Just For Fun

Anyone who’s ever met me knows that I have a deep love for anything and everything Disney. I’m not kidding you, I have spent my entire morning watching Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. I have the ability to sing every word to (almost) every Disney song and you better believe I’m going to attend college at a school within 20 minutes from the happiest place on Earth.

I think I might have a slight obsession.

Either way, when I saw the recipe for the Tiki Room’s (it’s from Disneyland if you’ve never heard of it) famous Dole Pineapple Whip, I decided to use it to help cross another thing on my bucket list.

15) Make a Pinterest recipe

Mmmmmmmmmm, heaven.

Mmmmmmmmmm, heaven.

Basically Dole Whip is frozen pineapples blended to the consistency of frozen yogurt. It’s super delicious and actually relatively healthy. I’ve included the link to the website just in case you want it. I’d recommend it if you feel like having a piece of the Magic Kingdom for a little bit. http://detoxinista.com/2013/02/pineapple-whip/

I’ve also checked a couple other things off of my bucket list.

16) Meet new people (a scary thing in theory but actually was really fun)

17) Buy a meal for someone (I bought lunch for my youth band)

18) Go stargazing.

Okay I have to talk a little bit about the last one. I’d always thought of stargazing as like a date type of adventure. You know, every girl dreams about it. But the way I did it was way more fun. Over spring break, a group of my friends got together and had a bonfire. That was pretty fun in and of itself. I rode a zipline in the dark and had a slight panic attack. Anyways, near the end of the night two of my friends and I got blankets and pillows and laid in the bed of a truck. We just hung out, talked, and looked at the stars. We tried to figure out the constellations. I’m pretty sure we were totally wrong, but it was so fun. No guys were needed to make it an enjoyable experience. We cracked ourselves up and had a really great time.

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It was a little cold, but totally worth it.

This adventure just keeps getting better and better! Talk to you soon!

A Whole Bunch of Things

“There are far greater things ahead than any we leave behind.” C.S. Lewis

Isn’t it interesting how quickly life can get in the way of best laid plans? I mean, we can have the best intentions of doing something but does it ever really get done? My mom calls this strange phenomenon stress paralysis: the state of being so overwhelmed that you literally can do nothing. To be honest, that has been me the last month or two. My mom will tell me to do something and I will go to my room, lay on my bed, and stare at the ceiling for hours. I have wasted so much time staring at my ceiling thinking about what I need to do. I don’t know if anyone else could agree but I could compare my senior year in high school to being a vegetable. Recently, I realized that part of the reason my stress paralysis was so terrible was my whacked priorities. I have since been making an attempt to rearrange them and get them where I want to be. The last few months my priorities have been (in this order) friends, school, God, family. That is just so bad. I’ve been trying to fix that though and right now my priorities are God, family, school, friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally forsaking my friends altogether. I am just not letting them rule my life anymore. Ironically enough, ever since this happened, the people I had spent the majority of time trying to please walked right out of my life. That’s not a bad thing, because now I see the people who have truly been there for me along the way. I know this is completely unrelated to my bucket list, but sometimes you just gotta vent. Plus, I think you can’t truly see the beauty around you until you have yourself together. Being a mess all the time just makes the beautiful things dull and the bad things worse. So in some ways, yes, it does relate.

As for my bucket list, I have recently completed some more stuff.

11) Win a scholarship. Now this was an interesting adventure. I was approached by someone in my church to enter the American Legion’s oratorical competition. I agreed without fully knowing the terms. To make a long story short, I procrastinated and ended up writing an 8 minute speech on the Constitution with a week to memorize it. The first stop was regional competition, where I competed against myself an automatically advanced to the state competition. At state, I spent two hours in a little room with 5 other contestants. I was nervous, but in the end it was worth it. My dad was so proud of me. I think that alone made it worth it. I ended up getting second place in the state of Arizona and have altogether won almost $1,200. More importantly, though, I gained a lot of friends. The kids I competed against were great. The American Legion members from my region drove almost two hours to come support me at my competition. I am so thankful for them. Being pushed way out of my comfort zone ended up, in retrospect, being way better than I thought.

