Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tampa Pro 2012

Happiness is a form of courage...The smell of cherry cigar fills the air. Drunks yelling out about someone being a fag. Bimbos dressed in barely any clothes saying they want to "get it in" with Ryan Sheckler. Skateboards thrashing against the complex as Mike Vallely finally lands his gnarly trick. No, this isn't a normal day in Tampa Fl.

This is Tampa Pro.

Tampa Pro is a professional skateboarding contest that is world-renowned and it takes place in my backyard at the Skatepark of Tampa in Downtown Tampa, FL.

The contest consists of a qualifying round where 30 guys make it into the semi-finals. The semi-finals consists of two or three heats of ten to fifteen skaters. Each skater does two runs. The top ten of the semi-finals compete in the finals against the top two qualifying skaters from the qualifying round.

This year, everyone decided to attend Tampa Pro, including Hollywood VIP and rapper Lil Wayne.

Usually I get there early enough that I can socialize with the skaters when they arrive but this year, no such luck so I didn't get any pictures with any of the skaters.

Here's some gnarly stills of the athletes during open skating before the semi-finals:

Chaz Ortiz who I met last year, was in the building, sporting a new tattoo. Guess most skaters get the tatted bug.

My old friend R. Shecks penning his signature. This guy goes all out for the fans, still. He even had some kids calling out to him by the stairs below the complex and he jumped about eight to ten feet down just to sign autographs for the kids. Good to see he still cares that much. :)

My skater crush Sean Malto even came this year! I was freaking out because I never seen him in person before. I was totally fan-girling every time he looked in my general direction. Too bad I didn't get a chance to meet him. I wouldn't have said anything but I would have grinned from ear to ear. :D Maybe next year!

I never realized how blessed I am to have met this guy. Today when those bimbos wanted a piece of him, all I could think was, "He's met my dog," and it made realize just how truly blessed I am. So many people just wish for a chance to see Ryan skate in person and because it just seems like my backyard to me, and normalness because I've known him for so long, I didn't realize I took it all for granted.

I took the reality of the fact that Ryan knows my family and I by face and by name. He even knows and has met my dog. Not many people can say that. But I can. :)

And I have God to thank for it!

Here's an interesting one of Nyjah Houston rolling by, and Shecks steezing in the corner♥

Chris "Cobra" Cole is in the building!

The Shecklebunny still has a few tricks up his sleeve. :)

Sheckler still definitely has talent but today, I noticed that he's not crazy anal about his skating anymore. He's more chill and laid back and if he doesn't get first, he doesn't badger himself anymore. Although, after Ryan's first run, I watched Ryan and he was scolding himself about missing one of his major tricks. It's funny how even after a year has gone by, I still can tell what Ryan's thinking by what he does and how his face looks.
Yes, I know that makes me sound like a stalker but with any performer, if you watch them consistently for long enough, you see all the little things they do and don't do and know exactly what they are about to do, what trick they have up their sleeve, etc. It would be the same if I watched football and followed Tim Tebow, or basketball and followed Kobe Bryant. For me, Ryan Sheckler is that athlete.

I guess Ryan Sheckler still is my favorite skater even though I don't really follow him as much anymore. :)

Look at that ass. ;-)

Sheckler didn't end up making it to the finals but the top 3 winners of Tampa Pro 2012 were:

3rd: Sean Malto

2nd: Chaz Ortiz

1st: Torey Pudwill

Overall, it was a great time had by all, and of course, I'll be there next year!

Before I leave you with a final thought, I must remind you that at midnight tonight Justin Bieber's new single, "Boyfriend" is officially released so please go out and get it! From the teasers I've heard, it's going to be swagged out!

Until next time, Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing your creative best with your own life. -Galatians 6:4-5, The Message♥

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless
~Just Keep Swimming~

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break 2012♥

Happiness is a form of courage...Every year Spring Break seems to get better and better. This year was no exception.

It all started on Friday where I was greeted by my BEST FRIEND and she wouldn't leave my side. She even danced for's always nice to be missed most by the people you care the most about♥

On Saturday, we visited the Big Busch aka Busch Gardens, and I just happened to see two of my Leoland friends.<3
We went to see the new ice show, Iceploration. It was really good.
Of course, we had a small photo shoot at the Big Busch♥

On the way home from the Big Busch, we blasted Unbroken by Demi Lovato with the sunroof off and the windows down. Totally Legit♥

On Sunday, I enjoyed my mother's home cooking when she made me steak for dinner. :))))

Earlier that weekend on Saturday night, God opened my eyes to something new♥

I turned on the tv and was immediately captivated by a certain 20/20 documentary.
This one was about 3 particular young girls and watching them, they seem like typically little girls who get excited about everything, big or small. Yet, these 3 girls have an aging disease called Progeria. Progeria is a rare condition caused by a genetic mutation that is not hereditary that occurs in young children. It is a premature aging disease where the child's body appears to be old starting two months after birth and causes early death. The child could start having heart attacks and strokes at the age of five. Most children with this disease only live into their teenage years, some into their early twenties.

