don’t be afraid.

November 3, 2010 § 7 Comments

You shouldn’t be afraid of any situation you have control over.Even if it means going back and forth from home to school until you find the right fit.Even if it means visiting and revisiting fear foods until they become your favorites again.Even if you don’t look like you could snap in half anymore. You’re still beautiful.Don’t be afraid to fall…deeper in love with yourself and the world around you.
(The Jersey shore by the way. The one I know and love. Ignore what MTV says.)Make the effort to take that next big leap. It is your best option.But just remember to relax through it all. Everything will be just fine.

“You shouldn’t be afraid of any situation you have control over.”

One of my best friends told me that tonight. I’m not in the best place for me…again. I was feeling lonely, stuck, and downright depressed. There isn’t anything I can’t fix or change. I want to.

Misc. photos from summer, last starved Thanksgiving, Albuquerque, and upstate NM. The things you can find on a cell camera can be exciting. 😉



October 26, 2010 § 18 Comments

My lack of blogging is getting so sad! I think I’d be more motivated if I had my camera cord. That way I could show you what is going on around here and not just a quick write up. Oh well!

A few weekends ago I celebrated my 20th birthday!! Since then I’ve been back and class and have been responsible. Cough. I went upstate (about 45 minutes outside of CO) to visit friends and my boyfriend for a long weekend. It was just what I needed, too. The area is really mountainous and a great place to clear your head…or lose it playing a round of Kings with old and new friends. Pictures here would be fabulous, huh?

I was treated like an absolute queen though! Four (you read that right) kinds of cakes, dinners out, and a wonderful time. Tra la la.

When I got back to campus after a hellish Greyhound trip (anyone have any funny stories?)  I was excited to see a few boxes with my name on them! First up was from my pops. I’ve been hinting at the desperate need for new running shoes to both my parents (divorced) for months. Do I even have to tell you what happened?

My dad bought me a pair of pink and black New Balance 740’s! I’ve been running in an older pair of New Balances that were wide, clunky, and falling apart. I ripped open the box and tried them on right away. Perfect!

My mom and step dad sent along a blue throw blanket, slippers, and a Champion jacket and running pants! Oh, I’m in love. My next race is this Saturday and the pants especially will be awesome for the early morning start. I only recently realized I have running shorts and no appropiate winter materials…until now 😀 They also sent along a blue, green, and white pair of Adidas Allegory 2 shoes as well. Uh oh. Anyone have any experience with either of these models? I really like the stability the New Balances give me. I think for now I’m assigning them to be strictly for running. But I also go to Zumba classes and do Insanity several nights out of the week. I think the Adidas would be great dance and strength training class shoes.  My bd swag. The blanket is so soft!

Saturday the 9th I ran my second 5K here on campus!
It was the Tough Enough to Wear Pink run in support of breast cancer awareness month.
The band played, a volunteer yelled “GO!”, and our mascott ran with us for a while. It was very low key and I had an awesome run. My time did go up by about four minutes (from 31:35). I listened to my body and took a few more walking breaks than usual. I think two factors came into play that morning. It was frigid and a good third of the race was uphill. Being spoiled spending the summer running in South Carolina and since then indoors it was something I falied to anticipate. Live and learn, right? 😀

No photos of the actual race but this was taken back in the room post carb-o-licious bagel breakfast. In honor of some important ladies.

Flash forward a few hours. Threw on something pink (ok, reddish pink) for the Tough Enough to Wear Pink celebration and headed to the NMSU vs. UNM game with some friends. This is nearly at the end, 16-14. Oh happy days!

Ok, quick update for now. More later after my art history paper is done for good.

xoxo, Annie


September 22, 2010 § 8 Comments

A quick post for you all in between classes to let you know what’s been on my mind.

My alma mater in South Carolina has been in absolute crisis mode for almost 24 hours. Yesterday afternoon a young teenage boy came to school with a gun. He attempted to shoot the resource officer but thankfully missed. However, when the gun was fired a piece of the bullet ricocheted off an object in his office and he sustained a face wound. The officer was able to hold down fourteen year old until fellow employees and teachers reacted to the noise of the gun.

