from the entire team, and every time it was hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  The Relay for Life treasurer's mouth would drop every time at the first few collections, and then she became used to me turning in so much money.  She would just shake her head and smile.

It felt so good to raise so much money for the American Cancer Society.  I know that ACS does not allocate appropriate funds for Pediatric Cancer, however, even though my team was named Legs for Liam, I formed that team to honor each person in my life who had been affected by cancer, including my Grandmother, my cousins' father, and many friends of the family.

That was a pretty long and drawn out answer... but Liam is my favorite topic of conversation, so I can't help it.  :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NoJoMo #11

I'm going to knock out a couple of questions in this post.  

"Why did you choose to go to UNCG?" -Kelsey

When I was a junior and looking at universities, I really liked the thought of going somewhere a good distance away.  I didn't want to go across the country, but I did want to put a little distance between myself and the state of Delaware.  In the spring of my junior year of high school, my mom and I made a trip down to North Carolina to look at 3 schools.  (I applied to 5 schools, and luckily was able to visit all of them before ultimately making my decision).  The first school that we visited was UNCG - University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  I'm not sure if it was because the weather was gorgeous (we were there in April) or what, but from the moment I stepped onto that campus, I fell in love with it.  There were gorgeous flowers everywhere, lots of open fields of grass and trees.  The buildings were all beautiful (minus a couple of 70s looking buildings.. ha ha)  After we toured the campus, I went in with some other prospective students and watched a short movie about the school.  From then on, UNCG was my #1 choice.  Here is a photo of my favorite part about the campus - a swing set located right in between the library and the Elliott University Center... which is kind of like a Student Union, with the bookstore, restaurants, etc.  

"If you cold live anywhere, where would you live?"  -Em

Another question filled with possibilities.  Well, I'm definitely one of thos
e people who can't stand the cold.  When it snows, I enjoy it from behind the window, in my cozy warm house.  I'm not a big skiier/winter activities kind of person.  Put me in a tank top and shorts with flip flops, and I'm the happiest girl ever.  So, I've always thought that I would love to live somewhere where it is warm all year round.  However, since none of my family (except for my awesome gay uncle) live in a warm climate, I really don't think I could just up and move somewhere warm and be so far away from the ones that I love.  So, my second choice would be Chestertown, MD.  Gasp!  I know... my parents grew up there, met, and lived there when the were first married.  I was born there, and all of my family lives there.  Eventually, right before Kelsey was born, my parents moved to Delaware because they were both offered jobs right over the line in PA.  For a long time, my mom told Kelsey and I that we moved so that we would have opportunities that were not available to them in Chestertown while they were growing up.  Basically, my mom didn't want us growing up to be "those kids" who hung out in the Super.fresh parking lot on Friday nights because there was absolutely nothing to do.  

As I've grown up, I've really seen another side of Chestertown.  Also, I've been lucky enough to see some of my cousins that have lived there basically their whole lives and turned out just fine - actually, better than "just fine".  Chestertown is an amazing place to grow and thrive.  I think it's important for people who do grow up there to get out and see other places before making a decision to come back, and that's been the case with most of the people that I know.  (Except for my older family members, like uncles/aunts, etc.)  I think that I'm lucky that I grew up somewhere else, because now I can appreciate Chestertown and the Eastern Shore of MD for what it is.  And I would love to live there one day, and have a boat.  I would be perfectly content.  An added note - Chestertown has really grown a lot since my parents moved away.  There are now a lot more things for kids and teens to do.  I think having such a great college right in the middle of the town has helped with that.  

"Who is your favorite sibling?" -Kelsey

Well, since I only have ONE sibling, I'd have to say it's you, Kels!  Congrats!!

Summer 2005 ... can you believe this was over 3 years ago!?!

Monday, November 10, 2008

NoJoMo #10

Over the summer I went into Philly and walked around the city with Lindsey.  We brought our cameras and photographed random things along our walk.  I loaded the photos onto my computer and haven't really thought about them much because I wasn't that impressed with myself.

