“Need a hand? Well, you just wait / We’ll help you out… we each have eight.”

So…yesterday was the day.

We have less than a week in Arizona. Barely a day left in our home and just one night left to sleep in our own bed…

And yesterday was the day I saw my very first wild tarantula.

Let me set the stage:

Picture it, just before dusk, plenty of light out. Windy with a darkness to the sky only encroaching rain could explain. We were all tired, Stan had cleaned and organized all of his belongings, and was not into a walk. But Annie and, quite frankly, I needed the exercise.

So we set off on our usual route. Up Star Hill and back…

It was the way back that I came face to face with what I had been dreading about the past 10 months.

Well, to be fair, Annie came face to face with the tarantula.

While I gasped in pure shock, Annie stuck her nose right into the face of the tarantula and then turned and kept walking. If the tarantula was wearing a fedora, this would have been the point where it tipped it’s brim to us and kept on walking.

The whole thing was so chill, I’m starting to doubt it even happened. I mean what had I been expecting, for the tarantula to turn and lunge at us whilst holding a switchblade?

At first I was relieved and now having the pleasure of time and distance I can really appreciate the beauty of the moment. The tarantula was no question large, but very slender. It’s body along with each leg had a very sleek quality to it.

Now, I don’t want to jinx myself, especially since we still need to make it through sleeping tonight and packing tomorrow. But I am happy to have had this experience.

I can check off natural tarantula sighting off my bucket list…


But don’t get me wrong, I had the heebie jeebies all the way home!

 

“Exactly. It’s because in my whole life—I mean, you know, for the past eight weeks—I was never able to say the word ’Dad’.”

I am a extremely fortunate to have born to the family I have.

Things haven’t always been perfect or ideal but with all said and done, I am extremely proud of each and every one of my family members and in honor of Father’s Day, I will be saluting each of the important men in my life.

To my Father (inlaw), I feel very fortunate to have you in my life. You’ve helped raise Stan into a wonderful, confident, hard working, yet thoughtful Man. I’m excited for all the memories our family will create together in the future.

To my Godfather, to the man who has everything. There’s such an age difference between us that I feel it’s challenging to really know one another well. You’re such a huge prescience in our family and you’ve always been there for me. But I will be forever grateful for how you treat my Dad. Being his Big Brother and having his back means more to me that you will ever know.

To my Paternal Grandpa, I don’t think you ever knew how much you meant to me. I could not have been prouder of your service to our country during World War II, defending us in the Pacific. I wish I could listen to more of your stories and that we could have spent more time together.

To my Maternal Grandpa, I wish so much that we could have shared more time together one on one. Although your time on this earth was short, I am forever grateful for each and every moment we shared. You gave so much to me throughout the years. With the importance and insistence on Family, you truly were definition of “Head of our Family.” You instilled that in Mommy and me and although its challenging I am grateful. I miss you more and more each day, wondering if you would be proud of the Woman I have become.

and to my Daddy, words cannot express the love, admiration and pride that I feel for you each and every day. You are truly the kindest, giving, most thoughtful person I know. I’m proud that I am so similar to you, even though we tend to get on others nerves with our stubborness…I am proud of the strength we share. You are the most selfless person I know next to Mommy, which is very fitting since you two found one another.

*Honorable Mention* Stan, for all that you do for Annie. If you treat our kids half as well as you treat Annie, you’re going to make Father of the Year each and every year.

A special Happy Father’s Day to all my cousins, uncles and friends who are Fathers.
And to you and/or your special Father on this beautiful day. 

Click this Link to see the image that goes along with this post!

and in honor of Father’s Day,
Here is a list of my favorite films
featuring my Favorite Movie Dad

Dennis Quaid

The Parent Trap (1998)
I love the original but this will always be my favorite. Little LiLo at her arguable best.  This film introduced me to the Paternal Greatness that is Dennis Quaid. My favorite time to watch this film is when I’m home with my parents. Especially, since this is one of my Dad’s favorite films to watch with me as well.

Frequency (2000)
Another feel good father/son relationship movie with a thrilling twist. This is another one my Dad and I enjoy watching together. The ending gets me every time, Little Chief.

