Thursday, November 25, 2010

To Do: Eat Until You Explode

Location: Bed (home)
Listening to: Cheesy top 40 music on the radio
Today's Odd Holiday(s): National Parfait Day; That Day Where American's Worship Turkeys (Thanksgiving)

Hello, Blog. How are you today? Got big plans? I know I do. Today is the day I plan on eating until I physically explode from consumption. Because today is the day we, as Americans, celebrate our survival of the first hard season on the soil of this great country we now know as the United States. What we usually don't celebrate is what happened to the folks who were already living here when we got here (if, for some reason, you are unaware, let me summarize: exploitation; spread of disease; rape; death; etc.).

If you ignore that bit of unpleasantness, the holiday really does have a nice sentiment. It's one day to focus on what you are grateful for in your life. And, this year, I have a lot to be grateful for. This is one of those times when a list will be easier, so that's what I'm going to do.

What Abbie Is Thankful For This Thanksgiving:
  • My health. As some of you might remember me mentioning, a year ago today I started having this huge series of panic attacks. It lead to me missing about two months of school, because the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. My only symptom was that my heart would just start getting fast at random times. Eventually, I got things under control. Since then, I haven't had any serious health issues, which I am extremely thankful for.
  • My family. This is a given. I love my family to no end. We've gone through a lot this year, what with my grandpa passing and some other small hardships, but I think it's brought us closer. I love that my mom's side of the family almost all lives in our town, so I get to see them all of the time. And I love how, when we see my dad's side of the family a few times a year, it feels like no time has passed since we last saw them.
  • My friends. My friends, old and new, are wonderful. Over the past year, I've grown apart from some and grown closer with others. I've rekindled friendships I thought had long since ended and sparked brand new friendships that I hope will last for a really long time. I don't know how I would have survived a lot of things without the love and support of my friends. I love them all.
  • My boyfriend. Ok. I know we've only been dating for two weeks. But he's amazingly sweet and nice and fun and wonderful and easy to be around. He makes things a little easier and reminds me not to take everything quite so seriously. And he makes me happy.
  • My job. A lot of college kids are not fortunate enough to have a job, let alone one on campus where you get to do things you love and that apply to your future career with an awesome boss who is very kind and laid back. I may not get a ton of hours or get paid a lot, but I get paid enough to pay for gas and my credit card bill. And I think that's all that really matters.
  • My talents. I don't want to get into this one because I'm afraid it will sound like bragging, but I'm thankful for all of the things I can do well.
  • Having enough to eat/Having a nice home/Being able to go to college/Being able to vote/Having everything I need to live and wonderful people to share it with.
  • You. Blog readers, I'm not sure you know quite how much you mean to me. I really appreciate how kind and funny and just overall wonderful you all are. You're so nice and just plain awesome. I don't know why you like to read my ramblings, but I totally love that you do. You give me the best advice when it comes to my life, and I think you might know me better than some of my friends. So thank you for being you.
Well. I think that was enough sappy cheesiness for today. I hope you all have a wonderful, beautiful day. If you're in America, go stuff yourself with turkey and potatoes and rolls. If you're not, go stuff yourself with other delicious food. And no matter where you are, spend some time today thinking about what you're thankful for. If you want, share it with me. I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bear Party

Location: Desk
Listening to: ABC Family
Today's Odd Holiday(s): Button Day; Have A Party With Your Bear Day
Followers: 24!!!!

Welcome, Brittany Ciara!!! I'm so glad that you're now a part of my blog community. I hope you enjoy it! :)

I had a difficult time deciding which picture to go with for today. Obviously, Party With Your Bear Day is pretty unique. I wanted to do something related to that. Apparently, it's a day to chill out with your favorite teddy bear. And I found a really adorable picture of two ratty old teddy bears on a rocking chair wearing party hats. And then I found this.

Tough choices.

Thank you all for the wonderful and supportive comments on my last post. Brad and I are officially dating now. He's really nice. But that's all I'm going to say for now, because I don't want to be one of those girls who gets a boyfriend and then can't talk about anything else.

School is starting to get to the stressful time period known as finals. I have several tests and papers due this week and a few more next week. Then I get a nice, long weekend for Thanksgiving (which I'm looking forward to so much), and then back for a few more weeks and a slew of tests.

Last weekend, I went home to see the musical at my former high school. It was so surreal to be watching and not on stage. Especially because the show they did looked like it was a blast. I was so proud of everyone, because it really was a wonderful performance. My second cousin was one of the smaller leads, and he totally stole the show. And my friend's little sister (who is pretty much like my little sister) had this solo at the beginning of one song, and I got chills. It was incredible.

