Monday, June 30, 2014

Finding My Own Personal Happy Place: My Summer So Far♥

Happiness is a form of courage...Long time, no update. I'm sure you've wondered about me. If you did, thank you. That means a lot.

     This summer so far has been a pretty good one. I've been up to lots of shenanigans this last week of June so let me start from the beginning. Since my dad didn't join us on our alternative prom vacation, we headed to Maderia Beach for another beach vacation. This time, we had five of us. So we had to get a suite on the cheap. Check out my VLOG showing the suite:

It was a really refreshing vacation and to finally get out the house and step away from writing my novel was a nice change because I've noticed that the writing of my novel has opened old wounds and the pain they bleed has resurfaced. This has lead to me spending much of the month of June very emotional and encapsulated inside a bubble of a very painful thought movie. The dark thoughts are all Satan's lies telling me things like,
"You aren't good enough," "You're going to die alone," and my favorite, "You aren't even pretty."

Thankfully, the vacation lead to me having a really heartfelt sit down with my dad who I haven't spoken to very openly in a long time. Yet, God brought him to me the second night of vacation and really spoke to my pain in a way no one else had, and it was like he reached down into the pit of darkness I was buried under, shined a flashlight inside, and reached in and pulled me out. There is no doubt in my mind now that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Even though I don't always show my dad appreciation for all he does and sacrifices to keep our family above water, I honestly am so thankful for my dad and believe him to see me in a way no one else in my family does. Thanks for being so cool dad. Much love :)

Anyway, now that I've opened up about some of my demons, I will continue with details of our vacation.

We arrived Monday and my mom and I spent the entire day on the beach. That's how I ended up with such a burn as this:

That night, I went to the local bar/restaurant across the street from the hotel, Screwie Louie's. My dad never took me for a drink so he asked the bartender what kind of umbrella-type drinks they had and I ended up getting a Rum Runner. It was ok but I think I would have liked the Sex on the Beach better because it's made with lots of juice (I like fruity drinks the best). Of course, I didn't get drunk at all because someone has to be responsible but I did turn up with my family and had a good time. For those that don't know, Urban dictionary defines turning up as the following:

 Besides, the best song that describes being turnt up on Jesus is Lecrae's song I'm Turnt.

   Anyway, Tuesday morning the family minus Jayde went to Screwie Louie's for breakfast and it was hella bomb. I enjoyed it so much. I had two cups of coffee so I was finally able to focus. Spent the day at the beach with the fam but kept a shirt over my sunburn. But first, we grabbed some steak nachos at the Mexican restaurant:

     After we had enough sun, we got pizza for dinner. While we waited for the pizza, we took silly photos:

 Haha this was the entry gate to the beach. :)

 Here's me texting or tweeting. haha.

 On Tuesday night, we played LIFE as a family and had a blast. Then, as I was going to bed, my sister Jayde had a heartfelt chat with me and told me: You can say positive things but what matters most is that you believe them. 

 I knew she was right. So when we went home and after we got the dogs (They were so happy to see us), I spent the day just reading my Bible and reading the prayer cards that Joel Osteen sent me. Two of them really spoke to me so I'm going to share them with you:

     "All you have to do is trust God and the plan He has for your life. The Creator of the Universe has incredible favor, increase, healing, promotion and restoration in store for you. Trust Him and you'll be amazed at what he will do on your behalf. 
      Those who know Your name trust in you, for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.-Psalm 9:10
       Prayer: Father, no matter what I may go through, no matter what situation I may face, I choose to trust in You today. I know You have a good plan for my life. I will not worry. I will not be anxious. I will not live in fear. Today, I trust You and I stand on your promises for my life."

   "No matter what you need from God today, no matter what you're hoping for, no matter how big the size of your dream, look past the obstacles and focus on the One who can overcome any obstacle. When you do, every promise He has spoken and every dream He has placed in your heart will come to pass.
    ...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...-Hebrews 12:2
    Prayer: Father, open my eyes today that I may see with eyes of faith. Help me look past my circumstances and see only You. I thank You that every promise You have given me and every dream You have placed in my heart is coming to pass. I believe it by faith today." Besides, the five prayer cards, I got a gelatin wristband that reads, "I Have Faith For Today." I've worn it ever since. Besides renewing my faith by talking to God, I started going to church again on the regular. 

The next day was June 26th, among other things, I now celebrate my dog Hazel's birthday. She's our rescue dog that we found 2 years ago on June 26th. We don't actually know her real birthday so we celebrate her life on the day we got her.

Here's some videos of her birthday party and her playing on her birthday:

For her birthday, besides the treats I got her, I arranged for Justin Bieber to call her and wish her a happy birthday. The reason I picked Justin Bieber is because the first night she came to our house, my sister showed her pictures of Justin and she wagged her tail and she went to sleep listening to Justin on my sister Jayde's ipod all night. She absolutely loves the Biebs. 

On Friday, they finally called after I complained, here is the video I recorded of Hazel's reaction:

Her reaction literally made my day and weekend. I would have just been happy with that. Yet, Saturday my family and I had plans to go see Hot Chelle Rae (my favorite band) who were performing at Busch Gardens. In case, you are unsure of the name, here is one of their most popular songs. I became a fan of them after becoming obsessed with their song Tonight Tonight back in 2011, and then seeing them perform the AMA pre-show back on November 21, 2011. From there, I purchased their first album and must admit that my absolute favorite HCR song if I had to choose would be I Like To Dance. 

Earlier that day, I was down because I had gotten into a pretty heavy argument with my sister Jayde the day before over me being tired of her complaining to me about something I had no control over so I went off on her and she stopped speaking to me despite the fact that I apologized. I had gone off on her because of a comment she had made during our heartfelt discussion Tuesday night saying that some people aren't meant to be married (referring to me). It stung pretty bad. 