Soul Surfer (2011)
I just really like the flow and theme of this film and who better to play husband and wife to Bethany than Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ve actually sat done to watch this with my Dad yet, but

 <3
Thank you for Reading.

Day 12 Twelve Things You Are Grateful For

Day 12 Twelve Things You Are Grateful For

June 12, 1942. Anne Frank received a diary for her birthday.

June 12, 2014. The last time I allowed the 12th to be a day of monthly mourning and depression for me. The next month, when the 12th rolled around, I chose to be grateful for the things and people I have rather than being depressed because of what I had lost.

Tell about a dozen things you are grateful to have in your life. It could be people, things, memories, etc. (Yes, I cheated on this one since I do this every month anyway.)

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Sometimes I find myself to feel quite melancholy and to quote Professor Dumbledore “But you know happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” So here are twelve things that I am grateful for:

  1. My Parents
    I would not be who I am today without them. My Dad and my Mom are the kindest  and most thoughtful people I have ever met. I never thought of myself as being as kind and considerate as they are but the older I get, the more I realize just how similar to my parents I really am. 
  2. My Stan
    I know its a cliche to say that my significant other is my best friend, but I’m going to say it anyway. Stan is my absolute Best Friend. We have so much in common and our differences compliment one another very well. I honestly don’t know how I could possibly be married to someone I didn’t love, trust and admire as much as I do Stan.
  3. My Grandparents
    My Grandparents on both sides of my family are pretty Bad Ass.
    Unfortunately, my
    Dad’s parents passed away before I could really get to know them on a more adult level. They were both much older than me and had accomplished many amazing feats well before I was born. They were both extremely no nonsense people and I was never able to full be myself among them.My Mom’s Father passed well before his time, and well before I reached the realization of how similar we truly were. My Grandfather was a very strong person both physically as well as mentally. He had a strong sense of right and wrong and was not afraid to voice his opinion. Each day I try to be more and more like him.
    My Grandmother was always a hero to me. We’ve gone on countless adventures together alongside my Mom. Sometimes, I don’t give her the appreciation and credit she is due. But I love her to the moon and back and honestly wouldn’t be who I am today without her constant presence in my life.
    I hope that someday, I will be just as Bad Ass as all four of my Grandparents.
  4. My Cousins
    Being an only child my cousins were a huge part of my making my childhood amazing. Most of them are much older than me but each and every one of them means something dear to my heart in their own way. But three cousins in particular mean more to me than anyone else in the world. They are my siblings having spent weeks at a time together. I love them with my whole heart and even though we’re far apart, I honestly wouldn’t know where I would be now without them.
  5. My Aunts
    The women in my family are all extremely strong. My Aunts have always been there for me in their own way. From supporting me on a daily basis to being there on Family Vacations and supporting me on special occasions.
    My Aunts have always loved and cared for me as if I were their own.
  6. My Annie and all of my other Animal Friends
    My life as an Army Wife improved immensely the day Annie came into our lives. I am so grateful for animals. They bring so much joy, happiness and beauty into the world. I’m grateful for their companionship, love, trust and inspiration they have given me throughout my life.
  7. My Friends
    I’m not the easiest friend to get along with, there I’ve said it. I put my family first and I don’t like talking on the phone…but for those Friends who have stuck by me, they are one in a million. My friends come in all shapes and personalities. Some could be my twin and others could be my complete opposite. I’ve learned things from each and every one of them and they have pushed me in many different ways. I hope they know just how much they mean to me, even if I don’t call and talk to them or write to them every week.
    They are my pack and I will always have their backs.
  8. Walt Disney
    Disney has given so much to so many people. From the movies to the theme parks, Disney brings people together. Walt Disney World was the first place my family ever felt fully at peace. My Dad could relax from work and I could run out my energy. And when I’m home I can pop in a DVD and get caught up in the adventure. From the catchy songs to the breathtaking animation, no one can do it better than Disney.
  9. My High School
    I went to an All Girls High School and I will forever be grateful. Grateful for my Education and the opportunities I was given. I was floundering in Middle School, just one of the flock, but when I changed schools, I was able to be a part of something bigger. I was able to be a member of two Sports Teams, an Acting troupe and Student Council. I learned all different types of art forms and traveled overseas. I still had to audition and try out but I was given that choice. I was never once bullied into submission. Oh sure, there were “mean girls” but the school didn’t allow them to take control and for that I’m eternally grateful.
  10. The Army
    Yes, it can be frustrating at times, especially when everything is hurry up and wait but overall I like that I can be apart of something bigger again. I had always had the up most respect for the Armed Forces, especially since many of my family members have served at some capacity. My two Grandfathers were Army Veterans and my Husband is currently serving, making me an Army Wife. (Something I couldn’t be prouder of). Yes, I wish we weren’t so far from our families but the places we’ve been, people we’ve met and the experiences we’ve made are well worth it.
  11. The Written Word, Art Supplies and Freedom of Expression
    I am grateful for the Mediums of Expression. From Poetry to Novels, Screenplays and Letters. Paintings, Doodles, Pottery and Photography. From Musicals, to Ballads to catchy Jingles. I am grateful to the mediums we have at our disposal for ways of expressing our thoughts and our ideas. The ability to read our favorite books, watch our favorite films, visit a museum and listen to any song we want. I’m grateful for the people who have chose to express themselves in ways they seem fit and for the opportunity and freedom to do the same.
  12. For Being a Woman
    When I was a little girl I remember being thankful that I was a girl. I’m not really sure why I had this thought, perhaps my cousin/BFF/brotherfromanothermother was being a bit obnoxious at the time but I remember very clearly thinking how I very much enjoyed being a girl. From then on I became an unconscious Feminist, meaning that I didn’t realize I was a Feminist at the time. I was just being myself, on class projects I just naturally drifted towards the feminine. I chose female figures to present and questioned why my fellow writers were not making their female characters more well rounded. I never pushed that Women should be superior (thoughweallknowweare😉 ) I just wanted equality. I wanted things to be equal. And even though I don’t have it as easy as men in some arenas, I am still just as grateful to be a woman.