Then, last week, my mom and I drove up to
 West Chester (about 20 mins west of Philly) to visit Kelsey at work.  She's working at up there and asked us to come up to eat dinner 
while she was working, and she'd take her break and eat with us.  So we did, and while we were waiting for our food, a painting on the wall caught my eye.  I stared at it and couldn't figure out why it felt so incredibly familiar.  And then it hit me.  It looked exactly like this photo that I took when Lindsey and I were walking around that day.  It HAD to be the same spot.  But I wasn't totally sure... so I snapped a photo on my cell phone to compare it when I got home.  (Creepy, I know.  The girl working with Kelsey must have thought I was crazy).  

So, here are the two photos.  It's quite possible, since West Chester is so close to Philadelphia.  

Here's what makes me believe that it's the same place, despite some of the differences in the photo and the painting:

  • The tops of the lights are extremely similar looking.
  • There are actually two bridges (in my photo, you can't really see it, but there was another bridge behind the closest one)
  • The "heads" that are on the side of the bridge.  In my photo, you can't see it because the first lamp pole is blocking it.  But it's there - I have a photo of the actual head on the side of the bridge.
  • The railing along the closest bridge is so similar to the one depicted in the painting.  
  • The stone that the bridge is made out of is the same as in the painting.  There are just blocks, but along the bottom of the bridge are stones with a "keystone" in the middle.
  • Look at where the lamp posts meet the ground.  There is a rounded, cylindrical stone block that is holding them, but the lamps are connected to a "stone box" in both the painting and the photo.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

NoJoMo #9

This question came from Lindsey: "If you had unlimited time/$$ to spend on the vacation of a lifetime, where would you go and why?"

I love these kinds of questions!!  The possibilities are just endless!

If I had unlimited time, I would make my vacation last about a month.  I would tour Africa... go to as many countries as I could.  I think that people tend to think that all countries in Africa look the same, and are full of the same people.  Yes, African countries are similar, but each one is unique, with it's own particular, rich, and sometimes sad/bloody history.  I would go to all of the safe countries, starting at the bottom of the continent and working my way up.  I would mix pleasure with volunteering (something that usually goes hand in hand in my opinion, anyway.)  I would go on safaris, see the beautiful sights and take amazing photographs.  And I would also lend a hand at orphanages and food banks.  I would play with children in the streets.  I would bring as much American candy as I would be allowed to take and I would dispense it to whomever looked like they could use a treat.

There would still be plenty of relaxing and fun involved...catching sunsets, hiking mountains, shopping at markets, trying new foods, etc.  However, I really couldn't live with myself if I didn't also do something good.  Something to leave behind.  An old Girl Scout saying is "A Girl Scout always leaves a place better than she found it."  I think that back in the day, they were referring to cleaning up after yourself.  But, I like to interpret that phrase a little differently.  Even if leaving a place better than you found it meant that you made someone there smile or helped to carry their burden for a day, or listened to them, or attempted to communicate with them, or taught them something.  

Thanks for the awesome question, Linds!  It makes me wish that I truly did have unlimited time and money for an amazing vacation of a lifetime.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

NoJoMo #8

August 2007- Cop.per and Bea.ker on Twin Day.

I really miss camp.

I've been thinking a lot about it lately, and then today Meg called me and we talked about camp for a little while.  I really miss doesn't feel like it's been a year and a half since I've worked there.  It feels like it was this past summer.  I miss it so much.  I miss the routine, how you know exactly what will happen in your day because you're the one who plans it out and writes the schedule.  And then, when something unexpected does happen, it's kind of like a nice little treat.  (Except if the unexpected thing is rain, and you're supposed to go funyaking to the mill pond!)  I really miss the girls... it was so hard to visit this past summer because they all asked me, "Why aren't you here, Cop.per!?!"  And I had to make up a lie that I was working somewhere else...even though I didn't work somewhere else, I sat at my house with my mom all summer.  When I could have been there, teaching, camping, singing, and giving those kids the best summer of their lives.  I'd do anything to go back, but sadly, I don't think that will ever happen.  I'm still so confused about the whole thing, and I wish I could go back in time and make things different.  I loved working at that camp and even though it was only for 1 summer, it was the best job that I have ever had.