I read Facebook updates from my dear friend who is a senior. He informed friends and family that they were ushered outdoors to wait on the football field and in the bleachers. Instantly, additional Facebook and Twitter updates came pouring in. Rumors about who may have done it swirled around and possible motives were exhausted too. The most important update was that every single student was safe.

This situation could have been exponentially worse than it was. I don’t even want to imagine what could have happened had it not played out the way it did. From what it sounds like, this may have been a suicide attempt. I imagine he thought upon seeing the smuggled gun, the officer would use his own in self-defense.  I don’t know what was running through his mind. What if his plan was to harm anyone else in my school? Bomb squads in the area discovered several pipe bombs planted throughout the school as well. I am so grateful for the officer and teams protecting my friends and former teachers from any harm.

My younger brother had several classes in middle school with the fourteen year old boy.
Note: I will absolutely not say the boy’s name. It hasn’t been released or confirmed. 
My younger brother does not attend this high school. After finishing middle school he was accepted into a  private school and was able to advance a year.

I still find it heartbreaking. Eric and I talked about what his thoughts were on the whole day. He didn’t find out anything until he was out of school. A lot of his old friends were updating him as time went on. He says he noticed the boy was depressed a few years ago but hadn’t kept in touch with him. He directed me to his public Twitter profile (they were not “friends” and Eric hadn’t read any of his updates until last night).

Keep in mind, I don’t know this profile belongs to the child that attacked SHS. But let’s be real here. And yes, another issue here is that none of his followers alerted an adult about these Tweets! This could have been prevented. Teenagers have more power than they realize. I wish in this time around it was used for good.

He may or may not be charged as an adult. My feelings about that don’t matter right now. I just ask that you keep my beach town in your prayers and thoughts. I would do anything to be home right now.    

Questions: Have you ever experienced a school related crisis? What do you think makes a hero?

I think each of you rock!
Xoxo, Annie

some other reason.

September 16, 2010 § 5 Comments

Hey dolls,
Bet you’re wondering what exactly has been going on. Maybe I didn’t post because I had nothing interesting to say. What if it was because my camera cord is missing? How about both? Once getting back to school I knew I initially wanted to wait to write a post at all and just get settled in. But the other contributing factors showed themselves over time. So, sans personal photographs (besides my cell) here it is!

I tried to take a really relaxed approach my first week of classes. I sat wherever my heart desired (front row, baby!) and just took an observers role. I felt enthusiastic about sticking out the semester in each of them. I even waited a whole week to order my books ( is the way to go. I promise it’s worth a look!) Last spring I definitely hit a rough patch loading up on too many mathematic and science based classes (neither of which are my strong subjects). This semester I’m taking it a tad bit easier and focusing on my major, getting a few more pesky general education courses out-of-the-way, and taking a few fun classes. Dance Aerobics and Intro to Nutrition, anyone? 8)

I hadn’t met my roomie before moving in but we’ve hit it off pretty well so far. She’s got a wild streak but is the most down to earth mamasita. Meet Randi.

Ooo child. One moment we’re chilling watching Gilmore Girls (our fav) and the next we’re making friends with fire fighters at a party. One of whom looked like a younger Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, A Team…) Meow. She would also like you to know two of them helped carry her back to the dorm. Thanks boys!

Speaking of boy… my favorite came to visit me last weekend. 🙂
Um…Que the filler photo?
Flashback to a rainy day last spring with Skip (nickname) and Laylah. We took his roommate’s dog to the park and she would wait at the top of the slide until one of us took her down! The little kids on the swings had a field day watching and giggling. I miss him already but am ready to tackle this semester!

running (up to 3x a week, usually less)
Dance aerobics class (2x a week)
Zumba (maybe 1x a week if I feel like)
I just started the Insanity program with a group of kids from a few dorms. Holy cow, it’s tough!

