Today, yo.

Blogging will resume as normally scheduled now.

Wait, what’s normal?!

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Huge shout-out to my Dutch family for coming over on short notice today. It made my brother extremely happy… and even though at first I didn’t want to socialize at all, and I was incredibly awkward, I’m glad you all came. Second shout out to that family member that pointed out I can carry a knife here. Thank you! 🙂

Overall, today was pretty awesome. It wasn’t a huge deal (obviously), but my day was good. Thank you so much to everyone who took time to say happy birthday to me- from my airport friends to Dutch family to my best friends to my CyberPatriot team. All of you, everyone, y’all are awesome. ♥14804878_1239880182719872_1304026081_n

There were flags- but no confetti balloons… the store was sold out. *sad face*. Oh well, it was pretty awesome either way. I saw a bunch of people who haven’t seen me in person in years, and I got a big duck. You think I’m kidding? Full sized glass for scale.

Well, I’m going to continue Skyping my CyberPatriot friends. Or well, Google Hangouts because Skype failed us. And then watch the third (and final) presidential debate! Happy Birthday to me, I get to watch the circus! Har har.

Oh, and I totally can’t do this European kissing everyone to greet them thing anymore *internally freaks out in American*.

Have an amazing day, everyone♥

-E.

Countdown- 1 (the baby one).

Tomorrow’s the day!!!

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*cries* -newborn me, probably.

This one is going to be a bit different. This one is going to be spent looking at baby pictures! These pictures were all taken around the turn of the century (1999-2001).  016

This first picture was taken at one of my first- if not my first swimming lesson. I was less than a year old, and I loved the water. I asked my mom if I liked the water, and she said “I don’t know, that’s like a million years ago” -actual quote from my mom, 2016. My grandma then confirmed I loved swimming.

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The second picture is of me at age 3, in 2001. I had gotten the car I am sitting on for my first birthday, and loved it ever since. The animal in the cage was a rabbit, named Buckshot. I’ll elaborate more on the bunny when I do my pet post, which I’m planning to post in late October or early November. The bike on the right is still in existence- my brother uses it (and loves it) in present day- even though he’s actually way too big for it.

021 The third picture in this post is also of when I was 3. (So is the fourth picture, but we’re only halfway there… WHOA-OH..My hair wasn’t often in a braid like this- but I really like them. Fun fact: my hair was in the same kind of braid for the Sadie’s dance my junior year. I didn’t have the cute little chick hair clips in High School, though. If you look at the background, you see the largest object is a dollhouse. That dollhouse was one of my favorite things in the world- both to play in with dolls *and* to play on. “On?” you ask? Yes! On! The slanted wooden roof was perfect for a small child to slide on. So, it was not only a dollhouse, it also doubled as a jungle gym.
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The final picture in this post is from when I was ALSO three, and I played field hockey. I’m the small child with blonde hair and the red sleeveless jacket thing (I forget what those are called- there *is* a specific name). “I really don’t see what could’ve gone wrong, giving all those kids wooden sticks” said my mom. “I’m really surprised no one cracked their skull open”. I agree, dude. I agree.

I was a pretty cool small child, blonde hair and blue eyes. I probably had some of the best faces (that the public interwebs don’t get to see). And tomorrow- yes, tomorrow- that “pretty cool small child” turns 18. Yay! Or something… (I think I can agree with newborn me who was crying… I’m not sure I’m ready to adult. Can I take a nap instead?).

Well everyone, as I enter the brand new world of adulthood (officially at 11:12 a.m. on October 19th)- wish me luck. Time to go pay some insurance.

“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.”
― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

Have a fantastic day, you guys.

-E.♥

Countdown- 5.

Five days until I’m 18.




Sorry guys, this one’s going to be a little bit short. I really hope this works correctly, because I’m blogging from the WordPress app on my phone. I’m decently tired and I have a soccer game early in the morning tomorrow that I’m refereeing. It’s my first soccer game in the Netherlands, and I’m really stressed about it actually.

