Murder, Mystery, Merriment

Aren't we twisted? We're smiling while our manager lays dead!

Aren’t we twisted? We’re smiling while our manager lays dead!

Over the weekend my friends joined together to celebrate summer and the murder of Bobby Ray, our manager at Wal-Mart who was found stabbed to death in the rafters of the supply room.

DSCN0833DSCN0832We examined clues, made outrageous accusations, dined on a delicious meal, and dressed in our Wal-Mart best while giggling out rhyming lines.

The aging secondary cashier, Carl Crone was having a secret affair with Wilma Beef, the deli manager. Bob Cat was drunkenly operating the forklift and continued to slur in his southern drawl. Paul Pitts (a role stunningly portrayed by your very own author) took out a million dollar life insurance policy on Bobby Ray who she was set to marry. Even newly employed Jose was living in Taylor the pharmacist’s shed!

Intrigue and suspicion plagued us throughout night. Until in a shocking twist of fate, it was revealed that the murderer was Paula Pitts!

I didn’t even suspect myself! It seemed that I had committed the perfect crime if even I was unaware that the murderous sin was conducted by me! Stupidly, when I signed the life insurance policy as Bobby Ray, my handwriting was a dead giveaway as to my future actions.

signatures of paula and bobby ray

Next time, I’ll be the one writing out the murder mystery, and rest assured, I will seek my vengeance on all of the coworkers who contributed to my new life in prison.

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1 Bucket List, 2 Shoes, 5Ks

bwc realI had been signed up for the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K for the past couple of months. Ever since I began working on my health and saying yes to life, I’ve been looking for ways to appreciate myself, the community around me, and everything that is capable of being achieved. And this morning, I found all of those things and much more when I finally completed the race.

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Two months ago I was running consistently, focusing on obtaining a quality education, eating healthy foods with conviction, stretching every morning, avoiding TV time, planning for my career-oriented future, and taking care of my personal appearance.

Preparing for this race has provided me with a deep and profound appreciation for myself and my body.
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Showing up to the Inner Harbor today I looked out upon the 3,211 other female participants and was overwhelmed by the support and positivity exuding from these lovely and lively ladies who were all prepared to reach their goals and prove their worth. Attending this race has strengthened my sense of community.

I have failed. I have struggled. I have thrown in the towel, given up, stayed down, and vowed to never care about trying again. But I have also risen to the occasion, succeeded, pushed myself, and reached beyond my grasp only to find my fingertips brushing the stars.

Associating myself with this race has shown me that anything is possible.

I ran a 34 minute race. I came in 1,410th. I was 108th in my age division. And none of that matters.DSCN0852

What matters is that I crossed a life goal off of my bucket list and showed myself exactly what wonders this life is capable of holding.

Shucking Corn and Loving Life

I never expected shucking corn to be one of life’s simple pleasures. But when you’re sitting on your back porch enjoying the light rays of sunshine, watching bunnies and chipmunks dart around in front of you, smiling at the memories of running outside to catch the falling hale so you could water the house plants with the tiny cubes of ice, remembering how you would catch fireflies for your mom and gently carry them back to the same steps you’re sitting on, and smelling the freshly cut grass from your neighbor’s lawn, it’s hard not to fall into happiness.

I never wanted to be out there dealing with errant silk strings and messy corn leaves, but I’m oh so grateful that I did, because I found more life on those steps than I had ever expected.

Project “Lose The Snooze” (Button)

I love this idea! I can’t wait to greet the morning each and every day, and the snooze button only prolongs the beautiful opportunity to wake up to the sun shining. Of course, I say that now, but when I’m laying all curled up in my covers snuggling with my teddy bear, it seems to be a completely different story…

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If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know it’s no secret that I dislike mornings. Or do mornings dislike me? Honestly, I’m not sure which way it goes – but I do have a love-hate relationship with the snooze button on my alarm. That much I can tell you.

But the Internet says it’s better to try and be a morning person (and who am I to deny the Internet). Some kind folk have put together pointers to make it easier, too!

Greatist does it with humour: Hey, Sleepyhead! How To Be A Morning Person (albeit a post trying to sell their book on the same).

Wikihow’s article made be laugh, though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t meant to… Be A Morning Person – with pictures!

Martha Stewart also chips in with her two breakfast-in-the-mess-hall cents.

One thing they all have in common: lose the snooze button!

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My Lil’ Baby Jo

IMG_2261There’s just something about a family pet that warms your heart and soothes your soul.

When I’m away at college, I miss my darling little kitten-cat Jo Jo baby so much. Though she didn’t immediately remember me when I moved back home, she has just started to get comfortable with my lingering presence in her house.IMG_2301

I get to give her sweet kitten kisses, rub her little white belly, play with her adorable white paws, and scoop her up for cuddles that she wishes were shorter. I’ll flick around tiny paper balls for her to chase, and strategically leave her lion toy around the house in places that encourage silliness. I never have so much fun interacting with my younger brother as I do playing with our cat (and I’m sure he feels the same).

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I know that my love for this little girl is ridiculous.

I expect others to make cat-lady jokes at my expense.

And of course, I’ve never stopped referring to her as “My Lil’ Baby Jo” when I bring up her presence.

It just so happens that the happiness that I feel when expressing my love and enjoying the company of such a sweet little critter is worth the odd stares and questioning looks every time.

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A Balancing Act I Don’t Intend to Lose

Come fall, I’m going to be a senior in college.

That means only one more year until I am thrust out into the real world and must find a job in order to keep my head above water. I’ve got to study harder, work longer, and put a serious and immediate effort into my career search.

Come fall, I’m going to be a senior in college.

That means only one more year that I get to spend at the place where I’ve had the best experiences of my life. I’ve got to goof around with my friends while they’re a constant presence in my life, attend UMD activities and sporting events that I’ve grown to love, and take the time to enjoy my classes.

This summer I have two unpaid part-time internships. I love both of them and they are a brilliant and consuming feature of my day. With these internships I am securing a future for myself and fostering a self-sustainable lifestyle outside of school.

This summer I have friends that I’ve made plans with. All of these plans fall on the weekend where I can horseback ride, visit Hershey Park, act out in a murder mystery dinner, and reconnect and baseball games. With these activities I am placing an unmistakable value on friendship and my personal commitment to those close to me.

I feel like this summer is going to determine the course of my life, how things play out for my senior year and beyond. If I can find a way to balance personal relationships and work (a feat that not many can successfully accomplish) I know that nothing can stand in the way of my happiness. But if I let one side overtake the other (as has happened to me in the past), I won’t be happy with how things turn out.

I’m nervous to see how things will progress, but I’m hopeful that it will be in my favor.

beautiful quote about the future

P.S.   Where my healthy lifestyle fits into this is anyone’s guess. Feel free to listen to me gripe about it HERE.

Just Keep Running

A couple of weeks ago, I truly ran for the first time in my life.

beautiful running

Outdoors.

In the sunshine.

Music blurring into the background.

Feet hitting the pavement and sending chills through my body with every step.

Breathing in unison with the thoughts gusting through my open mind.

It was glorious and I was honest to goodness happy. Happy with myself. Happy with my results. Happy with my legs.

Then, the injuries came. It began with my knee, a tight feeling that made it uncomfortable to walk. Soon, the discomfort moved to my shin, creating a jarring pain every time I stepped down with my left foot. Next, my ankle took a turn, and with each bend I felt a tug on my foot that just didn’t belong.

I had to stop putting my feet to the pavement and start putting them up on the couch to recuperate. Unfortunately, weeks later and with a pair of new and unused running shoes, the jarring feeling in my left shin is still present and giving me reservations about getting back on track for my 5K running plan.

I don’t really know how to handle this situation, though I’m well aware that I should wait to get back into running until I’m completely healed. Yet, I like to think that even though I haven’t been constantly exercising, running is now one of those things that just calls to me, and I hope I answer enthusiastically sometime soon.sunshine run