In other news, I'm home from Maryland.  I spent a good 3 days there.  I got to hang out with Kate and Meghan a lot.  I love their group of friends- they're really funny and just fun to sit around with.  Meghan and I went shopping at the outlets and I got some more grown up clothes, which is nice.  Sometimes I do get tired of tshirts and jeans...

If you left me a question and I haven't answered it yet, it's because I'm thinking long and hard about my answer.  Don't worry... I still have 22 more days to answer them!  If you haven't left me one yet, feel free to do so.  I've really liked thinking about them.  

Friday, November 7, 2008

NoJoMo #7

When I was 10 years old, my father went to rehab for his alcoholism. I don’t remember as much about the experience as I wish I did. Kelsey and I were told that our Daddy was “going away” to “get better” because he was “sick”. We didn’t know why he was sick. One day, he just didn’t come home, and our family of 4 suddenly became a family of 3. Things were different. Usually, my mom got up very early to go to work and left it up to my Dad to get Kelsey and I ready for school. Now, Mom was home in the mornings and it was more fun! She would cook us our Toaster Strudels or Eggos. She would actually wake us up instead of letting us sleep until the last possible second, then rush us out the door, hair uncombed and homework still laying on the dining room table – something my father did most mornings so that he himself could sleep longer. Life was different in a big way. There was no “hiding” when we heard Dad get home from work, slamming his car door shut in the drive way. Things were less tense, although, in retrospect, my mom did seem a lot more worn out.

After about three weeks of him being gone, Mom announced one Saturday morning that we were going to visit Daddy. We put on nice outfits and wore headbands with bows, excited for the visit. We drove for what seemed like hours, but was actually about 20 minutes, to a place that didn’t look like a hospital, but more like a school or a big mansion. We didn’t know it, but we were about to participate in “Family Counseling”.

I don’t remember seeing my father for the first time at Mir.mont, but I do have a few distinct memories from the experience. The first was when we had to sit in a big circle, on hard plastic chairs in what looked to be a classroom. I swung my feet, as they didn’t reach the floor, and looked at Kelsey, shrugging at her with my eyes. What were we doing here with all of these strangers?

We had to go around the room and say our names. After that, all of the “sick” people got to talk while we all listened. When it was my Dad’s turn, he tried to talk but just kept crying. I felt extremely uncomfortable, as showing emotion was somewhat taboo in our house during my childhood. I can specifically remember my stomach twisting into knots as my dad’s eyes got redder and his nose more stuffed up as he tried to talk through his tears. I remember nothing of what he said. All I could think was, “Who is this man? Where is my real Dad?”

I sighed with relief when it was time to leave that room. My Dad took us to the room where he slept. He had a room mate- an African American man who also had children, but none of his family had visited that day. That man sat down on his bed, so that he was eye level with Kelsey and I. I remember his words so clearly. “Your Dad is the best man that I have ever known. You girls are lucky to have such a great father.” I felt an overwhelming sense of discomfort, for the second time that day. This man didn’t know my dad. I was the one who lived with him for 10 years. This man had only lived with him for 3 weeks! I nodded and looked at the ground.

