Monday, March 31, 2014

I Liked It, So I Put a Pin on It

This is probably the laziest post I have ever written, but how are you supposed to find out who I am if I don't show you?

These are some of my absolute favorite things I have found on Pinterest. I think they sum me up pretty well.

Two of my favorite boys from the band Mumford & Sons.

I would pay very good money to find this dress and add it to my wardrobe. VERY GOOD MONEY.

This is what tea does. Tea loves you.


From my favorite book of all time The Book Thief. For me this was the most heartbreaking line in the whole book.


Just because I couldn't let you live the rest of your life without seeing this puglet.

I hope you enjoyed my best/favorite pins. What are some of yours?

I don't own any of these photos. When the source was available I linked it back, and others have the source written directly on the photo.....I'm just saying legally I don't claim any of them.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reasons Why Pentatonix Should Rule the World

Okay so in case you haven't heard....or can't see the picture above. I got to meet Pentatonix at their Nashville show at Ryman Auditorium.

Here is my VERY FIRST vlog. It's a story about my experience. I hope you enjoy!

If you have any tips or suggestions for other things you might want to see in the future just leave a comment below!

Friday, March 28, 2014

I Have No Idea Why I'm Not at the Beach

I've been asking myself all this winter...."Why am I not at the beach?"

It's not like I never go to the beach. I spend a lot of time around water, over water, and in's just been too long since I've had sand under my feet.

So... to try and get my fix, and to hopefully give you something to look forward to as well. Here's what I'll be day-dreaming about today.

Have lovely beach filled thoughts, and a great day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Think I'm Beautiful...You Don't Have To

This was a writing prompt I found a long time ago, and I think it's one that everyone should answer honestly for themselves.

Your opinion about your body and how comfortable you are with it.

This picture sums up my feelings pretty well.

That’s a tough one. I think it’s one I go back and forth on. Some days I think “Man! I look good.” but other days I’m not as nice to myself.

You know what I really wish? 

I really wish people could see me when I get ready for bed. Sometimes when I take my hair down for the day it looks freaking FANTASTIC, and the lighting in my bathroom makes my eyes actually look like a color instead of a conglomeration of colors.

I really like how my irises inherited a shattered glass pattern from my mom. I like that I am speckled with beauty marks. It's like always having connect the dots puzzles, and I like that I can eat anything I want and still remain my usual slightly plump but healthy sized self.

Sometimes I fail at seeing how awesome I can be.

I try to be comfortable with my body, and most days I succeed, but GOSHDARNIT if I wasn’t “blessed” with the most unrelenting....mammaries. They REFUSE to stay in my shirt.

Also, I’ve been the same size since high school. I am literally the “average” size and the “average” height, but if you know me I am anything but average.

Just another thing my body betrays me on.

I will admit the thing that upsets me the most is my health. It is just so difficult to keep up sometimes.

Overall I’d say my final answer is…I’m comfortable with my body. I’m comfortable in most clothes (depending on how low cut) and I don’t shrink away from mirrors. I have my moments, and yes I do wish I was skinnier but this is me and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to live with it. I do, AND I LOVE IT!

You're beautiful too. Trust me....I know. If you don't think you are spend a day with me and I'll make sure you know differently. Embrace the flaws they make you special, and everyone knows being special is GORGEOUS.

There are hundreds of reasons why you might not like your body or the way you look, but there are a MILLION more why you should love yourself. I challenge you to go look in a mirror right now and say "Man! I look good!" and mean it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm Up for Anything, Short of Ritual Sacrifice and Brussel Sprouts

Have you ever heard the saying, "They were at the right place at the right time"?

I hate that saying.... It's like saying "He's successful because he's lucky" or "She may have gone to college for 12 years, but she got that job because she was in the right place at the right time...."

It's frustrating. Why can't it be "He worked his butt off and got exactly what he worked for"?

Unfortunately though, I've seen it myself. I've seen exactly how being in the right place at the right time gets you spectacular things that you wouldn't have gotten before. How do you think I got scholarships for college? I'm ready to change my luck.

So I'm going to do an experiment. Before I tell you about it. I'd like to say that I'm up for anything except...

  • Murder
  • Eating live bugs
  • Ghost hunts
  • Prostitution (paid or unpaid)
  • Anything else along those lines

Things I would be up for...

  • Spontaneous travel
  • Meeting new people
  • Volunteering my time as a roadie
  • Anything amazing that you think I SHOULD NOT miss out on

Here's the experiment.

I'm at a time in my life where I get the chance to take off of work when I want, I don't have a permanent home, and I'm up for an adventure.

I want to start being at the right place at the RIGHT time. I want to meet people I wouldn't get the chance to normally, and I want a challenge. I WANT your input.

Here's all you have to do. Give me a suggestion, or an opportunity to do something I simply must do before I get tied down. Do you have connections you think I should have too? Do you know of a once in a lifetime job you think would be amazing? I'm up for anything....short of Ritual Sacrifice and Brussel Sprouts. 

I'll try almost anything (within reason), and I hope along the way to record what I've experienced here on the blog.

Just comment, tweet, text (if you already have my number), or send me psychic messages about anything YOU think I can't miss.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Music Taste is...Eclectic (Subtle 50 Shades Reference)

I really like music. So much so that I decided to make a career out of it. Here are a few of my Right Now favorites. If you are looking for new music here are some really good ones.

Do you have anything you think I should hear? Tell me about them in a comment.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Don't Know What I'm Doing...and That's Okay

Confession time.
I'm a 23 year old educated, single female, and I have no idea what I'm doing with my life...and that's okay. 

While I may not know exactly how I want to live my however many years left of my life, I get moments like these where I just get to stop, and enjoy the colors
The snow
The food
Walks in nature
Eating beautiful things
...and Smelling the Flowers.

So if you're 19, 23, 40, or 80 years old it's okay if you don't know what you're doing with your life. Just take a minute to stop and enjoy what you've got right in front of you. Eat it, smell it, taste it, and take it all in.

From one wandering soul to yours, have a great day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

8 Things to Know Before Going Abroad

1. It's better to under-pack than over-pack.

This is a no brainer. If you don't want to carry 14 pairs of shoes up a broken escalator (that you will most likely encounter) then don't pack them! At most you would probably use three pairs of shoes, but I never pack more than two. One pair of tennis shoes, and one pair of sandals that double as classy and casual. 
It's always really fun to buy some of your toiletries at your destination and if you don't use them all they become great gifts for family. So go ahead, only pack the bare necessities and buy the rest at your destination.

Here's a tip: Unless you're going for a fashion show, no one actually keeps track of what you're wearing. Don't stress about wearing the same shirt two or three times, just not consecutively....please.

2. Save your money, take a wi-fi device.

I speak from experience when I tell you international phone plans are expensive. My plan through Verizon is usually $.50 per text and $1 a minute for a phone call.....way too much especially when finding wi-fi and talking to your family over the internet is usually free. 

During our last trip abroad my mother took her iPhone 4 and turned off her cellular data as soon as we boarded the plane. She then only used her phone when we found wi-fi hot spots (usually every night at the hotel) and talked to my dad using Voxer. It's a great FREE walkie talkie app that lets you talk, text, and send photos over wi-fi.

3. You will never actually regret purchasing those dorky C-shaped pillows.

You know the ones I'm talking about. Those dumb looking pillows that look like hideously over-sized nose rings.

The reason you will never regret what will probably be one of your most ugly purchases is the unbelievable value of sleep while traveling.
At first you will be too excited to sleep, and that's okay. But about seven hours into your overnight flight, when your arrival time gets you there in the early hours of the next morning I guarantee you'll wish you'd splurged on one of these bad boys. They are way cheaper than first class, and a lot better for your mental health than waking up laying on the complete stranger in 38D.

4. Trains (while terrifying) are VERY useful.

Once you get over the initial blood curdling terror of getting on a train in another country, you will find that you've been missing out. They are one of the most under utilized features of travel, and it saddens me. By taking the trains you can save tons of money on transportation and see all of the sights you want to see without breaking the bank. 

Most stations have small kiosk looking things where you purchase a ticket using a credit/debit card. Once you've purchased your ticket, you're ready to enter the station. If you're already lost look for people in brightly colored uniforms, they are about to be your BEST FRIENDS. Ask them anything, that's what they're there for. Once you've found your platform and found yourself safely inside the train relax and enjoy the journey. Most everyone else on the train is just trying to get from point A to B so chances are they won't even notice you. Make sure you don't miss your stop though! That can be tricky. If you want more information on how my mom saved our lives last time we took the trains in Scotland. Check it out here.

5. You only need an adapter for Apple products.

Deciding what kinds of adapters and converters to bring can be a REAL pain in the patooty when you're planning your trip. One really underrated bonus of having an Apple product is that the wall plugs are actually electrical current converters already. Take a second to look at your wall plug and you should notice in very light grey writing Input: 100-240V which means that the plug can charge your device with anywhere between 100 and  240 Volts. Be sure to check the Hertz of where you are going as well. Your plug should also say 50-60 Hz Output.

Here is a map that will give you an idea of the places you can go without an extra converter.


You will probably still need a plug adapter depending on where you're going.

6. Backpacks are the BEST carry-ons.

Backpacks are one of the biggest carry-ons you can legally take on a plane. Go ahead and pack your backpack with your purse/wallet, that ugly C-shaped pillow you actually need, and all of your electronics. Guess what? You've got room to spare for souvenirs on your return flight! They fit really nicely in under-seat storage or right next to your feet if you're by the window.

7. ATMs, ATMs, ATMs

Let's face it. Converting money is a HASSLE. You can do it at the airport before your trip and face paying an outrageous conversion rate, or you can try to find a post office or other official money conversion place when you arrive and try not to get lost. Your best option an ATM. They are something of an abundance anywhere you go, and the great part? There is an option for English! Way to go fancy money dispensing technology! The money is automatically converted as it is withdrawn from your account.

8. Don't stress about what you're going to eat. McDonald's is EVERYWHERE.

It's pretty easy to get stressed thinking about trying to find food in foreign countries. A lot of what I was worried about is... What if I don't have enough money to eat everyday? What if they don't understand me when I try to order? What if they don't have food I like to eat? Stop with the what ifs!!! You are on an adventure, and really shouldn't worry because Americanized food is everywhere.

Here is an actual picture from my hotel in Scotland.

Bonus: Have fun. You're going to have the trip of a lifetime!

What are some things you wish you knew before you went on your trips?

Monday, March 17, 2014


This is a letter I wrote to myself a few years ago, when I was still in college ready to take on the world. It's still very accurate today, and something I tell myself every time I leave home. 

This is for future me. For the me that moves away from my family for a dream.

Dear me,
Hey dear. Right now I know it’s really hard. You’re probably staring at the screen crying your eyes out asking yourself “Why did I do this?” “This is not what I imagined.”
I’m here to tell you that you are doing this for past me, and for very future me. We have faith in you and we know it’s hard. Remember the time you moved to college all by yourself? Remember how scary it was? Think about it now. Now its some of the best memories you’ve ever had, and it would have never happened if you hadn’t taken the chance and done it alone. It’s going to be okay, and it is GOING TO BE WORTH IT. Just stick it out. Go look at puppies or get some ice cream and remember.
We love the things we know.
You are still loved and you are very brave for doing this. Hang in there and make a difference.

I did recently move away from home for a little while. It was just as hard as I thought it would be. I read this letter while I was there, and it was right... I was crying. It was right about another thing too. It was WORTH IT. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thank You Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy is one of my favorite t.v. shows of all time. My full season box sets have always been there for me during particularly difficult times in my life. This show was there for me and my best friend until 3 a.m. the night before her wedding, and it's helped me form bonds with people that later became some of the best friends I've ever had. There's no way I could tell you all the ways I'm thankful for it.

Grey's Anatomy has been there for me so much that I just wanted to give a few shout outs to some of my favorite lessons I've learned from the show.

(Disclaimer: If you haven't seen Grey's Anatomy you won't understand any of this spend the time you would've spent reading this and go find and WATCH IT!)