What I’ve been eating:
Yogurt, granola, fruit (oranges, apples, bananas, blueberries, strawbs…)
Oatmeal, almond butter, flat bagel thins,
Crackers, lentil soup, Primal brand “beef” jerky strips (review coming soon!),
Lots of sandwiches and salads for dinner (hummus, cheese, veggie),
Flipz chocolate pretzels, dried fruit strips, and applesauce,
Water and Diet Coke. Can’t lie.

I eat just about the same thing every day. And guess what? I’m maintaining my weight! 😀 Go figure, huh? I’ve been pretty consistent all summer. It’s a great feeling and a burdensome one as well. It’s the first time since November 2008 the scale hasn’t strictly been moving in a downward direction. Before that time I would yo-yo frequently.  

In another liberating and absolutely embarrassing piece of news, I deleted my ED Myspace profile. Yes, they exist and are just as shady and dangerous as they sound. I can’t remember the exact day I activated mine. But I do know I was about fourteen years old and wanted the comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only girl my age suffering with disordered eating behaviors. What I got instead was congratulations on dropping xx amount of pounds, starving challenge requests, bombardment of thinspo pics, and lists of new fad diets to try.

Several months ago I was befriended by a fourteen year old girl. It turns out she attends the same high school I did. She suffers with anorexia and was spiraling down into a deep depression. She was the one who put things in perspective for me. I thought back to when I created the profile at age fourteen. I remember looking up to the college age girls (or… whoever was really running those profiles and claiming to be *shudder*). 

Generally speaking, the “community” was just an outlet for me. It was a sneaky opportunity to read about what others were working towards, how to cut weight faster, and avoid dinners at home in high school, etc. Before I knew it I became one of the older girls with “experience”. Disgusting. I thought, I never signed onto this! I would never wish these behaviors on anybody.

But I knew I could either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. I got in contact with her and my old psychology teacher. He was able to (with her permission) guide her to the school nurse and some helpful staff at the school. They are looking into additional outside therapy resources as well.

I can’t take back the (nearly) seven years I spent behaving the way I did. But I’d like to. I deleted it on Monday and all I can do is move forward.

r.i.p. summer ’10

August 23, 2010 § 14 Comments

Hola! Who else feels like this summer has literally flown by? Who me? Couldn’t be.
After some reconsidering, I’m back in New Mexico for my sophomore year at NMSU! The nanny program really left me questioning if it was the right move for me. Also, having a friend (one track ahead of my program) already feeling uncomfortable and confused about the requirements… my bs detectors went up.
I confided in my mom and her husband, my dad and his girlfriend, the bf, and some close friends. The consenses was, I should be happy. 🙂 I thought back to my time at the university and figured I could give it another go. Last year I didn’t have a permanant roomate and this year I do. This year I’m living on campus. I also have a set meal plan (which freaks me out, but will encourage me to use it more).

This year feels like I’m opening myself up to more opportunities. Plus, I’m so excited for every single one of my classes. More on those later. If any fabulous chicas want to keep in touch or be pen pals, let me know! Who doesn’t love getting snail mail. 😀

Summah picture recap. Randoms in upstate NM, Myrtle Beach, SC, Virginia Beach, VA,  Philly, PA, and Wildwood, NJ.
I loved having an impromptu summer prom with some girlfriends. We all swapped dresses and went out to dinner! It was the best way to finish up the summer before we all returned to school. I can’t wait for break visits! Nothing beats the beach!

How was your summer?
What’s your favorite season? Mine is a tie between summer and fall

Xoxo, Annie

“i can do anything good”

August 3, 2010 § 12 Comments

Why hello there beautiful!

If you’re visiting through either of Caitlin’s blogs (Healthy Tipping Point or Operation Beautiful) thanks for stopping by 😀

First thing first, have you picked up your copy of Operation Beautiful yet?

I want to be honest with you about my health. My weight is phenomenal. I’m learning to appreciate a good workout and incorporate exercise into my daily routine. My muscles are slowly becoming defined and I’ve definitely got natural curves to my body!