One of the little girls Haley Okines, at the time of filming, was 12 years old. Today, she is 14 and still living every day to the fullest. She even wrote her own autobiography and because I wanted to support the cause and I also know what it's like to be a young writer, I bought her book.

See, while I was watching the documentary, I was not only captivated by the three young girls with this rare disease. I was also in awe of how beautiful they were. Physically, they may look a little different but their spirits were lively and full of joy. It was amazing how happy they were about life.♥

In that moment, I realized that I waste so many precious minutes of my life letting the little things get me down. Now don't get me wrong, I have been choosing happiness much more this year than any year I've been alive, but I'm not going to lie and say that the choice itself isn't hard. Sometimes life really is hard but just think how hard it is for young Haley. She lives knowing she is destined to die young. She can't do as much as other kids because her body and bones are weaker than normal kids. Yet, she lets none of that affect her. She lives every day with joy because she realizes she got another day.

I vow from this day forward to cherish life for each day just because I got ONE MORE DAY♥

You can help benefit Progeria Research by visiting the Progeria Research Foundation's website. To donate now or just to learn more about Progeria, click the link under Donate Now to the right of this blog----->>>>> (scroll back up).

Monday, I finished all my hw in one day so I could enjoy the rest of my break. This is the first accounting exam that I'm ready for.
Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with blessings and happiness, and of course, lots of relaxation and rejuvenation for the soul.
Thursday, I woke up and had my Dunkin Donuts coffee and when I took it out of the fridge, this is what I found:
Do you see it?
So, I knew Thursday was going to be a great day filled with love♥

It did end up being a very BLESSED day mostly because Demi Lovato was on American Idol.She was amazing, yet again♥

On Friday, I went searching for a local summer internship and found one company thus far:
I felt so accomplished and proud of myself, not to mention, BLESSED♥

The rest of the weekend was one big party.♥

We broke out the alcoholic beverages:

The party animal was in attendance:

Saturday, my mom and I went to Indian Rocks Beach.

I've owned this book for two years:

After two years, I finally finished it. After I finished reading it, I just sat there on the beach and I realized how much God really loves me. He created this Earth as proof of his love, and as if that wasn't enough, he uses the people in this world to show me how much I am loved. In that thought, all I could do was smile:

Being that it was Saint Patrick's Day and I'm Irish, my mom made me corn beef and cabbage for dinner:

Then I sat down and watched:


It was a great end to my Spring Break. I can ultimately say that God loves me and he's leading me to great OPPORTUNITIES that I'm looking forward to♥

Until next time, remember:“Just when you think it can't get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can't get any better, it can.”-Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight♥

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!

~Just Keep Swimming~

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blessed To Be a Blessing♥

Happiness is a form of courage...What a weekend and it has only just begun...seriously this has been the best week of my life.

It all started on Monday. Remember how I've been seeing hearts everywhere. Well, that continued.

I was working my normal Monday evening shift at the library and I went upstairs to use the restroom. As I was walking out, I happened to look down and right by the door was a hole in the wall close to the floor. The hole in the wall was no ordinary hole. It was shaped like a heart. Here's a visual. It's a picture of a picture from my phone:

Then Wednesday night, I was cleaning my face with a cotton ball and the cotton ball formed a heart after I was done using it.

Thursday night was the big one: I got a penny meal and a random bag of chips and in my bag of chips was a chip shaped like a heart. See for yourself:

Legit, right?

Ok, I'm not done.

Today when I was at brunch, I got coffee and the coffee swirls from the mix of the espresso and the milk formed a heart. Here ya go:

Ok so it's obvious that something love-wise is about to happen and I'm ready for it whatever it is.♥

Last night my mom and sisters accompanied me to the Florida Strawberry Festival to see Demi Lovato in concert aka my hero♥

We had strawberry shortcake and lots of greasy fair food. (Corn dogs and lemonade, ftw)

Then we just decided to take a bunch of photos lol so here ya go(Please pay attention to the people in the background of our pictures for a good laugh):

Me and Jayderz:

Got our hater blockers on:

I am great at taking pictures of people when they don't know it. Check out this one of my mom and Jamie. Like mother, like daughter:

Greetings from the Strawberry Festival:

We brought the sexy back to this tractor:

Before I even went to the Festival, I got a fortune at lunch yesterday that said: "A pleasant surprise is in store for you."♥ I was hoping that would mean I would get to meet Demi.