Thank You Grey's Anatomy....For Teaching Me That It's Okay to be a Twenty Something and Single

Thank You Grey's Anatomy...For Showing Me That a Soulmate can be Your Best Friend


If I murdered someone, she's the person I'd call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor.
She's my person.

Thank You Grey's Anatomy...For Showing Me That Not Everything You Hear on T.V. is Useless


Thank You Grey's Anatomy...For Letting Me Know That Everyone Makes Mistakes
 (maybe not quite so dramatic)

and Most Importantly....
Thank you Grey's Anatomy...For Giving Me the Best Thursday Nights for Nine Years.

What has your favorite show taught you? I'd love to hear that I'm not the only one taking life lessons from my t.v.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This is Normal

I recently went for my one year check up with my doctor.

Before I tell you this completely normal story about my visit, I should give you a little back story.

I live in a small town (big in area and small in population). We are famous for our number of golf courses and retirees. Because our town is full of such enriching activities you can probably guess that the average age here is about 60 years old. When I go to see my doctor chances are very likely that I will be the youngest by at least 40 years....sometimes more. It tends to confuse the nurses and other staff when I walk in and check in for my appointment.

I've recently had some health issues so my doctor became a frequent part of my life. Last year though I returned to my normal healthy self and we've been seeing each other far less frequently.

Back to my story!

My doctor likes to decorate each exam room with pictures of her family. They aren't all just normal family pictures either. Some of the lovely photos are pictures from Disney World, Wild West Saloons, and normal posed studio pictures....that stare at the exam beds.

Kind of like this...
I'm kidding.....just a little bit.

So I'm sitting there in the exam room staring back at my audience, hoping that by some miracle they could look away. I was plotting someway to cover them without anyone noticing. In all honesty they were creeping the heck out of me like always, and of course there's no polite way to ask your doctor to shield her family photos during the exam.

I made it through my appointment without making awkward eye contact with her infant daughter or her uncle dressed as a bar maiden. I was feeling pretty successful until she started talking....about having children. To which I stupidly said "Don't worry I'm probably going to die alone anyway." Her response was not what I expect. She said, "No you won't, because you make financially smart decisions." Because as we all know, financially smart decisions are the way to any man's heart. Gosh....I love her unintended wittiness.

Because she is so intelligent my doctor has a wide range of topics she likes to bring up at the most awkward times. Last time it was bear spray. BEAR SPRAY, like for hiking in bear infested woods. I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff.

No topic is safe to this woman. Most of the time I just think to myself...Can we just not talk about this now?.....Maybe we could discuss this after everyone is in their own safe corners of the room.

She is a brilliant woman and I generally enjoy most of our visits.. Now I only get to look forward to her antics once a year. Just to prove I'm not lying, here is a transcript from my last visit.
Dr. P - Hey lady! How are you?
Me - I'm good, I don't know why I'm here.
Dr. P - *shuffling through papers from my other doctors and specialist* Yeah....everything is perfect. Looks like we have everything under control. You're perfect.
Me - *stunned face* Wow, that's the first time I've heard that in four years.
Dr. P - I don't really know what to do with you any more.....

Thank God for doctors who keep things interesting. I don't know what I'd do without her.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Easy DIY Color Pop Painting

Can I just say....I had a Pinterest Win! A lot of times we browse Pinterest, see all of the beautiful DIY crafts, and think to ourselves "I can do that!" No, unfortunately you probably can't do that. BUT! You can do this. It is in fact, pretty simple to do and takes less than a day (including drying time.)

I call this my Color Pop Painting, because in all reality that's pretty much all I use it for.

If you're interested in learning how I made this....just keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. 

What you will need...

  • A canvas that is the size of your choice. I think the one I used was 16" by 20".
  • Paint brushes, nothing fancy just something to get the paint on the canvas.
  • Acrylic paint, at least three colors. In my painting I mixed my colors together to make more than three.
  • Masking tape or Painter's tape. These can be any size since they can be cut to the size you want, but I used two different widths.

Step 1:

Using your different colors, paint broad strokes covering the canvas. It doesn't have to be perfect. The more uneven the better. Try to avoid having the same colors touch, other than that...go crazy. Don't forget to paint the edges!