However, there are some barriers I’m still struggling to overcome. Specifically, when it comes to my idea of safe foods, my tendency to restrict, and most importantly, how I view myself. I am my biggest enemy and supporter in my quest for wellness. This seemed like the perfect platform to share my most recent recovery adventures. Here are a few ways I’ve adjusted my lifestyle. I’ve started to-

Lend myself to others (without stretching myself too thin)
Taking time each day to focus on friends, family, or being courteous to complete strangers calms me. It is a great reminder that I’m not the only person on the planet. In fact, the world does not revolve around me.

“When you’re struggling with something, look at all the people around you and realize that every single person you see is struggling with something, and to them, it’s just as hard as what you’re going through.”
— Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)

I feel like I’ve always been the go to person (middle child) among my friends and family. I am always willing to lend an ear. However, I’ve become cautious of exactly how much time goes into making others feel good. So…

Cut the crap
Being blunt is the only way for me to explain this (to myself at least 🙂 ).  I’ve had friends in middle school, high school, and in college that have sucked every resource from me and kicked me down when I had nothing else left to give. Lending money, taking on other people’s problems for them, and always putting myself second are tendencies of mine.  I’ve had to be honest with myself and consider how many people would have my back in the same way. Let’s just say it’s not every friend on Facebook. The great news- within the past six months I’ve  let go of some toxic relationships I never thought I had the courage to split from. Some of these ‘friends’ have told me I : am too fat, need a boob job, could use some liposuction, am a pushover, will never be able to run long distances, should whiten my teeth, need to go to the tanning salon, won’t make it in the psychology field, have too many stretch marks, and the list goes on.  I’m all for constructive criticism, but there is never any reason to be cruel. In cutting out negative friends I’m discovering myself all over again. So long unhealthy mindset!

And more crap…
Diet food. You know it, I know it. Whole and natural foods> processed low calorie garbage any day. Finding new ways to nourish my body is overwhelming but surprisingly rewarding! I have a new objective when it comes to checking nutrition labels too. I’m training myself to check the ingredient list first before checking calorie content. I’m learning to balance my food choices out and take things one meal at a time. This might seem daunting to some of you. I haven’t reached the point where I can let go and trust my instinctual nourishing capabilities. I’m not quite at that point yet. For now, meal by meal and moment to moment it is.

Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard.

Avoid celebrity buzz
The majority of celebrity news is negative and usually just speculation. Think of the most recent trending stories…what are the most popular issues right now? The last thing I need in my life is a bombardment of cheating rumors, DUI updates, detailed plastic surgery reports, a shortened jail sentence scandal, etc. At the end of the day, I have to ask myself how it’s all benefiting me. Besides having another hot topic to gossip about with friends… no other ways I can think of.

Trust me, I’m a girl who loves her Pink is the New Blog and a good rerun of whatever the Kardashians are up to at the moment. This doesn’t mean I dodge magazines in supermarket lines or took a sledgehammer to my television.  But limiting my exposure is turning my attention elsewhere to find role models. P.S. If you’re a confident mamasita with a healthy lifestyle, you’re one of them! 😀

(I don’t know when another opportunity for this photo would present itself. Television smashing…computer smashing…A few summers ago my bro worked for the school district and took home useless monitors. We had our own little Office Space backyard party.)

Aim to be that role model
When I was young I emulated what my mom, cousins, friends, and older brother did. I’m working on setting a better example (health, attitude, and choice wise) for my younger siblings, relatives, and friends. There is no way I’m watching my every step fearing it will be imitated by someone I might influence. But, I’m actively maintaining a more positive outlook. I’m hopeful the steps I take could inspire someone else to make changes in their lives.

Who’s to say you can’t be that girl? You know…the one accomplishing her goals, facing her fears, and rocking it out! Aim to be the one to get a book deal, cooks more diverse dishes, discovers a new passion, travels, takes up a dance class, and make the steps necessary to be the best  possible you. Learning to say ‘yes I can’ to challenges I’m presented with is terrifying. But, I’m ready to face them head on!