12) See a play. I saw my school’s production of “You Can’t Take it With You”. It was fantastic.

13) Dress up for no reason (that one is pretty self explanatory)

14) Dress up everyday during spring fling. My school has a yearly spring fling, almost like a mini homecoming. Everyday has a different dress up theme. I really wanted to dress up every day this year because it’s my senior year and I won’t have the opportunity again. Plus, it’s an excuse to look ridiculous. Here’s one example:

Flower power, right?
Flower power, right?

Well that’s all for me. Thanks for letting me vent, even if it didn’t make much sense!

It’s Time to Make Time

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…'”

-C.S. Lewis

We all have that one friend that has been with us forever. Well, in this case, it’s since middle school. She was with me through my awful awkward stage, my colorful skinny jean stage, my braces, my unibrow (ugh), and all those TERRIBLE middle school crushes that both of us try to forget ever happened. Her name is Blair Zellner, and she is one amazing woman.

Blair and I met at a small Christian school in my town. We actually didn’t like each other very much at first, but eventually we were as thick as thieves. We had so much fun together, and a list of our inside jokes would probably go from here to Mexico (and if she ever reads this, she will get the joke in that). It was wonderful. We were so ridiculous, my brother used to say that the two of us apart were pretty cool, but when you put us together we were too loud and obnoxious to handle. We took that as a compliment.

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Blair and me in middle school. Look at those braces. Wow we are pretty.

Unfortunately, since she is a year older than me, she went off to high school in the next town and our time together slowly stopped. When I was 15, she moved to California. The distance did a number on our communication, and where we once talked all day everyday, we began to communicate only through the occasional letter or phone call. She moved back, but with both of our busy schedules it was hard to see each other. Our friendship stayed strong throughout, though, and she was still the person I called when I just needed to vent or laugh.

She ended up dating one of my closest friends, and when they tied the knot I was blessed to be one of her bridesmaids.

Even though she and her husband live literally 30 seconds away from my work, I was terrible at making time to see them. She was pregnant and she really could have used my company, but I just was too busy. So, after a lot of not-so-subtle direction from the Lord, I added this to my bucket list:

10) Spend more time with Blair.

I know that may seem silly or strange, but I needed to remind myself of the importance of our friendship. Actually writing it down gave me a visual reminder, and every time I look at my bucket list I see that.

I’m happy to say that I now see her at least once a week, and it’s like we never spent any time apart. We think we are the funniest people alive, and I am so in love with her one month old daughter. She and her husband are still some of the closest friends I have, and I am beyond blessed to know them.

I actually wasn’t going to post this, but I wanted to get to the heart of this story: invest in your relationships. Take it from me, letting friendships go is so much more harmful and hurtful than it seems at the time. It’s not that hard, all it takes is a text or a visit. When everything falls apart, your true friends are the ones that are there for you. On my worst days, I can spend time with Blair and find myself laughing till my side aches (and cuddling with the cutest baby girl ever). Friends are such a wonderful gift, so don’t let them go. This adventure is a lot more fun with them by your side.

You Never Know Unless You Try

“You can be childlike without being childish. A child always wants to have fun. Ask yourself, ‘Am I having fun?'”

– Christopher Meloni

Being accused of being childish has always driven me crazy. I mean, I’m a teenage girl and sometimes we do childish things. But having a childish nature? That is kind of a harsh thing to say.

If you tell me I’m childlike, though, I take that as a wonderful compliment. Who said growing up means not being allowed to do things that might make you look silly? I look silly 90% of the time, and I don’t mind. I just don’t see “growing up” as an excuse to stop having fun. This might make some people mad, because we all know what I mean. I want to be able to have fun during the day (which to high schoolers is like impossible, for some reason we decide to plan every event at night). So this weekend, I did two childish things that ended up being so ridiculously fun that I will most likely do them 100 more times in the future. They were also both on my bucket list.