This is going to sound terrible, but I didn't realize how little I miss people I thought I'd miss like crazy until I saw them in person. I was looking forward to seeing some of my best friends, who I haven't seen since August, so badly. And then I saw them and didn't really care.

I wonder if it's because I still talk to them a lot, or because I simply have new friends here that make it kind of seem less significant when I see my old friends. There were some people who I was absolutely ecstatic to see.  It just kind of baffled me that I didn't care that much about some of my other friends.

Well, I think that's all I have to say for now. I might not update much for the next week or so, until I get home for Thanksgiving. But I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Best Night Ever

Location: Dorm desk
Listening to: The sounds my computer makes
Today's Odd Holiday(s): Veteran's Day

First off, I don't know if any of you darling readers of mine have fought to defend your country or know anyone who has, but I would just like to thank all of the men and women out there who have served in defense of their homeland. I don't care if you're from the USA or some other country, it takes a lot of bravery to risk your life in defense of anything, let alone a population who may never know your name.

So thanks.

Now that I'm done being sentimental and grateful, I have a really nice story to share with you guys.

Remember Brad? He's the guy from my History class who's a few years older than me who let me guest co-host his radio show, and subsequently has flirted with me to no end. I think I even may have mentioned how he asked me out a week or two ago after I hung out with him for a while.

Well, about a week ago, he told me to make sure I was free tonight because we were going on a date. And it was a surprise date. He wouldn't tell me anything about what we were doing except that it was outside of the town our college is in, it wasn't going to involve watching a movie, and there were potentially up to three stops we were going to make.

So I spent all week trying to figure it out, and I couldn't come up with any ideas. He mentioned that it was something we'd talked about, but we've talked about so much that just about anything was an option.

So today finally came, and he came and picked me up around 3:30 and we started driving. He told me that our first destination was about a half hour away, so we spent the car time talking and singing loudly with whatever song we picked on his iPod.

After the half hour in the car, we pull into this tiny town that I'd heard of but never been to before. It had those classic looking storefront buildings. And we get out of the car and wander up and down the street until Brad goes, "Oh! There it is!" and leads me over to this amazing bookstore. It's a used and rare book store, with piles and piles of books everywhere. I'd mentioned it once to him in a brief conversation, and he'd totally remembered. So we wandered around there for quite a while. There are two cats who live in the store, so we played with them and browsed all kinds of really old (and quite a few relatively new) books and assorted other items.

We finally left the store and started driving again. I knew we were going to dinner, but Brad had to stop at his work (a skydiving place) first to check something out. So we get there and he takes me inside and introduces me to a few people he works with and shows me around and does what he needs to do. We don't stay there very long.

When we're back in the car, he informs me that his work was originally supposed to be our third stop. He was going to drag a couch into the field behind the office building, and we were going to stargaze and cuddle. Except the weather wasn't cooperating and it was too cloudy to actually see the stars. I told him that it was a really cute/sweet idea, and then we went on to get dinner.

After dinner (at this really cute restaurant/pub called The Fork In The Road, where I got macaroni with chicken, spinach, and tomato), we drove back to campus. Or, at least, I thought we were going back to campus. Except he turned somewhere different and we ended up at this lake. Across the lake, you could see houses with the lights on and they were reflecting and it was really pretty. The sky was still kind of pink from sunset. We just wandered around the lake edge for a while. He picked me up a few times and pretended he was going to throw me in. At one point, I accidentally stepped in the lake, about which he's still teasing me.

There was a playground by the lake, so we went on the swings and played tag for a bit. On our way back to the car, we discovered this little bridge over a small waterfall, so we walked out on it. We ended up sitting out there for a while talking and playing truth. By the time either of us checked the time, we'd been out there for almost three hours.

And it felt like barely half an hour had gone by.

It was such a great time. Definitely the best date I've ever gone on. I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of tonight, I was no longer a single lady.

Goodnight, blog. I hope you had as wonderful as a day as I did.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Location: Desk (home)
Listening to: Nothing
Today's Odd Holiday(s): Book Lovers Day; Marooned Without A Compass Day; Saxophone Day

First of all, I would really like to thank everyone for their sympathy, wishes, and thoughts. I was really touched by your responses to my last post. It really means a lot to me that you guys care so much even though if we ran into each other on the street, we would have no clue who the other was.

This weekend has been the longest ever.

I skipped classes on Friday so I could come home Thursday to be with my family. For those of you who didn't get a chance to read my last post, my Grandpa passed away on Monday. He had a stroke three years ago and has been in a nursing home since. They figure he had another stroke. It was quick and probably painless, which is good.

Yesterday we had the visitation. Seeing my Grandma crying and kissing his forehead is the saddest, most heart-wrenching thing I have ever seen in my entire life. My Grandma is the sweetest woman alive, so seeing her (and the rest of my family) that sad was so hard.