Learning to forgive
Me. Replaying mistakes I’ve made in my mind is counterproductive. If I want to take a nose dive back into disordered eating and a depressive mood, I can achieve that. If I want to focus moving forward from previous struggles, I can! It is so easy to evaluate exactly what’s gone wrong, how I messed up previously, and what I was thinking at the time. Writing in my journal, communicating these concerns with close friends, and being honest with myself have helped me move forward. Beating myself up for what I could have done different is such a waste of precious time. I’ve got too much going for me to look back now.

As promised, the video that helped my outlook. My mom says I behaved just like her when I was a little peanut. Who says I can’t get that confidence back? Trust me it’s worth watching.

xoxo, Annie

plz help!!@!!

July 26, 2010 § 8 Comments

Hey guys!
As promised I have a few updates for you all.
On the running front things are going pretty well. I’ve been running several times a week!  Post 5K I’ve only been doing 1.5- 2 mile runs. 😦 But, I sucked it up and ran 2/3 days on vacation. What a first for me. That vacation (you’re probably thinking: what?! that girl LIVES at the beach!) took place in Wildwood, NJ. I’m visiting my Dad in PA until early August and we wave jumped and burned to a crisp as a family all this weekend!

BCBG girls top I'm loving

Feelin' the burn

Now I’m back (right outside of Philadelphia) until the first week in August. Keep an eye out for an update on eats and the good times here. 😀 I’m headed back to South Carolina until early September. So does this mean I have a school plan for the fall? You bet your sweet little bloggie self I do!

If you remember, late spring I was going through a bit of a school crisis. I was loving my university (New Mexico State) but not a fan of the location. That statement still is the truth. After a few meltdowns and tears I got down to business. I started looking for alternatives. I wasn’t happy and didn’t feel comfortable going back. BUT I hadn’t anticipated being so upset as to look for other programs as soon as I felt something was wrong.

Plan B (no not that kind of plan) kicked in. I visited two community colleges and even considered going for massage therapy for income until I made up my mind where and when to return to school. A good friend of mine turned me on to a nanny program starting in September. 

Annie the nanny stats:
a six month program
it is an accredited private school and will count for 16 credits
I am able to live with a local family while in town if I give 15 hours of babysitting per week
great travel opportunity (patience…I’ll give it up soon!)
so absolutely perfectly ME

I want to work with children for the rest of my life. The reason I decided to become a psychology major was to be able to work with kids in therapy, a camp, or school setting. This is going to be a great experience and work opportunity next spring, summer, and for as long as I want to. It can also ease the burden of student loans when I do go back to school full time.

Flashbackies for the soul

spuds, mom, and me

cousin, myself, and spud

baby spud

age seven. refrained from a peace sign i guess...


spud grown up!

 To Portland, Oregon it is!! Nanny school here I come!

Which brings me to another exciting bit of news. Portland seems to be home to a lot of awesome runs. Specifically the half marathon coming up in October! I’m not sure if it is something I should shoot for or not. My schedule will be pretty full. However, I want to make time to run at least five days out of the week. What do you guys think? Anyone out there dying to instruct me? I’m a girl who can take direction! Give me a training schedule and I will rock it out. I want to stay focused and be able to succeed and make it through the race this fall without collapsing.

Thanks for sticking it out with me!

xoxo, Annie

Freedom 5K

July 11, 2010 § 17 Comments

Hey everyone!
I hope you all are bronzing and not boiling in this ridiculous heat everyone seems to be having. While running recently, I think back to a few months ago. I begged and pleaded for warm weather during the winter. Would you believe I’m craving a cold night spent wrapped in blankets, watching movies, and drinking hot coco. You’re hot then you’re cold, you’re yes then you’re no! 

Enter smooth transition. Here are some recents.

My first text. Baby girl growing up!