Step 2:

Once the colors have finished drying, tape a reoccurring pattern over the top. The spaces between tapes will depend on how thick you want your pattern to be.

Step 3:

Once you have finished taping, use a color that you haven't used yet to paint over the un-taped places. This can be a lighter or darker color. If you are worried about this paint getting under the tape, then to make sure your tape has a better seal give your painting a day to dry before taping. I was in a hurry so I taped after a few hours. 

Step 4:

Once that layer of paint has dried (the fun begins) remove your tapes. Enjoy the masterpiece that you just created in only a few easy steps!

Tada...this is my finished piece in it's new home. See why it's called a Color Pop now?

Do you have any easy DIY projects that you know can be done? I'd love to hear about them.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Growing Up on a Farm: Untold Stories

If you grew up on a farm then you're probably going to know what I'm talking about. 

1. You are not allowed to be afraid of thunderstorms.

Sure, thunderstorms can get pretty scary at times, but you know who else is afraid of thunder and lightning? Those 800 lb cows standing out in the open fields. They know the real terror of lightning because chances are at least one of their cousins became toasty burgers at one point.

You know what else cows have insane talent for? Finding holes in fences. It's like intense Gay-dar but fence-dar, or hole-dar.......I'll stop now.

Back to why you're not allowed to be afraid of thunderstorms. Since cows are even more afraid of lightning than things they should be afraid of, (like slaughterhouses) and they are spectacular at finding holes in fences, you now have to spend all stormy nights fixing fences!!! Aren't you lucky?

2. Poison Ivy becomes an "I spy..." game.

Do you know what poison ivy looks like? I do! I know what it looks like all year around. I know where it's most likely to grow. I even know it's closest relatives....poison oak you sneaky bugger. Did you know that even if you aren't allergic to poison ivy now you can at any time without warning grow an allergy to it? Yeah...that one took a little longer to learn.

3. Everything is manual transmission!

Can you drive a stick shift? Me least not well. I can drive four-wheelers, tractors, lawn mowers, and farm trucks (all manual transmission), but I CAN NOT for the life of me drive a stick shift "road worthy" vehicle. Red lights are a real struggle. It's a shame really.

4. Natural life cycles are a daily thing.

Congratulations! You get to learn about reproduction, life, death, and the digestive workings of all farm animals before the age of 10. Who needs biology in school? Pssssht, not you. You already know exactly what comes out of a cow after it attempts to eat ALL the feed you've put out.

5. I'd rather grow up on a farm than anywhere else.

In all seriousness, in all the time I spent growing up on a farm I learned more valuable real world knowledge than I ever did in any city. I learned that the harder you work, the more success you'll see. I learned that I can not only take care of myself but a bunch of people/animals who need me. I also learned that my vehicles will never be completely clean. It just won't happen.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Adulting...A Review

Get it here!

If the title of this book doesn't grab you, let me tell you some reasons why you SHOULD read this book.

I found it just after I graduated from college, right when I was dying to become the best adult I could be. Not only does this advice come from someone knowledgeable, but it actually comes from someone who's been there.  It's not just for the twenty somethings out there but for anyone wanting tips on becoming a better adult.

Step 1:This is the most difficult and important thing to accept if you wish to be a grownup: You are not a special snowflake. 

This book not only covers how to find an apartment perfect for you, and what to check once you've got it, but it also tells you how to make Chicken Noodle Soup! It gives you easy recipes for the non-cookers like myself, budget ideas for when you're first starting off, and the most magnificent advice for when it comes to dealing with people in your life. The book gives you simple life hacks like how to trick yourself into cleaning, and how to tell if you are responsible enough for a pet.

If you're still not sure that this book will be amazingly useful to your life, check out her book blog  It has many of the steps in the book and even more she has come up with since its publishing.

Step 58:Breathe, because it will eventually be over. 

I bought this book for myself and I would tell you if it sucked, which it most certainly did not. This is a 100% honest review. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pictures are Worth Everything

I could spend all day trying to tell you about my life, but it's far more educational to show you my favorite pictures.

