I’ve always been horrible at titles.

(Paragraph regretting the year and a half lost to having no inspiration to write.) 

I was sitting in my room this morning contemplating life. I’ve been doing this a lot recently. As I get older and the whole moving out of the house, getting ready for college, getting a job, becoming an adult thing starts happening, I’ve started thinking more. My thoughts used to be “Oh, that thing is on Saturday. Mom will be doing that, dad will be doing that, I will be riding in the backseat and then when we get there I’ll hang out with my friends while my parents do everything.” and then at some point it evolved to “Oh, dad wanted me to do that one thing for him.” but I was still riding in the backseat. And then it evolved more to “Oh cool, I get to drive to that place with dad sitting in the passenger seat and when we get there mom will need my help with this.” And now it has reached the point where it’s “Okay, mom and dad are staying at home and sleeping in, and I will be driving myself to this place and they have charged me with a list of things to do and it’s completely up to me to see that it gets done.” 

And to be honest, this new responsibility terrifies me. It’s super exciting, but it’s terrifying. 

And it causes me to have to think through things a lot more. Yeah, I could drive to Atlanta for the day with friends, but then I’d have to use half of my paycheck for gas, and am I really ready to depart with those hours of work? And then I’m like, but hey, I only have so long to be in high school, heck yes I should drive to Atlanta for the day with my friends. But then I’m like, oh wait, dad is depending on me to help pay for college. 

And there are just all of these factors that 10 year old me never even considered, because they were never even an option. 

I can’t believe I just wrote all of that based on the line “I was sitting in my room this morning contemplating life.” 

So anyway, as I was sitting in my room this morning contemplating life, I started thinking about my growing up years. I started thinking specifically about the people who impacted me growing up. Not the ones who were way older than me who influenced me, no, the people who were right there with me and grew up with me. I started thinking about the memories that my friends and I have shared the past 11-12 years of our lives. 

I’m just gonna write out a few stories that I still smile about, and these are the ones I’ll probably share with my future children, and they’ll be like “You’ve told us this already” and I’ll be like “IT’S SENTIMENTALLY IMPORTANT TO YOUR MOTHER, YOU CAN LISTEN TO IT AGAIN.” 

So it all began when Kaylene and I were children. I mean, we’re still children, we’ll always be children, but at this point in time we were like 8 or 9 years old. One of us came up with the idea to “pull a prank” (We were 8 year old white girls. Just keep that in mind.) on her brother Thomas by pretending to be his secret admirer. And one thing that you have to admit as you read this account, is that we were all in. I mean, we left all of our cards out on the table. We were in this thing. We were very good at accomplishing things that we set our mind to. So we went all out. We were leaving him notes at his work, on his truck at random places in Greenville, and the thing that probably weirded him out the most was that he would find them in random places in his home. So I’m sure he knew that one of his family members were in on it. Looking back on it now, I’m sure he probably knew it was us the entire time, but we were too excitedly giddy to be aware of that. Maybe he was convinced that some girl in the youth group had a major crush on him. I dunno. All I know is that when it came time on Christmas Day for Kaylene to finally break it to him that his little sister and her friend had been writing him notes for 3 months, it was the culmination of our young efforts, and we were proud. 

And I’m still proud of our feat. 

Here is an ironic part of this post. I meant to have more childhood stories in this post, but mom just walked in and reminded me that I am taking a test for my college history course in an hour and a half, and I need to get ready for it. It’s called a cruel irony. (Like my dependance on YOU.) If you don’t get that……. google it, and then go watch the movie and culture yourself, you uncultured human being. 

So I must go get everything ready for my test….. I’m super confident about it, which usually means I fly through the test and end up with a good score, or I end up over thinking every question and consequently end up with a bad score. But whatever happens happens. I’ve been learning that a test grade does not define me. It’s a harder lesson to learn than you might think. I mean, sure, if you get a D on a homeschool test it sucks, but wait until you get a D on a college test. Then your brain explodes with horrible disappointment and distress and you start thinking that you have no future and your whole life is bleak for 48 hours. YOU THINK I AM JOKING, BUT I AM NOT. 

Moral of the story: Study for tests, kids, but never study the morning of. You will only confuse your brain and make yourself more nervous. 