Dad returned from rehab soon after that. Things went back to normal, only our “normal” just got worse and worse. It was never really explained to me in detail why my dad went away, but I did know that he did “bad things” and knew that Mom didn’t like all of those red and white cans in the fridge, the frosted mugs in the freezer, and the bottles that lived in the pretty purple pouches with golden ties. In the years to come, I would learn more and more about my Dad’s “sickness” and what it meant. It changed my life… it began changing my life before I was even born, and is still changing my life to this day

NoJoMo #6

Technically, I am not a day behind, because I wrote this on my computer yesterday when I had no internet access. Right now, I'm in Chestertown just getting away for a while. It's so nice to be here at Meghan and Ray's little cabin-like house, with Melo always giving me kisses and pushing his nose under my hand, begging for kisses.

Here is my NoJoMo #6 - although it was not posted here yesterday, it was written yesterday. The question came from my cousin Meghan, who asked "If you knew 100% that you would not fail, what is one thing that you would do?"

What a question. There are so many things that I would do if it were guaranteed that I wouldn’t fail. I have been thinking about my answer since last night, and I was stuck between two things. The first is curing all cancers. The second is ending poverty. However, the more I think about my second answer, the more I think that by ending or solving all poverty, it may cause more problems than anything. While it would be fantastic to put an end to so much suffering, and there are a lot more people suffering due to poverty than cancer… I’m just not sure. If any of you disagree, please respond in a comment… I feel like there would be issues if all poverty was gone, but I’m just not exactly sure what those issues might be. I feel like it’s a sociological thing..

So, for now, I am going to say that I would cure all cancers. But, even that answer gives me problems. Is cancer really the biggest problem in this world? If I had the power to do one thing and succeed, would curing cancer really make the biggest difference? I honestly do not know. If I cured cancer and then later on down the road, figured out something that would have been better to do, I would feel guilty until the day I died. It's interesting to think about..

Any thoughts?

I'll post my NoJoMo #7 by tonight, hopefully. It depends on whether or not I stay in Chestertown for another night. Either way, I'll write it later on and it will be posted either tonight or tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NoJoMo #5

Megan left me this question in the form of a text message last night: "How long did you cry tonight and why does this mean so much to to you?"

At 11pm on the dot, when it was first announced that Barack Obama won the election, my mouth dropped and my mom and I looked at each other.  I asked, "Is this for real?" and she said, "Yes!"  I sat with my mouth open for a few seconds, and my phone immediately began ringing.  I talked to my sister for awhile, and I continued to get calls.  Eventually, I called Elaina because I remembered that she went to bed.  I said, "Elaina, he won!" and she said sleepily "Oh, which state?" and I said, "No!  He WON!  The whole thing!"  Haha.  Right when I hung up with her, I burst into tears.  Everyone who I talked to after that was subjected to my sobs of happiness.

I cried for somewhere around 58 minutes.  Atleast, it had been 58 minutes when I realized that the tears had dried up.

The second part of this question is the hard one.  It's hard for me to put my finger on exactly why this means so much to me.  I'm actually struggling to come up with adequate words. I think it has something to do with the fact that when I saw Obama speak 2 and a half years ago, I thought to myself that he had to be president.  I loved his ideas, the way he spoke, and how excited the crowd was.  And this was just him as a senator!  

I came back from Vermont that weekend and couldn't stop talking about him.  No one else knew who he was, but I had a poster of him from the speech that I put up on my wall.  Everyone asked who he was... when I first met Em, (which was around 6 months after I met him/attended his speech), I specifically remember her asking who "that guy on the poster" was.  I explained who he was to anyone who asked, and always added on the end "And, he's going to be our first black president!"  My confidence in that statement was often met with skepticism.  

I guess, I'm mostly just happy because our nation finally voted a president into office who a majority of us actually WANTED.  The last few years have been full of debacles and shenanigans.  This year, Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the primaries, fair and square.  Then, he went on to beat John McCain fair and square.  John McCain put it best in his speech last night, "America has spoken.  Loudly, and clearly."  That is right!