You know how pictures are worth a thousand words? Well I just wrote 24,000. BOOM.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Food Hacks

          My name is MeHaley, and I can't cook.

There, now that I've got that off my chest let me tell you about some easy food hacks I've picked up over the years. A lot of the time I can only afford the basic necessities like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Eggo Waffles. So I've picked up a few ways to make normal food better in a hurry. Very minimal cooking is involved, if any. You only need a stove top for one and a microwave for the rest.

1. Sausage and Jelly Biscuit

Don't judge it until you've tried it. All you need is a sausage biscuit...from pretty much any fast food chain restaurant. Luckily they've been around as long as dirt so they are pretty dang cheap on most menus. Don't get me wrong. I love me a regular sausage biscuit, but sometimes they just need more. (Cue the Jelly) All you have to do is spread the jelly on your biscuit like you would a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, put the sausage back on and TADA! Sausage and Jelly Biscuit. (I'm pretty sure the is actually a southern staple, so I claim no rights to this invention.)

2. Warm Poptarts

I shouldn't even have to explain this one, but just in case.... Take your favorite Poptart, REMOVE the foil wrapping it comes in, and place in the microwave. Microwave between 15 and 30 seconds. It makes a world of difference. If you're feeling adventurous, try the toaster.

3. Chocolate Coffee

If you can't even bring yourself to attempt that "free" aka TERRIBLE coffee at work, the hospital, banks, or anywhere. Here's a tip I learned from a friend of mine who works in the ER. Almost 98% of the time where there is free coffee, there are free packets of Hot Chocolate. Mix those bad boys together!!! TADA! Free mocha! Okay, in all honesty it's not the most fabulous drink you've ever had but it's way beyond better than the free black coffee you were about to choke down.

(Just pretend you're drinking this.)

4. Pizza and Ranch

Also a no brainer. Have you tried dipping your pizza in ranch dressing? Next time throw out the garlic sauce and don't touch anything resembling Ketchup (gross.) Go for the Ranch. Not only does it make your vegetables tasty but it makes EVERYTHING tasty! I'm looking at you Scotland. You seriously should jump on this American Bandwagon.

5. Rice and Bell Peppers

DISCLAIMER: You need a stove for this one. Just the top though.
This one saved me when I moved away from home. This was all I knew how to cook and therefore, what I lived on.

You will need; a cup of instant rice, one green (or color of your choice) bell pepper, a pot of any kind, and a knife...for the pepper. 

First, cover the bottom of the pot with less than half an inch of water. Put the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. While the water is heating up cut up the pepper into small pieces, and put in the pot. All you are doing is steaming the pepper slices so only cook until there is no more water in the pot. Should be less than five minutes. While the pepper is steaming, microwave your instant rice. Once everything is done cooking mix them together. It's healthy, its fast, and Holy cow is it cheap!

(My last attempt at cooking.)

6. Cauliflower and Cheese

Sticking with the vegetable theme. This is pretty easy and a good way to tempt yourself into eating cauliflower. Cheese just makes everything taste better.

All you have to do is wash the cauliflower, break off the amount you want to eat. Put what you've just violently ripped off the head of the cauliflower into a bowl and cover with your favorite cheese. Place in the microwave and heat for between three and four minutes. I know it seems like over-kill but cauliflower takes forever to soften up! Goodness Cauliflower!!! Why can't you just be like an overly dramatic teen and fall to pieces!?!?! I kid....sort of.

Like I said EASY PEASY. If I can make these, you can too. I hope you try at least one of them today, and PLEASE tell me some of your favorite food hacks. These are pretty much the extent of my meals so I'm about to starve to death over here.....jk....but really.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Autism, EKGs, and My Best Friend

I originally thought about naming this post, Autism from the Outside, but I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. This is not just about Autism. This is about my spectacularly impressive best friend, my genius godson, and the way I view Autism from the outside.

Here are some facts about Autism from
  •  Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people.
  •   ASDs are "spectrum disorders." That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe.
  •    By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable.
  •    CDC estimates that about 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  •    There is currently no cure for ASDs.