Today was the funeral. My grandparents are both devout Catholics, so the service was at their church in a traditional Latin mass. It was beautiful and poignant. I've never had anyone close to me die before, so I'd never really experienced anything like this.

I don't want to dwell on the sad, though. My Grandpa was a funny, happy man, so I'm sure he wouldn't want me to be spending too much time on these sad thoughts. So I'll tell you a happy story.

Brad and I are kind of dating. We've hung out a lot in the past week. He's been really kind and supportive in the wake of my Grandpa's death, and he's been there for me constantly. We went for a walk on Tuesday. Wednesday I made him watch America's Next Top Model with me and my roommate. And he did. And he didn't complain about it and included my roommate in conversations and was really friendly and nice. She approves of him, which is saying something because my roommate doesn't approve of many people.

He has also made plans for Thursday. Surprise plans. Apparently they're pretty elaborate. The only hints I've been given are that it might involve his place of work (which is a skydiving place, but it's only open on the weekends, so I'm not really sure what we'd be doing there), and in the best-case scenario, we'll be making three stops including dinner. Worst-case, we'll be making one. And everything is based on something we've talked about. And the plans are designed specifically so we can do something together besides watch TV or go on a walk.

Apparently this is the first time he's made such elaborate plans by himself. I'm excited and extremely curious. I can assure you that you guys will be getting an update probably as soon as I get back on Thursday night.

That's pretty much the extent of my life right now. School and talking to Brad. Not very exciting, but I'm happy with it.

Thanks again for all of your kindness. I really appreciate it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What Happens When We Die?

Location: Desk
Listening to: How I Met Your Mother
Today's Odd Holiday(s): All Saint's Day

I wanted to find a picture of my grandpa for today. For a lot of reasons. But mostly because about ten minutes ago I got a phone call from my dad telling me that my grandpa passed away today. And because the holiday fits really well with who he was.

Today is All Saints Day. And my grandpa was a wonderful guy. Saint-like, almost.

My grandpa's family is strongly German. He grew up on a dairy farm and spoke German until he started elementary school. I don't really know how or when he and my grandma met, but I'm sure it was an adorable story. That would only fit, because they're both adorable people.

My grandpa was a hilarious man. One of my most prominent memories as a child was of Christmas on my mom's side of the family. Our family is really close, so we'd all go to my grandparent's house on Christmas Eve. My grandpa would dress up as the Christmas Cow. He would put on this ridiculous cow suit and carry a basket of string cheese and pass it out to all of the kids. I can't remember if we thought it was him or not, but it was pretty much one of the coolest things ever.

A few years ago, my grandpa had a stroke. I've always blamed my self a little, which I know is ridiculous. But I was supposed to be staying with him and my grandma while my parents drove my sister to the airport to see her off for her semester abroad, and I was mad that they didn't trust me to stay home by myself overnight. I wished and wished that something would happen that would let me stay home alone.

And the day they left, shortly after my grandma was supposed to pick me up and bring me to her house, I got a call from my mom telling me grandpa had a stroke and I'd have to stay home alone and was I ok with that?

Be careful what you wish for.

Since then, he's been in a nursing home. He never recovered fully. The past few years he couldn't really speak and was wheelchair-bound. What they think happened today was he had another stroke and it took him. They're not sure yet, though.

I've never had a close family member die before. This is weird for me. My dad's dad died when I was a baby, so it really didn't impact me much.

I just keep thinking about my grandma and how terrible this must be for her. She was always there for my grandpa, even after the stroke. I know things were hard and she put up a huge fight to be able to be his custodial guardian, but she never left his side. And she visited him every day. And we brought him home almost every weekend for a family gathering.

And I keep thinking about my mom and my aunts and uncle, and how hard this has to be for them. They lost their dad. It was sad enough to see them all after the stroke when he was still in the hospital. Everyone was so sad. There were so, so many tears. It hurts to think about.

I guess he's somewhere better now, though. Somewhere where he's not stuck in a wheelchair or struggling to communicate. I don't really know what I believe about what happens when we die. Maybe he's in heaven. Maybe he's a ghost. Maybe he's being reborn and starting a new life as a baby somewhere. But I have to believe that there's something. I can't even fathom that everything just ends.

All I can hope is that wherever he is, whatever happens after we die, he's happy.

If you're religious at all, please pray for my grandpa and my family. If you're not, keep us in your thoughts. I don't usually ask for things like this, but I feel like I could use a little support. I'm not really sure what else to do.

I'll post again soon when I have happier things to say. And I know there are happy things in the making.

Thanks for being there. Thanks for reading. And thanks for being awesome.