Countdown to 19… 8!

It’s 11 October and as you all probably know: I turn 19 on the 19th. With that being said, I’m going to do a fun little thing every day I get the chance to blog. Today I’ll start by answering some questions about myself.

Let’s see how that goes! 

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

If we start when I was super young, I’ve had a few nicknames. “Weasel”, “Maddie”, “Blonde One”, and “Nikki”. All of them have some sort of backstory, but we’ll save that for another time. I prefer being called my actual name.  

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

THAT DAMN JAMES PATTERSON SERIES

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

Lol, I just had to do a sketch for class and it looked like something a cat coughed up

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

I lay and self-loathe, let’s be honest here

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?

All the days. I’d write a lot. 

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?

I have notes from middle school still if that  answers the question…

7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know?

Pack rat? Like, has a lot of stuff? Probably myself. Y’all should see the trunk of my car. You could easily camp for two weeks with everything in my car. 

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?

I don’t go to parties. I don’t enter. 

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?

My strongest sense? Probably hearing. My sense of smell already sucks, so you can take that one. 

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Yes.

11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

HAHAHAHA That animals would think my fingers were carrots and eat them. I was afraid of petting zoos for this reason until like… last year. 

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Sleeping? I dunno. I don’t feel guilty about anything. It’s my life. 

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

Probably Alex. 

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?

Like, once for my Media, Power, and Culture class.

15. Which animals scare you most? Why?

SPIDERS ALL THE WAY BECAUSE THEY’RE GROSS AND BASICALLY COME STRAIGHT FROM HELL

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

I’m not going to avoid a conflict to spare someone’s feelings, if that’s the question. There’s so many ways to resolve a conflict I don’t see why “engage head-on” is the other option. 

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?

Someone said I looked 24 so I’ll take that

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?

How often I break out like a 13 year old boy lmao

19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.

YES YES YES. I updated to iOS 11 and I’m still lost.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain.

Lol, no. Literally, the smallest things will make my day. I don’t need… “high maintenance”. Also, to me, that makes me feel superficial. I dunno. I don’t like that phrase. Maintenance to me means that you need fixing to be okay. Frick that. 

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?

I did a 5k on Friday and wow that was lit

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?

Both! I have a whole lot of acquaintances and a few close friends. 

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?

Why can’t I unleash the power of others in my empire?

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?

Um…. Nothing comes to mind. 

25. What do you think about more than anything else?

Sleeping and eating lol 

26. What’s something that amazes you?

Myself! I’m still going and kicking ass and I’m damn proud of myself. 

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why?

I had to Google what “shooting straight” was, but definitely that one. Talk to me! Tell me how you feel about me! Give me your honest opinion. 

28. Where’s your favourite place to take an out-of-town guest?

Um. Something touristy I guess. 

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?

WHY IS EVERYONE PACKING UP IT’S 10:20 THIS LAB ENDS AT 10:30

30. Do you have a catchphrase?

“I dig that” right now probably. I also say “lit” so much I got my boss saying it hahaha

31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? What conditions cause you to dislike or, conversely, enjoy talking with them?

I don’t know

32. How and where do you prefer to study?

At home in absolute quiet. Sometimes music playing.

33. What position do you sleep in?

I’m a stomach sleeper. 

34. What’s your all-time favourite town or city? Why?

Boulder, Colorado. Man, it’s gorgeous. 

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?

If they’re funny, if they smile a lot, and if they’re kind. 

36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you?

Not? My brother is really chill.

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?

I’d want to be able to work out and get stronger and stuff (and look good) and not hurt. 

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?

With my (ex?) best friend Erin. She was my best friend from second grade until senior year of high school. Wow. 

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

Maddie/Madeline.

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not?

No. Educate yourself. 

41. What do you consider unforgivable?

Rape. 

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not?

Yeah, you learn from those things. 

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?

Meh. Most times, apologies don’t mean anything anyway. It’s their actions.

44. Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?

Deep question up in here. Um, I guess my faith? 

45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain.

It depends on the person. People as a whole are untrustworthy. Even some of my friends. But there’s like, three people I’d trust with my life. One is my mom. 

46. In what area of your life are you immature?

None, I think. I mean, naive? Sure. Immature? Nah. 

47. What was the best news you ever received?

Probably my scholarships???

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?

Not difficult at all.

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?