#8) Thrift store competition

#9) Paint twister

Let me tell you, this was a fun weekend. Let’s start with the thrift store competition.

Basically, my friend Makayla and I had to find an outfit in the thrift store that cost $5 or less. This is hard considering the only thrift store open that day was a little pricey, but we decided to do it anyways. Given that we’re both pretty broke, we didn’t purchase our finds. But we spent about half an hour roaming through the thrift store, attempting to make a decent outfit. If you want to keep the price under $5, that’s basically impossible. So we stretched the rules and tried to find something very ridiculous.

You bet we found something fast.

Take a look at these gems.

Yes, I did feel like Macklemore.

Yes, I did feel like Macklemore.

A cool perk: I found a $15 Dooney and Burke vintage purse; you better believe I searched my car like a madman until I found enough money to pay for it.

So then next day, still laughing about our thrift store finds, we played paint twister. Some real quick background on this: I had promised Makayla during our freshman year that we would do this. We are now half way through the last semester of senior year. It took a very long time, but I DID NOT LIE. It happened.

If you haven’t looked lately, Twister is ridiculously expensive. Like almost $20. Do you think we were going to buy that considering we were about to destroy it with paint? Nope. We ended up taking a huuuuge sheet of plastic from a friend of ours who paints for a living. Then we made the little spinny thing that tells you where to put what and on what color (we did this using a print out of it, paper clips, and some fine ingenuity). After all this was done, we went out into the windy, freezing, almost raining weather and played paint twister. Thankfully, we didn’t freeze to death. Unfortunately, I ended up doing the splits due to slippery paint and my entire body was stained.

Pre-game picture. We look so nice and paint free.

Pre-game picture. We look so nice and paint free. Notice the storm clouds in the back.

Aaaaand this is the end result.

Aaaaand this is the end result.

I would highly recommend paint twister to ANYONE. It is seriously such a blast. Just a warning: be smarter than Makayla and me, though, and

a) play when its actually warm outside

b) have a third person present to spin the wheel (it was just us and we fell a lot trying to spin the dang thing.)

It’s so great to be able to cross these two things off of my bucket list. Who said being childlike was bad? This weekend was one of the best of my life. So go out there, do something silly, and enjoy it. You’ll never know what’ll happen unless you try.

Learn Something New

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

-Pablo Picasso

It started as a theory.

One of my closest friends and biggest role model suggested that I learn piano (or I guess, technically, keyboard).

Don’t get me wrong, the idea sounded appealing. In theory. Actually executing it, however, was a different story. I’m pretty sure it was a year ago when she actually drew me a diagram of a keyboard and showed me where to place my fingers. In my amazing organizational talent, I lost the paper within two days. So she tried again. Guess where paper #2 went…

So anyways, the idea of me learning to play the keys has been around for some time.

So about two months ago, this same mentor finally had enough. At practice for Sunday worship, she placed me in front of the keyboard, gave me a handful of sticky notes, placed me in the careful guidance of my friend Marco, and let me learn.

Armed with those sticky notes and Marco’s help, I played (if you can call it that, I literally was playing one key at a time) the keyboard the very next day in front my whole church. Terrifying.

I went home and dug my family’s old keyboard out of storage and used some more sticky notes (those things seriously became my best friend). It’s actually a miracle that I remembered where middle C was.

Eventually, I removed my sticky notes and used dry erase marker, slowly erasing one after another.

Over the last couple months, I’ve been teaching myself how to play full chords. That’s all I can really do, but at least I no longer rely on sticky notes. I have the keys memorized. I practice for at least an hour everyday, and while I still have a loooong way to go, I feel like I have a good enough grasp to say I’ve completed another thing on my bucket list.

7) Learn an instrument

My cute little keyboard in all its dry-erase glory

My cute little keyboard in all its dry-erase glory

Even though she’ll never read this, I really want to thank Michele for everything she has done for me and for pushing me outside of my comfort zone.