I hope this post brought a smile to your face……if it didn’t, I am so so so sorry that you wasted your time. I think this post was more for me than it was for the reading audience. 

May the odds be ever in your favour. 😀 

hahahaha…

This picture made me laugh so hard I was having convulsions. hahahahaha…maybe this is just my kind of humor and y’all are gonna be like “..dude that’s not even funny.” but I found it absolutely hysterical.

so.

Heaven.

I don’t know about you guys, but this makes me super excited for Heaven. 🙂

“Those hills,” said Lucy, “the nice woody ones and the blue ones behind–aren’t they very like the southern border of Narnia.”
    “Like!” cried Edmund after a moment’s silence. “Why they’re exactly like. Look, there’s Mount Pire with his forked head, and there’s the pass into Archenland and everything!”
    “And yet they’re not like,” said Lucy, “They’re different. They have more colors on them and they look further away than I remembered and they’re more… more… oh, I don’t know….”
    “More like the real thing,” said the Lord Digory softly.

     Suddenly Farsight the Eagle spread his wings, soared thirty or forty feet up into the air, circled round and then alighted on the ground. “Kings and Queens,” he cried, “we have all been blind. We are only beginning to see where we are. From up there I have seen it all— Ettinsmuir, Beaversdam, the Great River, and Cair Paravel still shining on the edge of the Eastern Sea. Narnia is not dead. This is Narnia.”
    “But how can it be?” said Peter. “For Aslan told us older ones that we should never return to Narnia, and here we are.”
    “Yes,” said Eustace. “And we saw it all destroyed and the sun put out.”
    “And it’s all so different,” said Lucy.
    “The Eagle is right,” said the Lord Digory. “Listen, Peter. When Aslan said you could never go back to Narnia, he meant the Narnia you were thinking of. But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia, which has always been here and always will be here: just as our own world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan’s real world. You need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures, have been drawn into the real Narnia through the Door. And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream.” . . .

    The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if you ever get there, you will know what I mean.
   It was the Unicorn you summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right forehoof on the ground and neighed and then cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.”

My summer, from beginning to end.

MY PEOPLE! MY BLOG PEOPLE WHO READ MY RAMBLINGS! HI!!

WHAT’S UP!

I’ve missed blogging. But I’ve been so busy with summer stuff and school starting that the internet has faded into this mystical world that I hardly ever get to travel into. So here is a post that tells you about my awesomesauce summer.

I think I already told you about the campout…yeah, I did. The campout was the start of the summer and then it got much more crazier.

At the end of May my brother moved out. Mom and dad drove him up to Virginia and were there for a few days, and Ben was at work from 7 a.m.-midnight..(He was doing other stuff too, but the point is I never saw him either.) so I had a lovely few days with the house totally to myself. Now I know that sounds super awesome but let me tell you..after 24 hours of no human contact I needed to hear a human voice just to be sure there were still people on earth. haha. When you’re by yourself, you don’t talk out loud..so I had just walked around the house and except for the occasional times when I’d blare music over the stereo it was silent. So they left on a Thursday and on Friday at about noon the phone rang and I gracefully sprinted to it and I picked it up and there was this foreign woman on the other end asking me if I wanted to buy a credit card. but still. haha. So those were a fun couple of days. Especially because I ate junk food for the first day and by Friday I wanted real food and I didn’t know what to make and the good thing about being all alone is, even if the food you make turns into an utter disaster and even flies don’t wanna eat it…no one knows it but you!!! and you can just gingerly dump it into the trash can and pretend the whole thing never happened because as far as everyone else knows, it didn’t.

Not that that happened or anything.

But when dad and mom came home on Saturday night I ran out to the car and was like “HI GUYS HOW WAS YOUR TRIP WHAT’S UP DO YOU WANNA MAKE DINNER SO HOW DID ANDREW LIKE HIS HOUSE WHAT’S UP!!!” and they both just looked at each other like…what the?

That all happened the weekend that the church picnic was, by the way. I seriously considered calling someone and asking them to pick me up and take me back from the picnic but I thought of it at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. so.

Alright so after that fun weekend I had the most boring two weeks of my LIFE waiting for camp to finally get here.

Camp was absolutely amazing. That was the most cliche thing you’ve ever read, huh?

But it really was! First of all I expected to be in a cabin with no one I knew. I asked to be with Ally and then she moved to Chicago so that didn’t work. But anyway, so we’re sitting in the fireplace room at the Wilds and our lead counselor came up and started reading off names and cabins and she was like “Kaylene Brooks, Heidi Barnett and Abigail Willis” and I was like “NO WAYYY!!!!!” haha. I had a slight freak-out moment. We had a super cool cabin. We got there and everyone was kind of silent for the first hour cuz we were all shy and stuff and then we started talking and they’re some of the coolest girls I’ve ever met.

Weird thing that happened…Kaylene’s and mine counselor from our 7th grade year at the Wilds was Emily Sowers..and she was the lead girl counselor for the red team (we were on red again.) and on Friday Emily did God and I time follow-up for our cabin instead of our counselor and I was sitting by Kaylene and we were like “…whoa. this is a huge flashback.”

I end up saying this about every week of camp I go to, but this was the best week ever. There are vast differences between Peniel and the Wilds…and I had so much fun last year bonding with my youth group at Peniel, but the week at the Wilds was really fun cuz you get to know tons of new people. So whenever 7th graders ask me if I like Peniel or the Wilds more, I usually end up trying to describe to them how both camps are SO awesome and I wish we could do one week of each every summer..and they usually end up staring at me like “freak.”. haha.

ANYWAY. The week after camp was the one week I had off this summer and I woke up on Monday thinking I didn’t have anything to do…and mom came in and was like (in one of those panicky, no-hope-left voices) “Abi we have to do crafts for the 2-4 year olds for NBS so we need to go to Walmart and buy *lists off literally 90 different things* and then we need to come home and color all of this and glue all of these and cut these and. . .” and first of all, let me just say that the coloring thing? I had to color this globe with colored pencils, and it seemed simple so I finished one and I handed it to mom and was like “here.” and started walking off and she was like “Um, you realize you have to do 120 more of those?” and I was like “UM, You realize that one took me 25 minutes?!” and we both looked at each other like…this is going to be the absolute craziest week of our LIVES. So we spent literally every hour of that week doing stuff for crafts…and yeah. It was quite the week.

On Thursday and Friday of that week I had Cola Wars canvassing..and on SATURDAY..ANDREW VISITED! 😀 He was here for the 4th of July. He got here on Friday night at around midnight and on Saturday morning I woke up at about 10 am and I walked into the living room and dad was cooking breakfast and mom was reading at the table and Andrew was playing around on my guitar and Ben was blaring super loud music and I was like…MY FAMILY IS HERE! and it was a super special Saturday. (OH. I just learned about alliteration in English…and that was like the best one that I’ve accidentally done.) anyway. My family kind of has these obsessions with Star Trek and fireworks. and a lot of other things like Back to the Future and hot dogs and Florida and anyway GETTING BACK TO THE POINT. So on Saturday night, even though the 4th wasn’t until Monday, we had a Star Trek marathon and we launched off huge fireworks. And we (my brothers and I) launched roman candles out of our hands. You’re supposed to dig a hole for them in the ground but we held them and MAN words don’t describe how scary that is. I guess it’s a pretty normal thing, but every time another thing shoots out of your hand it jerks it and I had like 400 adrenaline rushes. Andrew took a video of me doing it, so I’ll see if I can figure out how to upload a video on here.

The next week was actually Cola Wars so on Tuesday night I went canvassing again and it was pouring down rain the entire time and they gave us umbrellas..but it’s pretty much impossible to open and close an umbrella in a car, plus we were out and in of the car about 30 times and it would’ve been a mess. Let’s just say it was an interesting night. Oh, and on Tuesday night I walked out of the room to where our driver Natalie (Josh Perkins’ fiance) and PR were standing and PR was trying to explain to Marly about Poe Mill because that was the neighborhood we were going to and he was like “I have no clue where Poe Mill is.” and I made the mistake of saying “I know where that is. It’s right in that direction.” and PR was like “yes! Abi knows! Natalie, she’ll just direct you everywhere.” and in my head I was like “ohhh crap.” and I was like “I know how to read a map but I don’t really know how to get around in that neighborhood…I’ve never actually been there.” and PR was like “you can do it!” and let’s just say…we got minorly lost? That’s a good simple way of putting it. hahahaha. In our defense it was pouring down rain and none of us had ever been in that neighborhood before.