Vernon Jordan (black activist) was on The View this morning, and his response to someone saying "This is a miracle for black people" was ... "I don't think it's a miracle for black people.  It's a miracle for all Americans."  And this is what I truly believe as well.  It's going to open up doors... change is a GOOD thing.  If a minority of race can be voted into the White House, then it gives all minorities hope that anyone can be voted into the White House.  If this happened now, it means that SOMEDAY minorities of gender can be voted in.  Minorities of sexual orientation can be voted in.  Barack Obama is a catalyst!  Our leaders don't always have to be old, rich, white men.

My apologies for not writing the most coherent post... I am just so excited, and so blown away and almost speechless.  I just can't believe that it happened.  After this long... supporting him the whole way, before he even announced that he was running, supporting him during the primaries, supporting him and volunteering during the election.  Watching him win last night and listening to his speech cemented my belief that if enough people come together for the same purpose, than something can be accomplished and achieved.

I can't wait to see what the next 4 years will bring...



There are no words right now.

More tomorrow.  I think that tonight was the happiest night of my life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Day.

NoJoMo #4 -- part B.

This is my Poppop Ba.yne.  He's my mom's father.  He lives in Chestertown, MD... a place that can tend to be pretty small minded.  

He grew up in an even smaller town on the eastern shore of Maryland (a town called Crumpton.  pop: less than 1,000).   

I was never disappointed in who my grandfather is.  I always knew that if he had been born somewhere else, or in a different time period, then he probably wouldn't be the somewhat-racist man that he is.  I do NOT fault him for the way that he is... it's just how things were back then, and it's just how things were in the area that he lived.  A few years ago, he was really doing better with it.  Then, one evening, as he was leaving a convenience store, a black man punched him and robbed him in the parking lot.  My Poppop only had $2 in his wallet...  and we were back to square one.

Well, today my mom talked to Poppop on the phone, and he told her that he had gone out today to vote for Barack Obama.  Not only did he vote for Obama - but on his way, he saw an elderly black woman standing on the curb.  He pulled over and asked her if she was alright and she said, "Yes, I'm going to go vote."  And he asked if she needed a ride.  She didn't... someone was on their way to pick her up.  But when my mom heard that, she smiled so big, and was so happy!  My grandfather!  I love him!  

And I really feel that if Barack Obama wins, the change that our country will see (and so desperately needs) won't be solely from Obama's words or actions.  Just having him as our president could change so many peoples' perceptions and ideas.  My grandfather is a perfect example.  We need this...

NoJoMo #4

I'm taking a break from questions for today (but keep 'em coming!!)

I am so anxious about what will happen...with the presidential election, and with Prop 8.  

I have been waiting for this day since March 2006, when I first met Barack Obama and somehow just knew that he would be running for president.  

I had a dream last night that Michelle Obama e-mailed me, thanking me for voting for her husband.  "I'm always glad when people understand just how much he wants to change our country for the better" it said.

I'm terrified that "something" is going to happen with the polls or ballots.  Some sort of shenanigans.  If it happened when two white men were running, I can definitely foresee it happening when a black man and a white man are running.

Please, please, please...

I'm off to shower and then head to the polls with my mom.

Monday, November 3, 2008

NoJoMo #3

For those of you who didn't catch my last post - I am doing a "NoJoMo" and asking for YOU guys to give me topics to write about!  Tell me something you want to hear about... it can be a question about anything.  Seriously - don't hold back.  It can be personal, it can be silly, it can be dirty... it can be a "what would you do?"  or "would you rather this or that" kind of question... it can be anything!  Leave it in a comment... a question (or two..or three!) about ANYTHING.  Even if you're a stranger... feel free to leave it anonymously!  I will answer every single question truthfully.

Question from Em: "Why are elephants your favorite animal?"

Simple question with a simple answer. Two words: JUNGLE BOOK.

Growing up, Kelsey and I had an enormous Disney collection. The Jungle Book was never a huge favorite, but we did watch it from time to time. From the first time I saw it, I fell in love with the elephants! I loved how they walked in a straight line, holding onto the tail of the elephant in front of them. I loved their grandeur and magnificence. I loved how FUNNY they were! Most of all, I liked the little baby elephant. From then on - I liked any movie with elephants. Dumbo, The Secret Garden, etc.