In other news, my mom got me a canvas picture of three Volkswagen buses as an early birthday present. I’m incredibly excited about it.

Well guys, I’m gonna get some sleep tonight. No Titanic documentaries or musicals either. I will continue my normal countdown tomorrow with Countdown 4, as soon as I find a good picture of 6 year old me (or younger). As always, thanks for reading.

And stay strong. ♡

-E.

PS. The WordPress app for Samsung Galaxy S4 is probably more buggy than Snapchat- and that’s saying something.

Countdown- 6.

6 days until I’m 18. That’s less than a week!

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2014. The year we lost Robin Williams and Maya Angelou, Shirley Temple and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Two Malaysian airplanes fell out of the sky. Ebola threatened to kill everyone. Justin Bieber was arrested and Flappy Bird was taken from the app store. Russia hacked the White House and North Korea hacked Sony over “The Interview”.

2014. The year I joined Civil Air Patrol. The end of Sophomore and beginning of Junior year. I was actively involved in the Engineering Tech Prep program through Project Lead The Way. When I grew up, I knew I wanted to be an Aerospace Engineer. My heart was set. I was a part of starting the robotics team at my school, and quickly became the team captain. Robotics was such a huge part of my life12079122_964691903572036_9002646432340228083_n. I loved engineering, computers, planes, anything to do with technology. Looking back, I honestly don’t know why I didn’t join the chess club.

Who was I in 2014? I was shy and awkward. I wore my favorite black combat boots everywhere until they eventually fell apart. Seriously, I colored them in with nail polish once because part of the leather got damaged. I was way too attached to those boots. My pants of choice were skinny jeans, and tight shirts were my forte. I wore very little makeup and loved dying my hair; it had been auburn and pink and blue. Later on in the year, I developed a liking for ties and baseball hats.

I loved writing, especially poetry. I started writing a novel, but never really finished it. Every now and then I think about going back to it. I should really find motivation to continue. I loved music, especially marching band. My trumpet playing skills had increased greatly since being third chair in middle school, and I was getting 1 ratings in solo and ensemble competitions as well as being a member of a local youth concert band and playing taps for my high school. I was a member of Drama Club, having taken part in plays and musicals like “West Side Story”, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”, “Wizard of Oz”, “A Christmas Carol”, and “The Trial of Ebeneezer Scrooge”. We took a trip to see “Wicked” live, and it was one of my favorite things.

I went to the Sadie’s dance with my best friend at the time, and we ditched after drinking hot chocolate. I watched a lot of NASAtv, and I especially remember the Soyuz 41 launch. Astronaut Samantha Christaforetti from Italy had a Olaf stuffed animal on board, and it was the coolest thing. Our CyberPatriot team got first in the state. I met USAF Major Caroline Jensen, at the time she was Thunderbird 3. I saw Family Force Five live. I got to pie my English teacher in the face. The only thing I remember about Junior Hoco is going to Dunkin Donuts after. I got to fly a flight simulator and a couple of planes, as well as attending my Civil Air Patrol Basic Encampment at Wright Patterson AFB.

So, all in all, 2014 was a fun year. It was pretty busy, too. But, I couldn’t have asked for anything any other way. Everything going the way it did got me through some major changes. People I’d met through my Engineering program turned into some of my best friends that year. Civil Air Patrol taught me who I was and who I wanted to become. Other cadets I met started to feel like family.

2014. Though I did so much, it was still an incredibly hard year for me. I was dealing with so many things, things no one should ever have to go through. But, because of my friends and family, and all of the things I did that year- I got through it. Not only surviving, but smiling as well.

Dum spiro spero.*

-E.

*While I breathe, I hope. Also a beautiful arrangement for wind band by Chris Pilsner. I had the amazing opportunity to perform this piece and many others with the Stambaugh Youth Concert Band.