 

Day 10 A Toast to Ten Bloggers

Day 10 A Toast to Ten Bloggers

June 10, 1935. Dr. Robert Smith (Dr. Bob) takes his last drink and Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio, by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob.

Although Bill and Dr. Bob quit drinking alcohol, we can still raise a toast to those who have done a great job!

Share a link to ten blogs you enjoy. Tell us why you think they deserve a toast! You may want to try viewing those blogs in your browser and using the “Press This” feature.

Alternative: Share links to the top ten posts on your blog from last year according to your stats. Include an excerpt from each. Or share your favorite ten posts since starting your blog.

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I don’t have much experience with blogging,
So I’ll be posting what I can to make up a list of 10:

My Favorite Bloggers:

  1. Signs of Disney World
  2. Wide Angled Life
  3. Serenasinclair 

    My Most Popular Posts:

  4. PEACE FOR PARIS
    Current Events
  5. B : BALOO “OH NO! IT’S BALOO, THAT SHIFTLESS, TWO BIT, JUNGLE BUM.”
    A to Z Challenge
  6. MARSHMALLOW MERMAID PIE
    Cooking with the Movies
  7. PEACE FOR THE WORLD
    Current Events
  8. S : STITCH “STITCH IS TROUBLED. HE NEEDS DESSERTS!”
    A to Z Challenge
  9. U : URSULA “WELL, IT’S TIME URSULA TOOK MATTERS INTO HER OWN TENTACLES.”
    A to Z Challenge

    A Favorite Post of Mine:

  10. National Tell a Story Day

 

Day 9 Go the Whole Nine Yards

Day 9 Go the Whole Nine Yards

June 9, 1834. William Carey died. He is considered the Father of Modern Missions. He spent forty-one years as a Christian missionary to India without ever taking a furlough. Being a missionary in China in the early nineteenth century was not easy!

To go the whole nine yards means “to continue doing something dangerous or difficult until it is finished”. William Carey went the whole nine yards.

When have you gone the whole nine yards? Write about it.

Or write a story of someone in a dangerous or difficult situation and how they go the whole nine yards.

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I haven’t done anything I would classify as dangerous or as difficult as being a missionary in China during the nineteenth century.

Two summers ago when FXX hosted their Simpsons Every Episode Ever Marathon I committed to watching every single episode. I kept TVs on in every room I entered and even when I slept. I made Simpson artwork and built the Simpsons Lego House. The Simpsons is my absolute all time favorite TV show. I used to watch it multiple times after school and each Sunday night. I had been waiting for a Simpsons Channel for a very long time and I was not going to miss a single moment of that marathon.

Another time I went the whole nine yards was when I completed my Coast to Coast Run Disney Challenge. The first time I ever completed a Half Marathon was during the Princess Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World. This was also the first time my parents and Stan’s parents met. The night before the race we all went out to dinner. I’m guessing everyone just assumed I wasn’t going to really go through with the marathon since each time I tried to politely excuse myself to bed my request went unheard. Nonetheless, I completed the Half Marathon the next day and earned my medal. Fast forward to September, Stan and I were signed up to do the Disneyland Half Marathon. Due to the Army, Stan was forced to forfeit his spot in the race. I knew the chances of me being this close to completing a Coast to Coast challenge would be slim, so I was determined to make it happen. I was already in California for School but I still needed someone to go with. After going back and forth with schedules, my Mom and I decided to make it a girls weekend. Long Story Short: I earned my Coast to Coast Medal.

Day 7 Seven Days Off

Day 7 Seven Days Off

June 7, 1982. Priscilla Presley opened Graceland to the public.

Many Elvis fans have taken vacations to Memphis just so they can tour Graceland.

Where would you like to visit on your next vacation? What would you do with seven days off? What is your idea of a perfect week-long vacation?

Alternatively, write about a vacation you took in the past.

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Someday I will visit Japan. Ever since I was a little girl I have been in awe of Asian culture. It started with China but once I started studying more about history and watching Anime, my love grew for Japan. When I go I plan to visit:

Tokyo 

Zojoji Temple (traditional Tokyo)

a Cat Cafe

Senso-Ji Temple (traditional Tokyo)

Tokyo DisneySea

Ghibli Museum

Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden

Osaka

Kyoto

Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine

Golden Pavilion

Hakone

Mt. Fuji

Magome

Kiso Valley

Matsumoto Castle

I know this would be quite an action packed week, so if we’re sticking to the point that this has to be my ideal perfect 7 day long vacation… let’s just go to Disney World for a week and hang out by the Japan Pavilion in Epcot Center.

kanpai

Days 6 Six Sounds You Love or Hate

Days 6 Six Sounds You Love or Hate

June 6, 1944. The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London.

Are you a fan of the song YMCA by The Village People? Or do you hate it?

Write about and share six songs or artists you love or six songs you hate. This is a chance to learn how to embed media in a post.

Alternative: Write about sounds that grate on your nerves.

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I thank my parents every day for instilling a love of music in me. I grew up listening to tunes from the ’40s through the ’80s and all kinds of Musicals.

1. Patsy Cline’s Back In Baby’s Arms

 When my cousin and I were little, my Grandfather introduced me to artists like  Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline.  I’m choosing to share my favorite Patsy Cline song because she was the first artist I can remember my Grandfather really loving.

2. Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time

My mom and I are big Cher fans. I love a good song that you can really sing along to and Cher has a plethora of those. From Half Breed to Believe to even You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me from Burlesque. You can’t help but sing along. One of my all time favorite songs is I Got You Babe but my favorite solo song from Cher would have to be If I Could Turn Back Time. I just really love the lyrics and the way she sings them. And seriously, who can deny how unbelievable Cher’s body is in any outfit. She could wear anything and make it look tastefully artistic. 

3. Joan Jetts’ I Hate Myself For Loving You

Whenever I need a boost in confidence I turn to Joan Jett. Her style and stage presence is just pure Badassery. She’s another artist that I love to sing along to and just about any one of her songs is a gem. I Love Rock & Roll is of course her most famous, I love that song but I’m going to go with my personal favorite.

4. Katy Perry’s The One That Got Away

I really enjoy Katy Perry as an artist. Her songs and music videos always put me in a good mood. They’re so colorful, fresh and just inspiring. My favorite song is The One That Got Away. The song itself is very visual but when you put it with the music video it’s just pure magic. I love the artsy feel and romantic tone. It makes me want to crash a party and paint a portrait of Stan each time I watch it.

5. Spice Girls’ Spice Up Your Life

All self respecting girl in the ’90s had a little spice in ’em. My friends and I used to listen to them all the time. Their ultra popular instantly recognizable, Wannabe would have been too easy, so I thought I’d spice things up a bit😉

*Honorable Mention
Johnny Cash’s A Thing Called Love

Johnny Cash is one of my absolute favorite artists of all time.  For a time Ring of Fire used to be my favorite but recently A Thing Called Love has crept up and has taken its place. The lyrics are just so genuine and sweet, but what sealed it for me is this live version where June Carter Cash walks onto the stage and Johnny ends the song by saying, “Yeah, and here’s that woman that I love, ladies and gentlemen, June Carter.” Knowing how much Johnny loved June, that sweet sentiment is extremely touching. If everyone could love one another as much as Johnny and June, imagine how the world would be.

 

Day 5 Five Favorite Foods

Day 5 Five Favorite Foods

June 5, 1941. Robert Kraft, founder of Kraft Foods, was born.

Tell us about your five favorite foods or five favorite restaurants. You can also share five favorite recipes.

Alternative: Write about your least favorite foods or dining experiences!

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I was blessed with a healthy appetite.
Which I got from my Mother,
who got it from her Father.
a gift i am extremely proud of.

Just a little backstory before I list my Favorite Foods, I’d like to add that I became a Vegetarian during my Sophomore Year of College. I’ve since lacked in certain ways, such as switching to Pescetarian, but the list of Favorite Foods will include some of my favorites prior to my exclusion of Meats.

1. Beef Stew

My favorite meal of all time is my Mom’s Beef Stew. Words cannot describe its perfection. Even in the years since I’ve given up meat, I beg my mom to make it and I just eat around the beef (I never said I was a good vegetarian) that’s how delicious it is.

2. Salads

I always feel a little bashful when I express my love of lettuce. I feel people assume I’m a diet freak. But I genuinely love the taste of lettuce and salads are one of my absolute favorite dishes to eat. And my Mom makes the absolute best, I’m not bragging about my Mom’s cooking skills, I’m just stating fact.

3. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

My favorite candy is definitely Reese’s, I love the Peanut Butter Cups, the Pieces and when Stan and I went to Las Vegas I had the special Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup martini at New York New York. Chocolate and Peanut Butter is a match made in heaven.

4. Surf and Turf

Okay, I know what you’re thinking…but on special occasions I couldn’t help myself. My Dad would make the best steaks and I really love Lobster Tails. (All things Seafood Really) .Now that I don’t eat beef, everyone says, “oh I know you don’t like beef but…” But No! That’s not true at all, Beef was probably my favorite meat growing up and I’m sure one day  I will be devouring it again, in the not so distant future.

5. Tacos & Cupcakes!

Okay, I’m cheating here by combining these two items into #5. Let me explain, I cannot get enough of either. I love Taco Tuesdays, crunchy shells, crisp lettuce, cool tomatoes and smooth sour cream. And I just plain love cupcakes, they’re like mini personal cakes you can eat with your hands.

Day 3 Three Things You Can’t Live Without

Day 3 Three Things You Can’t Live Without

June 3, 1937. The Duke of Windsor married American Wallis Simpson. He loved her so much he knew he could not live without her, so he gave up the Crown of Great Britain to marry her. 

What are three things you can’t live without (or wouldn’t want to).

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Three Things I Cannot Live Without

1. Family

My Parents and now Stan are the most important people in my life.
But I have always held my Family in the highest regard as to quote Michael Bluth, “Family First.” My cousins were my best friends and closest allies. I put them above everyone else in my life. This has hurt me at times socially, since most of my cousins don’t share this trait. But one cannot change the past and with all the happiness they’ve brought, I honestly could not imagine my life without any of them.

2. Animal Friends

This should really be a continuation of Family, because all of the Animals in my life or my “pets” have been a proper member of the family. My two Cats and four Dogs (5 including my Nana’s dog) have been my closest confidants growing up. They were always there for me. The worst part about college was being away from them. And once Annie and Gracie came into our lives, all of us became much happier.

3.Imagination

I cannot live without my Imagination or the Imagination of others. I love being able to express myself through writing and my artwork. As well as living vicariously through the imagination of others, through books, movies and television shows. Trips to Disney, reading Harry Potter or watching The Simpsons. All of these things have brought happiness and inspiration to not just my life but to countless others.