Here is my favorite scene from The Jungle Book.

It's funny how liking something as a kid can roll over into adulthood. I still love elephants, and a dream of mine has always been to touch one, and pat its trunk. Anybody know how I can make this happen, aside from visiting the circus? ;-)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NoJoMo #2

For those of you who didn't catch my last post - I am doing a "NoJoMo" and asking for YOU guys to give me topics to write about!  Tell me something you want to hear about... it can be a question about anything.  Seriously - don't hold back.  It can be personal, it can be silly, it can be dirty... it can be a "what would you do?"  or "would you rather this or that" kind of question... it can be anything!  Leave it in a comment... a question (or two..or three!) about ANYTHING.  Even if you're a stranger... feel free to leave it anonymously!  I will answer every single question truthfully.

G left me this question : "My question is how/where/when you and 'em' met."

Good question!  I created this blog about two months after I met Em, so I don't believe I've ever really addressed that on here.

The summer after my freshman year at UNCG, I was living in Greensboro with a great friend of mine, Kim.  We lived in The Rugby House and had two other roommates (who were living other places for the summer).  During the summer, a girl had posted on the UN.CG's Rugby group that she was moving to Greensboro from Arizona to get a second degree, and that she would love to help out with the team and/or play if she was eligible.  We kind of forgot about it until a few months later-  August rolled around, and school started.  A week after school started, rugby started up.  We had a few new girls... I remember Em at the first practice.  She was a new girl, but she had on a rugby shirt and told us that she had played before.. I still didn't make the connection that she was "that girl from facebook".  

Em didn't know anyone in Greensboro, and The Rugby House was always open for hanging out.  Em would come over for random parties or get-togethers that were open to the team.  The first time that we actually hung out was a few weeks after Rugby had started.  There is a women's team in the area called Triad, and often, members of our team will go to their practices, just for the extra workout.  One day after our own practice, I asked if anyone was going to Triad's practice, and Em was the only one who wanted to go... so we rode there together and went to Burger King afterwards for some dinner.  While at BK, my roomie Kim called to let me know that everyone was playing board games at our house, so I invited Em to come back with me and play with us.

About a week later, Triad- the men's team in the area, and the team that our former coach plays for, had a game in Wilmington, NC which is on the beach.  Kim and I wanted to go watch, and it was still warm out, so we were hoping to hit the beach as well.  Anyone from the team was invited to go, and Em wanted to, so we told her she was welcome to ride along with us.  Em invited another girl from the team - Turner.  The four of us went to the game and then played around at the beach, tossing a rugby ball and playing in the ocean.  We went out to eat before driving back to Greensboro.

After that, Em and I began talking online and she would come over to the rugby house to hang out.  On Labor Day, some guys at the rugby house had a "Case Race" where they attempted to race to drink entire cases of beer.  A few people came over, including Em.  It got pretty late into the night, and we were all pretty drunk, when one of the rugby girls had to walk back to her dorm, and asked Em to walk with her.  I offered to go with them so that Em wouldn't have to walk back to The Rugby House by herself.  The three of us walked to campus and we dropped off the other girl.  Em and I began walking back to The Rugby House and I remember being pretty drunk.  We stopped to take a break on someone's lawn and I laid back in the grass.  Em laid down next to me and uttered those FAMOUS words... "You can put your head on my arm, if you want."  Haha, she didn't have to ask me twice!

After that, Em was around at The Rugby House a lot more, and some nights she would sleep over...we always slept on the couch, which was shaped like an "L".  Eventually, we were "found out" by Kim's (now) ex-boyfriend.  He woke up one morning and we were holding hands (cue: "aww")  He told Kim, and Kim asked me about it, and then I couldn't really hide it any longer!