Here are some things I have learned from my interactions with Autism
  •  People with ASD are LOVELY.
  •  They tend to be some of the smartest people I know.
  •   It’s nothing to be afraid of.
  •   We all have our quirks, theirs just has a name.

 Meet my beautiful best friend Chelsea and her perfect little boy Carter.
(The picture is's not your screen. I hope...)

I met Chelsea in second grade. We’ve been best friends for close to 16 years. She is the ying to my yang, and we've always been total opposites. I was Maid of Honor at her wedding, and there for the birth of my goddaughter. The biggest fight we’ve ever had was in third grade. She stole my ball and wouldn’t give it back so I kicked her. (I remember it… she doesn’t.) She’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, and the most dedicated mother I’ve ever seen. Aside from being a full-time mother to two beautiful children, she also works full-time as an EKG/EEG tech. Sometimes she gets stressed. It's VERY understandable.

Chelsea works very hard and has the patience of a Saint. Seriously, I saw it when Carter once sliced his finger open in a Whole Foods Store. There was blood every where and she just calmed him down, walked him to the front, and got him a band aid and juice. She's my hero.

My hero recently got some news that her little boy was extra special. Carter was diagnosed with being on the spectrum for Autism. I honestly believe we all have a little of it in us…hence the reason it's a spectrum. Alas, I am not a paid medical professional and can’t say my opinion has any weight to it.

If you know Carter like I do you know that he is smart, oh my goodness is he smart, well spoken, lovable (most of the time), and always ready to get into something. This is the Carter I’ve always known. So, when my best friend told me he was tested and found to be on the spectrum, nothing changed. He’s the Carter I’ve always known. He didn’t change overnight with the diagnosis. He didn’t care if he was Autistic, red, purple, or the King of Egypt, just as long as he has crayons.

This is how I view Autism from the “outside.” It affects about ten percent of the people I know. I’ve taken numerous classes on how to approach children with Autism. I know more statistics about this disability (I hate that word), than any other learning disability out there. I’ve lived with grown-ups with Aspergers, I’ve taught around 50 children with varying degrees of Autism, and my godson is very special.

Autism is big. It’s getting bigger all the time. Watch the statistics and you’ll see the "1 in (number of children)" getting rapidly worse. We don’t know what it really means, where it’s coming from, or how to ease it’s effect on some.

Here’s how I see it. This is how they are. Just like you are the way you are. These children grew up this way, and haven’t changed. Just because you come in at some point in their life, and they act differently than you’re use to doesn’t make them different. It makes you different. You’re the variable, not them. It’s just a process of feeling out what the best way to handle a situation is.

I can’t pretend to be an expert on this. I’ve never been to a doctor’s appointment for diagnosis. I don’t currently live with anyone who has Autism, and when I teach Autistic students we learn as we go. 

The thing I do know for sure is this. If you saw Carter you’d love him...instantly. You wouldn’t know that sometimes he gets upset for no reason, or that he REALLY loves to tell you about all of his movies...ALL OF THEM. You wouldn't even know that he can read several years above his reading level at only three years old. You would see nothing wrong, and you would treat him like a normal three year old. Just like you should.

That’s the beauty of viewing Autism from the outside. All you see is the best in all of them.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Quote to Live By

I try to live my life by a lot of quotes. I adore quotes. There is a beauty and power in words that is lost in many other art forms. The quote I probably try to live by most is ...
"The past has nothing new to say."
I beat myself up a lot mentally (Who doesn't?). It happens whenever I sit still for long periods of time, mostly when I'm driving. For a long time I would just sit there and take the self inflicted mental abuse and relive really embarrassing things about my life without control. Then I read this quote. Now, whenever I'm struggling I recite to myself "The past has nothing new to say, the past has NOTHING new to say." until it passes. Because you know what? I've learned my lessons from the past and there is no sense reliving them just to make myself feel bad. I wish I knew who to credit for this life changing quote so I could thank them, but when I found the quote it didn't have an author.

It's something I live by because I deserve to be a stronger person for myself.

Another quote that I strive to make a goal in my life is,

"I hope you live a live you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

I hope that these quotes can mean something to you too. Do you have any "life changing" quotes? Please share them. I'm always looking for ones to live my life by. 

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