5th from left


My first 5K was on July 3rd and was absolutely wonderful. With my new phone blasting some sweet jams (thanks to Pandora) I was good to go! My mind was on the finish line the entire time. But shall we backtrack a bit? Because this post isn’t random enough.

 That Friday was a pretty average day on the job.

My girl K hiding from the camera

Afterwards I picked up my race packet literally down the street. The Market Common is my home away from home. There was a sweet little festival going on and the runner’s tent was amongst the chaos.

I went to the beach for a while to clear my head.

The next portion of this post is titled: Things not to do the night before a run.
 I went to dinner and had ginormous bean burger and chips, spent time on the back of a motorcycle (in flip flops),  and nearly died laughing on the boardwalk. You probably think I’m kidding. I’m totally not. I went out with my longtime friend Davy and didn’t get in until after 2…..

Imagine pictures to remember da good times. Glorious.

I fell asleep around three and woke at 6 to get ready for the race! I popped a few bites of a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar in my mouth, downed some water and a cup of coffe and was out the door.

The thrills of waking up a 17 year old

Now on to the goods. I LOVED this race! I made it to the starting line just in time (try waking up a 14 and 17 year old to cheer you on 😉 ). I started at 7:15 and time just flew by. During mile two I experienced some knee pressure that lasted for the remainder of my time. 

I crossed the finish line at 31:35 to volunteers and families cheering everyone on! But my brothers weren’t there! After a few minutes and a frantic phone call, they showed up…McDonald’s cups in hand.

“Oh, you finished running quicker than we thought”…can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. So, a fake finish photo was in order.

I got in 124th place out of 167 runners.  The fastest runner completed the course in under 16 minutes!
What I’ve learned: don’t stay out late the night before, eat a more balanced breakfast, and train more frequently to feel comfortable with the milage. Running 2-3 times a week simply didn’t cut it.  All in all I had a great time and can’t wait for the next one!

xoxo, Annie

PS Check this bad boy out!

my life be like…

June 29, 2010 § 9 Comments

Oooo ahhh, oooo ahh! Anyone know who sings that?
Hey pretty ladies! If there are any guys reading don’t be shy to comment too. 🙂

This post is going to be short and sweet. I’m working a lot but looking forward to updating over the holiday weekend for you all. As you know, I’ve been in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina since late May visiting familly. Life at the beach is the sweetest thing on the planet. Stresses come and go but one thing remains the same. The beach! It is such a calming atmosphere, I love tra laa laaing in the sun, and tourist watching with friends is to die for. My life be like:

I started working at a local movie theatre and have met some of THE nicest people. My shifts are during the day, fast paced, and I always get to work the free kid shows! Three days out of the week free movies are played at 10am for the public. Over the course of one hour, a crowd of up to three or four day camps, church groups, and close to 700 other people flock to the movies for some free entertainment. There are so many little sweet peas that come in! Consessions are open (we serve $1 popcorn and soft drinks at 10am, yikes). One day last week a pair of sisters told me I was the prettiest girl they had ever seen. They went to each female employee and told them the same thing. How cute are they! After talking to their mom, she explained they got on this kick a few months ago. She has no idea where it originated. A bunch of children also come by with stuffed animals in tow. It can be a great money saver for moms and dads (yep, pleanty of them come by too!). Toddlers rarely want to sit still for a 90 minute movie.

Some days I chill in box office.

With the best view ever.

Unfortunately, I only have a few more weeks left here! It feels like there is so much left to do. I haven’t been able to visit all of my old friends, go to shows, and spend every waking minute at the beach. You can’t imagine the pressure I’m under. 😉 Mid July I’ll be headed up north to visit my dad in Pennsylvania. August is somewhat of a mystery. There is a program I applied for. It really is too early to say. How about we just keep that a surprise for now?