The rest, my friends, is history.  :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Journaling Month - NoJoMo #1

Well, I'm not really familiar with NoJoMo... but on Em's Open Diary (something else I'm not really familiar with, but she's been using for a long time... it's like Live Journal, I think) a lot of people do it every November.  Basically, it's like a challenge to try to make a journal entry every single day for the entire month of November.  

I thought about doing a NoPhoMo (hehe, I made that up)... and doing it with Photos instead, but I tend to get really frustrated when I can't find good subjects/I am really hard on myself with photography and never like how it turns out.  So, I think I'll stick with journaling.  It's a challenge, and hopefully will provide me with something I can look forward to every day.  My only problem is finding a topic I can write about every day without becoming completely mundane and boring!

That's where you guys come in!!  Tell me something you want to hear about... it can be a question about anything.  Seriously - don't hold back.  It can be personal, it can be silly, it can be dirty... it can be a "what would you do?"  or "would you rather this or that" kind of question... it can be anything!  Leave it in a comment... a question (or two..or three!) about ANYTHING.  Even if you're a stranger... feel free to leave it anonymously!  I will answer every single question truthfully.

So... for today, Day One, I'm going to write about a memory I have.

When I was in 1st grade, at Brandy.wood Elementary, I have this clear memory of something that happened at lunch one day.  There was this kid in my class... we'll call him Sam.  Sam was one of those kids that you didn't want to invite to your birthday party, but your mom made you because you had to invite everyone so that no one felt left out.  One day in the cafeteria, I ended up sitting next to Sam.  I had my best friend, Georgia, on the other side of me.  I was talking to her and eating my cafeteria bought student-lunch.  It was a Friday - pizza day.  (Which, might I add, only cost 90 cents at the time... left me with a dime for either a cookie or two pretzel sticks!)  Sam tapped my shoulder and started talking to me.  I'm not sure what he said to start the conversation, but it somehow ended up with him "being mean".  I ignored him, until he uttered one sentence that has stuck with me until this day, 15 years later.  "Your mom is so fat, she couldn't fit through that door!" he said, pointing to the door to the cafeteria. 

At first, my eyes teared up.  I didn't want him to see, so I turned towards Georgia.  She gave me a sympathetic look and put her hand on my arm.  She was wearing a rainbow striped sweater.  I tried to swallow the huge lump in my throat.  How could Sam say something about my mommy?  My sweet, wonderful, PERFECT mommy.  He didn't even know her!  He hadn't even ever seen her!  He didn't know how wonderful her hugs were!  He didn't know that she would come in and re-tuck my covers every night before she went to sleep!  I tried as hard as I could to collect myself, but he knew that the damage was done, and he was laughing at me.  Tears rolled down my pale cheeks and I tried to take deep breaths.  All I could think about was how perfect my mom was, that of course she could fit through the door.  Georgia said, "Lets go get Miss Banker" and I just looked at her.  Sam had already moved on.  Having successfully ruined someone's day, he simply returned to his pizza as if nothing had ever happened.

I looked down at my lap, and watched the tears drip dark circles onto my pink leggings.  Before  I knew what was happening, I saw a blur of rainbow and Sam was being shoved off of the bench.  As his head hit the bench of the table behind us, his face filled with shock and then immediately crumpled into embarrassment and sobs.  Georgia stood over him, pointing, and said, "Don't be mean to my friends."  She sat back down just as a cafeteria aide rushed over to our table.  Sam had slumped onto the floor, still crying.  The aide took Georgia and Sam to the hallway, and Sam eventually returned, but Georgia did not.  

Georgia and I never spoke of the event again.  I didn't see her for the rest of lunch, and that had been a half-day at school, so I got picked up right when lunch ended.  Even though I moved to a new neighborhood after that school year, and enrolled in a new elementary school, I never, ever forgot what Georgia did for me that day.

So, where ever you are, Georgia - Thank You!  You made me realize how important it is to stand up for those who don't feel strong enough to stand up for themselves.