Countdown- 10.

10 days until I’m 18. 

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This picture is from when I turned 14. A group of my friends threw me a surprise party at a local pizza shop. The “leader” of the group’s sister worked at that shop, and they organized a whole table, pizzas, and even a cake. 8th grade… those were the days. I had two different groups of friends. The girl who was holding my eyes shut in this picture- we’ll call her Brooke for the purpose of privacy. Brooke and I had been friends from the day I moved to America in 2nd grade. We were friends until the end of junior year. We shared so many memories. Brooke is now a Soldier in the US Army. We don’t talk anymore, at all, but I really do wish the best for her.

Anyway, Brooke wasn’t really a part of the friend group that threw me the party, but they included her because they knew she was my best friend. I always appreciated that. That friend group has gone many different ways now. Many of them don’t talk to one another anymore. When High School hit, some people ended up “popular”. Some people went full “nerd”. Others were punks or jocks, and honestly I’m surprised one or two didn’t drop out of school.

Who was I in 8th grade? Time to look back to an awkward time of teenagerness. I wore not two, but one glove. I also wore a fedora more often than not, and people recognized me because of it. I was ridiculously punk because of it, or so I thought. Lookmjing back, I understand why some of my friends called my Michael Jackson. The summer between 8th grade and freshman year, I “dyed” my hair purple with a Sharpie at band camp. Given, it was only a streak, but it probably looked so dumb. I’m still surprised seniors actually wanted to associate with me. I ran the mile in track, and I played soccer at the local Youth Soccer League. I got made fun of for that often, because most others in my grade were too old to play and found it childish that I played. It was actually downright bullying looking back, and as a result gym class (and the people in it) made me want to murder someone. I was an awkward trumpet player, not really good but also not really bad. I was third chair- back in the days our school administration allowed seating. They “outlawed” it sophomore year because it made other people feel bad about their seat (well no crap, that’s kind of the point). Other than that, I was your stereotypical young teenager. Worried about my weight (even though at the time I probably weighed around 115 pounds and I was 5′ 4″… I’d love to go back to that), worried about one pimple here and there, and I wore way too much makeup; dark eyeliner and sparkle eyeshadow from Claire’s. This was absolutely my “scene phase”. I’m not sure what stopped me, but I always wanted to cut my hair to have really thick bangs that mysteriously hung in front of my face. I drew on myself in Sharpie.

There was also the day my friend in science found the pyromaniac in me. He had a lighter with him, and I found this the coolest thing. He was a bit of a popular “badass” with a reputation for doing what he wanted. If you were his girl, you could be anything. I never wanted to be with him- I wanted to be him. Anyway, he had this lighter and it was shaped like a hot dog. It was actually incredibly dumb. We were sitting in science class, and the teacher was talking. I was always the “teacher’s pet”, especially in this class. She was the Student Council adviser, and an amazing teacher. She never really paid much attention to me, she trusted me. I never really messed around, but that day was different. My desk was next to his, and we were by the window. He takes out his lighter and shows it off. He lights it inside his desk. He hands it to me. I light it. I hand it back. He lights it, and he thinks it would be a smart idea to light a piece of paper on fire. To this day, I have no idea how the teacher never noticed, but this kid caught his desk on fire and successfully put it out in the middle of talking about microorganisms. The teacher retired two years later.

Sometimes I think about the days where walking to Taco Bell after school defined your popularity and the amount of glitter you wore decided who talked to you and wish life was that simple. Although… I never really was a fan of Taco Bell. I’m kinda glad we all grew up.

These days I wear less makeup, and thankfully I ditched the gloves and fedora somewhere along the timeline. I also lost most of that friend group (thanks high school), but I’m glad I know who my true friends are.

Life is weird, growing up is weird. But, there’s ten days until  I’m legally responsible to adult. Let’s embrace that. I’ll be here all week with your nightly reminiscing of my youth.

Here’s to growing up.

-E.