So bad that I was still bummed out about it on Saturday where you can see my tweets reflected how I felt:

Needless to say, I was looking for a sign that all was not lost. My love life may be a joke right now but one day, I will be extremely blessed to be married to a handsome man who treats me like the diamond that I am and who isn't afraid to laugh at himself.

    So I put on a smile and headed to the theme park with my family plus Jillian. We jammed out to HCR all the way there. It was slowly shaking me out of my sad funk.

    We headed into the park and I was walking behind everyone like always because I like to observe atmospheric or scenic details. I happened to look down at the ground as we headed toward the entrance, and sitting all alone but catching the gleam of the sunlight was a very gold, very new penny. It was faced heads-up. Usually I pick them up and carry it with me in my wallet as a sign of hope but instead, I smiled up at the sky and knew God had something big up his sleeve. The last time I saw a penny before my feet like that, I had met Ryan Sheckler because his mom had set up a private meet and greet. Maybe I was going to meet the band. All I knew was God was going to shower me with blessings and surround me with his favor.

  The weather was hot but rainless as my sisters went with their friend Jillian to look at the kangaroos and my mom and I headed over to the venue Gwazi park to see if we could get seats. The gates weren't open yet and my mom had a ten dollar voucher for snacks so we went to find a place to get a snack. We headed toward the Zagora Cafe and as we descended the stairwell and headed across the way to the bakery, I heard a voice say, "Take your time." Ok God. :) 

   We ended up getting 3 big cookies and we were in line at the register to pay and I happened to look out the door of the bakery and seen three really good-looking guys descending the Zagora Cafe stairwell. Suddenly I realized it was Hot Chelle Rae. I turned to my mom, "Mom, there's Hot Chelle Rae." 

    Mom: Where?
    Me: Right there. I point. 
     They were walking past the bakery oblivious to the fact that there biggest fan was looking right at them.
   Me: Should I go ask them for a picture?
 Mom: Go! She took the waters out of my hand and pushed me out the door.

I'm not someone who has much practice in chasing celebrities and I fear talking to people but for some reason, my confidence soared as I realized the guy who had been my MCM multiple times and the lead singer of Hot Chelle Rae, Ryan Follesse was ten feet from me, nothing stopped me from calling after him.

He looked at me and then I was next to him suddenly (I'm surprised I could walk that fast and I didn't trip).

As he looked me in the eyes, I asked him, "Hey, can I get a picture?"
He stopped walking and the band manager turned around and gave me a dirty look. 
Ryan just smiled at me and goes, "Sure." He stood there patiently waiting for me to get my camera out of my purse. As I was, I noticed him check me out and go, "For sure." Then he chuckled to himself.

I suck at taking selfies with digital cameras but as I finally got my camera out. He goes to me, "Can you take a selfie?" "Yeah!" I smiled at him.

Then, the band manager suddenly panicked and practically yelled at both Ryan and I, "You guys have to keep walking." OMG, I just got the ok to walk with the band. 

Nash and Jamie were so far ahead I don't even know which way they went but we stopped walking long enough to take this picture as Ryan put his hand on my back and mushed his face against mine like we were old friends:
 Isn't it the best selfie you have ever seen? 

After I took it, I thought I didn't get it so I checked as Ryan goes, "I bet you didn't even get that picture. Did you get it?

The camera read processing and then it flashed my new favorite picture. I had taken a selfie and not cut anyone's face off.
I smiled and said, "I got it!" Ryan and his band manager stood there as I turned to him and said, "Thank you."
He said, "No problem." He smiled at me so big and then they rushed off to meet the others as I turned around to find my mom.

We headed to Gwazi park and got seats as I told her what happened and the opening act, ZZ Ward took the stage.

Mom and I took a selfie( I had more selfie confidence after that) and enjoyed ZZ Ward's set:

Here's ZZ Ward on stage:

Here's a 30 second video of her cover of Hold On, We're Going Home:

    At 8:45 p.m. Hot Chelle Rae took the stage and gave a sick concert:

     They opened with their song Whatever:

      After that, they sang I like it like that and Ryan pulled two girls up onstage to rap with him yet they acted way too crazy and the one kept trying to take a selfie with Ryan...: 

    Overall, I was so happy I got to see them in concert for the second time. They were ah-mazing. Here's some photos:

 Isn't this gif awesome that my sis made.

After the concert, because the event is called Summer Nights, they have a small fireworks display.

 I still feel like the whole thing was a dream yet I know everything is going to work out for my good because I love God and am called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Yet, I must say, I felt strangely like I was already with the band helping them with their pr. I also loved how natural and organic my meet-up with Ryan was, and how he made it seem like he could have stood there for the rest of the night just talking to me about life. I finally felt like I was enough, pretty, and the possibility for love is definitely renewed in my mind for my future.

If any of the members of Hot Chelle Rae happen to read this, please know that I love you guys so much and thank you so much for being so kind to me. I hope you come back to Tampa real soon because I'm definitely going to see you in concert again.♥ #TeamBeautifulFreakforlyfe

For anyone reading this right now, let this blog be the hand reaching to you and pulling you out of the misery, doubt, fear, and unbelief that may be surrounding you, and just realize that you are alive, you can breathe, your heart is beating...this only means that God still has great things in store for you. You just have to trust him and believe it.♥

I hope next time I update you, I will be able to reveal the details of my internship but for now, please know that I plan to not let dark thoughts throw darkness over such a bright summer, and bright future. Just like that penny, God plans for me to shine at just the right time. There is nothing he won't do for me. ♥

Until next time, remember: If you don't love yourself for your flaws and imperfections, you can't expect anyone else to either.-Demi Lovato

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!

~Just Keep Swimming~