Probably with Erin in second grade. Little us got along super well. We were best friends until… senior year. And I don’t think so. 

50. When do you find yourself singing?

Almost always (I’m annoying sorry)

So there you have it! 50 questions answered about myself right now at age 18. Stay tuned within the next few days to see what other fun things are in store for my blog! 

~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- 2 (the senior one).

TWO DAYS YO

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It’s Monday. On Wednesday, I’ll be 18. Yippee! (Right?) 

Yes, yes, I know in reality turning 18 *isn’t* such a big deal. A bunch of people have done it without some big fuss- and I feel like that’s why I’m blogging about it. I want it to be a big deal for me, so it’s something to do- something to remember. Over here in what my friend calls “the cave”, turning 18 isn’t some big milestone. You get to drink distilled alcohol and pay your own insurance (among other things). Side note: No wonder you are able to drink distilled alcohol, I might need it having to deal with all of this. Pass me the rum. Or something.countdown-0-3

So- senior year. What was senior year like?

Three words: “Stress“, “Music“, and “Senioritis“.

Stress because, well… High school. Music because dude, music became my life. I played in the Honors Band, Stambaugh Youth Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, a quintet, Tuba Christmas, my High School’s Wind Ensemble,  did a solo for a competition,  and participated in a Festival of Bands. I was also accepted into the School of Music at one of the leading music schools in the USA (whose admission I deferred, along with CU Boulder and another) and I received the Director’s Award at my Senior Spring Concert. Outside of everything I participated in, I loved going to local concerts. I was a regular at the W.D. Packard Band concerts, and I would occasionally attend community band concerts. My friend and I lived in the band room all school year. The office became our locker, our cafeteria (even though food or drinks weren’t allowed in the band room- district rules), and our place for hanging out. I’d often skip lunch to practice or re-organize things. We’d often pick what we played in class- and often were hated for it. My friend picked out a beautiful arrangement- To Tame The Perilous Skies– and no one could play it. We’d pick out our favorite pieces and bribe our director to play them. I got my Holst pieces, he got his Carnival of Venice solo. Lastly, “senioritis“. Likely, anyone tseniorhat is a high school senior or has been a high school senior can attest to this one. Senioritis is accurately described by this definition from Urban Dictionary, except for perhaps the clothing thanks to the dress code (and absences for me… I couldn’t afford to miss my AP classes).countdown-0-4

What else did I do my Senior year? Oh man, so much. I was the robotics team captain for the second (or third…ish?) year. I was a member of two new clubs at my school- the Speech and Debate team, and coding club. I did Congressional Debate, and I loved it. I wish I could’ve had more time to do it. I did the Bridge Building Competition, the Ohio Attorney General Teen Ambassador Board (which was absolutely amazing and I’d highly recommend to any High School Junior/Senior in Ohio), I was a thrower in Track and Field, throwing Shotput and Discus. That one was new for me, as I had traditionally been a distance runner in track. I was a volunteer at the local Vacation Bible School as well as Fellowship of Christian Athletes group leader. And of course, I was a member of Civil Air Patrol.

All within Civil Air Patrol, I was a Flight Commander and Cadet Commander at my squadron, Bravo Flight Sergeant (and Honor Flight Sergeant) at the 2015 OHWG Encampment, Team Co-Captain at the 2015 Cyber Defense Training Academy, Ohio Wing Conference Cadet Staff, and Cadet Advisory Council Group Primary Representative. I was awarded the Billy Mitchell Award, Squadron Cadet Officer of the Year, OHWG Cadet Officer of the Year, 910th Airlift Wing Armed Forces Day Awardee, and Commander’s Commendation. Upon graduating, I have been the 2016 D-Day Ohio Cadet Commander, Alpha Flight Commander (and Honor Flight Commander) at the 2016 OHWG Encampment, Cyber Defense Training Academy 2016 Staff and a student in the Advanced Course, and I have received the Amelia Earhart Award for promoting to Cadet Captain. I have flown a Cessna and a glider, and have been a member of my squadron’s CyberPatriot team. 

Senior year was pretty amazing. I do miss a few teachers, and I miss the familiarity of knowing what would happen every day (as I had forecasted in the yearbook) , but I absolutely don’t miss High School as a whole. I’m so glad I graduated.

Hang in there, y’all. 

-E. ♥

Countdown- 3.

3 days, guys!

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Boulder, Colorado.

Before starting this post, I changed the picture at least 4 times. I didn’t know what year to blog about. Tomorrow is senior pictures, and Tuesday is baby pictures (which, that is already done and scheduled to post at noon, EST). I started typing about Junior year, but then I realized I’d already blogged about junior year. I  blankly stared at the screen, and then my lock screen came on. “I got it!” I thought to myself.

12-15 October 2014, my mom and I took a trip to Boulder, Colorado. cu-buffsWe went with the goal of visiting my dream college- CU Boulder.  We visited the campus, and I fell more and more in love with the college by the hour. The food was amazing, both on and off campus. I’d absolutely recommend Half-Fast Subs to anyone looking to eat in Boulder.

I mainly visited the Engineering building and technology parts on campus, but I’m extremely glad we stopped in to see the Marching Band as well. I was able to talk with multiple students as well as someone I believe was the assistant director. The music program there is absolutely fantastic.

Aside from visiting the CU Boulder campus, I also visited a Civil Air Patrol squadron; the Vance-Brand Composite Squadron based out of Longmont, Colorado. At the time I was a C/SSgt, and I didn’t notice many cadets that were higher ranked than me. It was a nice squadron, and I even met a friend I still occasionally talk to. He always jokingly said I’d never outrank him, but *in CAP*– I do now. He’s in the Army now, which (quite obviously) still outranks me.

So yeah, Colorado was pretty friggin’ awesome. Although… someone should really notify the Rocky Mountains that they’re all uphill… that’s really non user-friendly (har har). I’d love to go back one day- and yes, I did get accepted to CU Boulder.

Keep climbing!

-E. 

Also, yes. I am aware that “Countdown- 4” does not exist. It, like “Countdown-9” will never exist.

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- 7.

One week!

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“Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York”

The year was 2007, and 8 year old me excitedly squealed as my mom told me we were taking a weekend trip to New York City. For as long as I can remember, I have loved New York City. I don’t think there was any particular reason prior to this trip, but I could tell you exactly why I fell in love with the Big Apple upon return. The big city feel, the constant life. Everyone is going somewhere and going with a purpose, but they’re not above being friendly. The buses, the bikes, the taxis. The constant noise and droning of city sounds. All the beautiful lights, even the streetlights and stoplights and car lights. The Atlantic Ocean being right there. And all the skyscrapers… especially the Empire State building. In 2007, I fell in love with that building, and it’s still one of my favorite- if not my favorite building on Earth.download

I have been to New York City twice in my life now. The trip with my mom, and in fifth grade my school decided to let us take a class trip to New York. I wish I remembered more of it. I remember Ellis Island so clearly,where I bought my mom a mini Statue of Liberty and my grandpa a tin of mints with his name on it. I remember going on the giant Ferris Wheel in the Toys R Us store. I bought a package of M’n’Ms at the M’n’M store, for irony (they tasted no different than from a grocery store). There was such an emphasis on shopping during the school trip, I do remember that getting on my nerves slightly. I’m not the kind of person to “buy souvenirs”, and if I do, it’s something small. When my robotics team made it to the World Championships in St.Louis, all  I bought was a sticker and a lanyard from the Gateway Arch. When I went to Chicago with band, all I bought was a shot glass and a couple of post cards.

Anyway, yeah. Shopping *isn’t* my thing. I mean… maybe if I had unlimited money, but. That’s not how life works. I can’t wait to go back to New York City. I want to see the Christmas Tree… and go ice skating. I want to ride the subway again. Visit the Museum of Modern Art. New York City at Christmastime sounds like paradise. Maybe a friend and I will go one day. That would be fun. Maybe stay in the same place my mom and I did; the Chelsea International Hostel. It was such a neat place…

So yeah. Like 10 years ago, I loved New York as much as I still do. But, what else was I like as an eight-year-old? I loved my Webkinz “Pink Ponie”, named Monie. I carried her everywhere. preview_pink_ponyShe’s in that pink purse I’m carrying in the picture of me in the Atlantic Ocean above.

 Other than that, there’s not a whole lot else. I was in cheerleading and I loved to dance, everywhere I went to eat I had chicken tenders and fries, I was really your stereotypical child.

I mean, there’s really nothing wrong with eating chicken tenders all the time. But deciding to eat steak at a steakhouse when I was older was really one of the best decisions of my life.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.

-E.