My life be like: family time

Some photographed meals

My absolute favorite being a hummus packed salad from Gordon Biersch yesterday. I had never been but heard really great things. Let me just say, I was so impressed. The menu was huge and the restaurant had an awesome atmosphere. Plus, GB is right down the street from where I work. Perfect. How much is that doggie in the window?
My mom and I also took a moment for a bathroom photoshoot. Class and convienance. Love ya mom.

So what can you expect from me soon?
-A review on a tasty product I recently recieved
-My thoughts after my very first 5K next Saturday!
-A July 4th holiday weekend update
-Answers about what the heck I’ll be doing in the fall * keeping my fingers crossed*
-Countless movie reviews (seriously ask questions…I’ve seen ’em all)
-The best of the beach (reasons why you should visit the Dirty Myrtle!)
-The rest of my 2010 and 2011 fitness goals
-The one Youtube video that positively affected my body image
-Why I might wind up visiting a hippie commune in Oregon

xoxo, Annie

virginia is for berries & coasters

June 11, 2010 § 19 Comments

Hello! Your favorite freak out blogger is back! 😉

I wanted to take the time to recap my trip to Virginia Beach last month. My mom, youngest brother, and a family friend visited my cousin, her fiance, and two kids. We arrived early Saturday morning after a long night of driving in the rain. I made sure to pack a few movies and books to keep me occupied.

By the time we got there it was almost four in the morning. My little cousins are light sleepers and woke up to greet us…kind of. They tend to play the shy card for the first few minutes (I did the same thing when I was younger!). It wasn’t long before they warmed up. 🙂

Around seven that morning everyone finally fell asleep. By ten my mom, cousin Cyndy, and I went to watch her daughter’s ice skating lesson. She did a great job showing off her newest spins and tricks. I never realized how much time and money goes into this sport! Growing up I thought dance was expensive (needing new shoes each year, costumes, etc.). I was blown away listening to the moms talk about spending x hundred dollars on new shoes and blades, competitions, travel fees. Also, certain mothers (there were about fifteen girls there for private lessons) kept talking about body types and weight gain. It just made me cringe listening to it! I cannot stand diet and weight talk around young girls. I feel like it is too risky to be brought up. They are vulnerable and I would hate for them to have negative body image. I get so crazy and they are virtually strangers to me.

After her lesson and some eavesdropping, we went back to round up the crew for the Strawberry Festival. AKA the best day ever. I enjoyed some roasted corn, lemonade, fries, and funnel cake (with only a teeny bit of guilt).

After a long day of laughing feasting, and walking we went home. Don’t worry, we got our strawberry fix! There were several local venders selling my favorite fruit. Later that night we all enjoyed pretzels, vegan marshmallows, vegan chocolate, and strawberries. Le sigh. And all was right with the world.
On Sunday morning we left for Busch Gardens. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, go for it! The park is beautiful and broken up into different “countries”.  I’ve been to Dorney Park (Pennsylvania), Disney World, Universal Studios, and even Cedar Point. But I think I’ve found my new favorite in Williamsburg, VA!

It was Memorial Day weekend and it was crowded. I thought parking and walking in would take forever. The neat thing is, Busch Gardens has shuttle buses that arrive every few minutes.

                                   We saw a bunny running through the flowers and hiding in the bushes in Italy!                   
After a packed picnic lunch (where my pictures at?!? 😉 ), the big kids headed for the coasters. For lunch my cousin packed homemade pasta salad, strawberries, watermelon, sandwiches, chips and salsa, and lots of other snackies. Yum! We made a stop at the car to get changed. Check out Youtube videos of Escape from Pompeii if you want to see why. This ride takes you from fiyah burnin’ to water splashing in a matter of seconds.

Theme parks never fail to bring my brothers and I (or in the case just Eric and I) closer. We all love thrill rides, comparing them, sizing them up, and screaming bloody murder on the first drop. Here we are sitting over The Griffon. Something unique about this coaster is the first drop. Before the big fall, the ride holds you for several seconds at the top. :0

I was having way too much fun that I forgot to take photos later on in the day. This just means you’ll have to go check out the park for yourselves. Call me when ya do! 😉