Well here we sat awaiting Demi's concert to sat:

Then Tim Young I believe his name was took the stage and he said he could not wait to introduce the People's Choice Award Winner Demi Lovato but before he did he had to announce some winner's and then he announced that the winners were "Section 5 Row K Seats 32-41." I was sitting in section 5 Row K but at first, I thought just the people next to me won because they screamed and then my mom got all excited and she looked at me and my sister Jamie and goes: "You guys won." And me and Jamie were in such a state of confusion we just looked at each other like huh?! Then, the ladies with the prize bags came over and gave them to us. We won a free tote bag:
Inside the tote bag was a free t-shirt:
And a coupon for free strawberries:

After that immense blessing and heavenly surprise, my hero graced the stage and opened the show with All Night Long from her new album Unbroken:

As soon as she appeared and the moment became a reality, my eyes welled up and all I wanted to do was cry tears of joy and thank God for bringing me to another extraordinary moment of life. In that moment, I realized yet again what a gift life is. How God can bring you through anything and he can not just bring you through it so you have to endure the pain and suffering but he can help you overcome anything in life, and in that moment, I realized how much I've overcome in my life and I cannot express in words how much I love him for it♥
Then she went on to sing a mix of old and new songs. I was happy that she sang my new favorite of her's Fix A Heart off her new album Unbroken.

She thanked us(her fans and Lovatics) after each song and towards the end of the show she even said: "I honestly don't know what I ever did to deserve such endless love and support like you guys give me. Thank you so much."

When she sang Skyscraper that was another almost welling-up moment. Before she sang it, she said something I will never forget as long as I live: "If you have issues your facing tonight, I want you to forget them for tonight and have fun. And know, whatever you're facing, you can overcome it. Because I did."♥ Does anyone see now why she is my hero? :)

Demi even did a cover of "Moves Like Jagger" and as real as she is forgot the words and said: "I forgot the words but it's ok because it's not my song."

She closed the show with the title track off her new album Unbroken:

Seriously, it was one of the best concerts I've been to and I've been to a lot of good concerts. After the show we saw some sea lions. Aren't they cute:

Tonight, my family came to visit me and I went to a second showing of SLU's Dramaturgy production of "Dirty Deeds at the Depot" to support my roommate:

Before the show, my sisters and I did a little photoshoot in the bowl:

At the show, they choose certain audience members to come up to become "actors" in the play and my sister Jayde got picked because she was texting the entire show and because she wouldn't go up, my mom got asked to go up and play the role of Wyatt, the town sheriff, which was a male role. My mom was actually really good at making the crowd laugh by just being herself. That's probably where I get it from. Love my mom. She's also one of my heroes. :)

Here's some pictures of my mom and I after the play and carnival and she's wearing the sheriff badge prop that they gave her for being a participant:

I really hope that if and when I'm a mother, I have as much bravery and guts as she does:

And Jamie joined us for a photo:

Afterwards, I went online and found out through Janette Rallison's blog:

that I won a free copy of

Skater Boy by Mari Mancusi. I entered because the book is about first love and getting your first kiss. (My first love I've experienced; my first kiss not so much).

Here's a synopsis of the book:Dawn Miller is sick of being good. Her parents have scheduled her to within an inch of her life and her popular friends can only think of hooking up and shopping. She's ready for a serious boyfriend, and it's definitely not the obnoxious rich boy everyone wants her to date.

Then she meets Starr, the headmaster's punk rock daughter who refuses to play by the rules. The differences between them are night and day but Dawn is fascinated. Starr introduces her to a world she didn't even know existed: hip indy record stores, all night raves, and cute skateboarders who hang out underneath a parking deck downtown.

Skateboarders like the gorgeous Sean, who's sweet, smart, and curiously serious --everything Dawn's always wanted in a boyfriend. Soon she finds herself head over heels and doing the unthinkable, lying to her parents and friends. Deep down she knows her parents will never approve of this boy from the wrong side of town...and her secret life is finally catching up to her. Will Dawn be forced to choose between the girl she was and the girl she is meant to be? And if she chooses, will she lose her skater boy forever?

I won this book contest, another Janette Rallison book contest, and a Susane Colosanti book contest. The only reasoning behind it is because God wants me to know that one day very soon I won't be the reader entering the contest but I will be the author with my book up for a prize that thousands of teenage girls and boys will want to win and read. Can't wait!

All in all, this was an extremely blessed weekend especially the part where I got funnel cake for free(Thanks Saint Leo!).

Until next time, remember: God doesn't just bless you to bless you and show you how much he loves you. He blesses you because he wants you to turn around and bless someone else. It's all part of the infinite circle of His love. God is Love.♥

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!

~Just Keep Swimming~

P.S. Demi has a new documentary coming out on MTV this Tuesday March 6th entitled Stay Strong at 10 p.m. If you love her as much as I do or just are curious to see what she's all about, please tune in: