Grace The Great

To my amazing Gracie on her 19th birthday… I know… I’m late.

Deal with it.

You like me too much to care.

This is for you:

Grace, you are so wonderfully amazing. Today, yesterday, and all the days.

For almost eight long years, you’ve stood by my side without qualms. Sure, there were a few years in the middle that we lost contact, but those only matter because we both grew, and came back with a stronger basis for our friendship.

Today, on this, the start of your 19th year, I want to remind you of a few things:

You are BEAUTIFUL

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Seriously, look at you. Even in that tiger onesie, you’re gorgeous. And, I might add, effortlessly glamorous…

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I mean seriously, you’re Marilyn Monroe reincarnate, albeit, a geeky homeschooled version, but, you’re just plain gorgeous.

You are so f****** STRONG

You have seen some s***, real and hard, but you have not only overcome it, you have blossomed.

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I cannot even imagine what it is to live through what you have, and still manage to have such a beautiful outlook on the world and the people in it. Your grace (no pun intended) abounds for everyone, even those who annoy you the most, and your heart goes out to those in need, so much so, that I worry that you care for others more often than you care for your own needs. Your determination in this and many other matters is something I envy at times, and your fierce wit is something I can only aspire to someday match.

I remember running around in your backyard, taking photos (something you were prodigiously talented at even then) like it wasn’t almost five years ago. We were some crazy kids back then….and still making questionable hair decisions…

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Your excitement for life is abounding, insane, and without end. Even on your worst days, you can’t help but find excitement in the small and inconspicuous aspects of our daily monotony.

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You love unconditionally. Your siblings, your friends, my sister, me, your grandmother, your parents. All are your people, all matter to you so much, that your anger when they are injured, or disrespected, is uncontainable. And your joy in their presence, the same.

You are so damned confident. I often can’t believe how confident you are. I couldn’t go out into the world doing half the things you do and come out the other side bravely. I’d be a complete mess. This confidence exudes in your every action, I know you like to say “Fake it till you make it” a wonderful cliche, but really you don’t fake it as much as you’d like us to think. You are just that confident in yourself, even if you don’t realize it yet.

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Lastly my friend, you’re such a beautiful soul, brave, kind, and good too. You make me laugh, with reckless abandon, so, a few lifetime quotes to end….

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“Get your vehicle out of the driveway Zach!”

“YOLO Bitches”

“Lord have Mercy……….On his soul…..”

and finally, always remember….

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“BUTT CONFIDENCE!!!!!!!”

Happy Birthday Grace, may 19 be one of the best,

Much love, and don’t you dare forget it,

Mae

 

 

Falling Off the Horse

Hello all. It’s been far too long since I posted anything. I don’t have a video for you yet :/ life’s been crazy and I’ve had very little motivation to get anything done that isn’t an absolute necessity. However, I do have a life update, so here we go!

I’m no longer moving in with my grandparents for the school year. My father (spreadsheet maker extraordinaire) helped me figure out my finances so that I can live on campus this year! Which is SUPER exciting!! I got my roommate assignment, we’ve been talking a bit, and she seems pretty cool 🙂 Those of you who are praying individuals can be praying that we get along as well in person as we have over text message.

(For those of you who are wondering, yes, in my last post I did mention a boyfriend. 😀 however, for now, he chooses to remain out of the spotlight, so no posts about him for the time being. Maybe someday 😉 )

My parents and sister made it safely to the sunny shores of California. IMG_5060

Where they are enjoying the sun, the surf, and the multitude of opportunities that await them.

Grace is around a lot right now. We spend a lot of time going on mini adventures, and wreaking havoc on the populace. haha, not really, but we do get ourselves in trouble. 😉

I think that’s all for now…

OH! My next post will be oriented around questions that you (my lovely readers) have for me. So please, comment with any questions you may have, and I’ll answer as many as possible!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

 

 

Quiet and Chaos

So, as many of you may, or may not, at this point know, by mid to late July my parents are packing up our house, my little sister, and Minnalouche the meow, and moving to California. That’s right. California. Land of beaches, Disney Land, Hollywood, YouTubers galore, and most importantly, Silicon Valley.

See, for the past few years, my dad has been slowly training himself in the art of web development, and as it turns out, he’s pretty amazing at it. He’s done a ton of stuff to improve the website for his current employer, but he’s also built websites as a freelance developer for local companies. He’s ready, after 8 years (maybe more) with this company, to move on, and he discovered that he really can’t find the kind of work he’s looking for here. So…the question that has come up several times in the 10 years of my parents’ marriage reared its ugly head once more:  “Do we stay here, in a job that isn’t going anywhere anymore? Or, do we uproot and move across the country?”

Honestly, I think for dad, this was always going to be the final decision. He’s originally from Santa Cruz, and California has SO many opportunities for people in his field.

Of course…that leaves me.

What was I going to do? I’m settled at a good school, I’ve got close friends, a steady boyfriend, a steady job, and have finally settled into a place where I don’t feel like the “odd one out.” I fit where I am, for the first time in a really long time. So I chose to stay here, which of course brought with it its own set of questions. “Will I live on campus?” “Where will I live during the summer?” “Will I live in Cali during that time, and only be here for the school year?” “Can I even afford to stay on campus?”

Thankfully, my in state grandparents answered a fair amount of those questions, and the prayers we’d been sending out. They have an empty(ish) bedroom, and are both in state, and close enough to school that I’m not adding too much time to my commute. This means, I don’t have to live on campus, and I don’t have to move to California.

However, this also means that I will be living, not only apart from my family for the first time, but an entire country (almost) away.

I’ve been asked a lot how I’m feeling about this. By friends, family, my boyfriend asks constantly if I’m okay. And, I tell them, over and over, “I’m fine, it doesn’t bother me that much.” and “I’ll be okay, this is the right thing.”

Here’s the thing that they all know, I’m sure, but aren’t going to say to me, because they know how stubborn I am. I’m not okay. I just can’t say it aloud. I can barely write it. The days are stressful, and I’m basically panicking half the time. I spend a lot of time shrugging it off, and hanging out with friends, distancing myself from the situation.

I heard somewhere that a blog is supposed to be like a diary, only it’s public, and you have to be willing to be vulnerable. I’m not. Never have been. Probably my epic trust issues coming to the surface, but I don’t cry in front of people, and I don’t release my feelings very well.

So…In an effort to release some of them:

  1. I wrote this post. No it’s not all that I’m feeling, no, you probably won’t hear the rest of it here, but hopefully this has broken some of the ice still lingering.
  2. I recorded another video.

This song is from the musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. It’s called quiet, and it pretty much sums up how it feels to be surrounded by stress, and how I feel a lot of the time right now. There are so many thoughts running through my head at once, that it’s a sort of chaos, and I’m not sure how to express it to those around me.

 

Love to all, As always,

Mae

P.S. Please click the title of the video and go watch on YouTube if you can.

 

Museum Visit

So, no singing today, as between work and a fun visit this morning I haven’t had time to record another video. Instead, I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite things at the Public Museum here in Grand Rapids.

We’ll start with the new Wildlife Explorer exhibit. It’s a National Geographic exhibit, that’s only visiting for a few months before it travels to the next town. Usually these smaller traveling exhibits aren’t that great, kind of small, and kid based, not something I’m often too interested in, but I have to admit that this particular exhibit was pretty cool.

It featured a dog sled (pulled here by my little sister’s porcupine Pricilla) and a scuba diver:

And a giant polar bear, who my sister was approached in trepidation at first:

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But they were fast friends after that:
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It was a pretty great exhibit, and a cool learning opportunity for kids like my sister who love animals and all the special things that make them amazing.

The rest of the trip was spent visiting some old haunts. I’ve been to this particular museum a hundred times, and I know most of the exhibits’ little quirks and secrets. My two favorites are the Spillman Carousel, and “Old Grand Rapids.”

The Spillman Carousel was built in 1928 and is still in working order. In fact, its music still plays music from the original Wurlitzer Band Organ!

 

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Not the best picture…but there were about 40 screaming children getting off the carousel at the time…best I could do.

The main carousel is made up of 44 hand carved horses, with real horse hair tails. They’re all painted in bright colors and dressed to the nines in their jeweled saddles and bridles. There are also two chariots, and, besides the horses, a whale, a tiger, a giraffe, a deer, a goat, and a camel.

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This guy was my riding companion today. Pretty handsome, don’t you think? 😉

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Rides are only a dollar, and if you’re a museum member, they’re free, as many times as you want to ride. 🙂 Little sister and I have taken advantage of that fact many, many times.

My very favorite part of the museum though, is “Old Grand Rapids.” A cobblestoned and historically accurate blast from the past, this exhibit hosts many different venues, often manned by museum volunteers in period (turn of the century) costume.

There’s a grocer, which is packed to the brim with both real and fake goods. For example, the boxes of cereal and other goods of that kind, are all real. However, the wonderful looking cherry pie on the counter? Not so much.

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There’s the print shop, which wasn’t manned today, but usually has a volunteer making museum bookmarks on their pedal powered printing press.

There’s also Rudell Drug Store, which is not just a replica. This is the actual store, that was transplanted “as is” to the museum after it closed. There’s an old school soda fountain, a crazy cool cash register, and my favorite bit, all the old medicine’s and perfume bottles. They all still have the original liquids and medicines in them!

Of course, a trip to Turn of the Century GR wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Herpolsheimer’s. Those of you in the know concerning the literature world, will know that this store was featured in Chris Van Allsberg’s famous Polar Express. The museum has recreated the iconic storefront, and filled it with items left over from the store’s glory years.

Of course, the surrounding streets are just as exciting. There’s an antique car, the train station at the entrance, a horse drawn street car, and an old fashioned bicycle that you can actually ride, and much more!

That’s only a small taste of what we visited and revisited today, there are so many more exhibits to see, and so much more to interact with. It’s hardly ever boring, and with a multitude of events year round, the museum is keeping it’s patrons busy and interested.

Hopefully I’ll have another video for you guys in the next few days, but for now…

Love to all, as always,

Mae

 

Letter to my Little Sister

Dear Kate,

You are beautiful, you are strong. You annoy the HELL out of me, but you’re my beautiful courageous little sister and I love you.

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You have a HUGE personality, one that constantly gets me an “Oh my GOSH! Your little sister is SO CUTE!” Which usually gets the “If you lived with her she wouldn’t be so cute” response from me. The truth is that I’m jealous of your carefree attitude towards life, the things that make you cry are so trivial and your innocence is makes me wish I could return to age four.

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You’re imagination is ten times the size of any other kid I know, don’t lose that. Ever.

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Even though you constantly drive me batty, with your incessant interruptions and constant noise making, I can’t help loving you.

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You’re my little sister, someone that I had hoped and prayed for for a very long time before you were born. Maybe you contradict me every few sentences. Maybe you make it hard for me to have a serious conversation with anyone because you HAVE to have your say. None of that matters, as you would say after we’ve had a fight, “Sisters forever! Right Mae?” Yeah Kate, you’re right, you’re gonna grow up, and there’s probably gonna be some times when we hate each other, but at the end of the day, we’re gonna stick together, because you’re right.

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Sisters Forever…