I also want to encourage you all. Believe in yourself. If you set your mind to it, you can do things you had never thought possible. That’s the beauty of life, success is available to everyone who wants it. It just takes a little hard work and, in my case, hours and hours of pounding your head against the keyboard.

Just believe in yourself and you can do anything

Count Your Blessings

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”                   – Charles Dickens

Hi friends, welcome back. I am continuing slowly (very, very slowly) but surely on my way to completing this list. I want to make something very clear, though.

While the name of this blog is Adventure @ Home, the real truth can be found in the smaller print: Finding beauty where you’re @. I want you to understand how important that statement is to me. Yes, a lot of the things on my bucket list are for the sake of adventure (geocaching, paint twister, restaurant hopping, hiking, etc.) Even more than that, I am trying to push myself outside of my comfort zone. It’s so easy to live life day to day and never do anything different.

I don’t want that.

I want to live a life full of emotion. I want to love deeply, have a joy that is contagious, and be a person that others like to be around. How can I do that, though, without bettering myself?

That brings me to my newest bucket list accomplishment.

6) Make a blessings jar.

My blessings jar (ignore the goofy flowers)

My blessings jar (ignore the goofy flowers)

In a blessings jar, you basically have to save every good thing that happens to you throughout the year. You keep everything you’ve written down and read it on the very last day of the year. I love this because it’s so easy to focus on the bad things, the situations that hurt us, and everything that’s going wrong. I find it so unbelievably important to take time to focus on the good. To see the beauty around us and to revel in it. Personally, I need to take more time to be thankful. I can’t wait to start filling this jar up.

So that’s my challenge for you. Even if you don’t go all the way and start a blessings jar, focus on the good things in life. Be thankful. When it seems like life is getting worse and worse, look around. Say a prayer. Love your friends. I promise you can find something good in the midst of the bad.

Thanks for sticking through this with me, I’m thankful for you.

Hello world!

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”                – J. Nehru.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I hope you enjoy it here.

I have dreams. I mean, we all have dreams, right? Mine tend to be slightly outlandish. I dream of visiting every continent (yeah, because that’s realistic), learning new languages, experiencing new cultures. Basically, anything that involves a passport. I cherish my dreams.

But in reality… I’ve never been outside of the good ol’ US of A. I leave my home state of Arizona to either a) go to California, where I will be attending college next semester b) go snowboarding or c) visit my family in Minnesota. That’s about it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried to leave. My dad gets super wigged out about the thought of me leaving the homeland, so as a high school student, I can’t do much to dispute him.

So I made a bucket list. 101 things I want to do before I graduate high school. For a lot of people who live in big cities where adventure is lurking around every corner, that might seem easy. I, on the other hand, live teeny tiny little town. I’m not kidding. There’s one real high school and my senior class has 102 kids in it, which is actually the biggest class we’ve had in about 20 years. But I want to stop complaining about my little drive through town. I want to enjoy where I’m at and come to find the beauty in it. Adventure at home is a great thing, and there really is so much to do. Adventure is something that is only defined in a person’s own heart. I don’t want to live a life that is stagnant. I want to do the things that I want to do, even if it’s on a much smaller scale than my dreams of traveling the world. 

So, here I am, keeping track of my bucket list with an audience currently at zero (but I’m holding out hope for more one day). I’m not going to list the whole thing because that would take forever. Currently I’ve completed 5 things on my bucket list.

1) Ride a black diamond (that one was pretty easy, and not a first.)

2) Register to vote

3) Do something I’m scared of. (I gave a speech infront of a group of veterans and snowboarded down a slope that has always terrified me and I’d vowed to never do.)

4) Wear something funky. (Which, for me who usually wears sweatshirts and jeans, consisted of a really cute hippie headband I’ve had for years and never had the guts to wear. But hey it’s a start.)

5) Start a blog.

Please stick with me, I need all the support I can get!