Pretty much all of y’all were at Cola Wars…so I won’t go into all the details, but I was on Dr. Pepper and we were in 4th place every night and can I just say that I go all out every year for my team, whether it be at camp or cola wars and I’m halfway through the youth group and I’ve never had the joy of winning? hmph.

(IT JUST STARTED RAINING. LIKE, AS I’M WRITING THIS POST. IT’S POURING AND THUNDERING.)

The week after Cola Wars was NBS! 😀 This is my 3rd year working in NBS and I’ve worked with the 3 year olds for the past 2 years and this year I decided I wanted to do something different because I’d never gotten to see what happens out there because I’ve always been either in a classroom or working in a classroom. So I did registration and refreshments. Registration was super easy just because I did 4 year olds..and the only 4 year olds that come are church kids. EXCEPT for Tuesday night. Somehow on Tuesday night three 4 year olds snuck on the bus and they didn’t know anything about themselves. I’m sitting there asking this kid what his first name is and I’m being sweet and smiling and I’m leaning in real close and he yells to his sister “HEY SIS, WHATS MY NAME AGAIN?” and Cheryl Baker and I look at each other like “oh great.” so we spent 20 minutes trying to get 3 first names out of these kids and don’t even get me started on their last names. We finally just gave up and sent them to the auditorium, but listen to me bus workers…if you ever have the say about whether or not a kid comes on the bus..you will feel the registration workers’ wrath if you let a 4 year old on. haha.

(AND NOW IT’S HAILING OUTSIDE.)

Refreshments was really fun. 🙂 We went to the field house every night and it was me, Anne Sterr and a bunch of middle-aged women..hahaha. but it was a blast. haha. Mrs. Smitley, Mrs. Vincent, Mrs. Maher and I all had one table. And I’m sure everyone knows…FRIDAY WAS CRAZY HAT NIGHT. hahaha..that was so much fun last year and it was even bigger this year. Andrew and I schemed together on Monday and we decided to have everyone wear blue shirts and crazy hats so after much spreading of the word and waiting I showed up on Friday night and I get out of my car and walk up the outside side stairs of the church and I immediately saw 5 guys wearing blue shirts and huge hats and I did a mental “yessss…” and then I walk into the middle level and I see at least 6 more guys and I walk into the kitchen and I see more random people that I didn’t even talk to and then I head upstairs and I see more people and I was like “SUCCESS!!!!!” and another amazing thing about Friday night..it was like 65 degrees and super windy and it was absolutely gorgeous and I wore a hoodie and it was like November weather in the middle of July. I loved it SO much.

The week after NBS was spent shopping for volleyball camp and I had an orthodontist appointment that was SO painful and SO long. It was about 2 and a half hours long. 😐 I had a cleaning and then they sent me back to the actual dentist dude and he checked for cavities (none. woot.) and then they sent me to this random lady to clean glue off the back of one of my teeth from my braces and then I finally went to the orthodontist lady and she spent 45 minutes putting chains all over my teeth and by the time I finally got out to my car I was practically in tears because my mouth hurt so bad. It was not a lovely day at all. And I couldn’t eat food for 2 weeks. Which made volleyball camp super weird. SO YEAH.

Volleyball camp was the next week. I got there on Sunday afternoon and I brought enough snacks for 4 girls for the week..and I show up and I only had one other roommate. haha. and SHE brought tons of snacks too..so we had this huge mountain of food and we were like “hmm..” but seriously, having a huge dorm room with only one other girl is super awesome. We were in Creel..I don’t know if it was because there weren’t 4 college students in the room with me..but this room seemed infinitely larger than the one I stayed in for festival last year in Mack. Across the hall from us were 2 rooms that had volleyball girls in them. So every night they came over to our room and we had a huge party with tons of food and it was so much fun. 🙂 Oh and I got to tye-dye a tshirt for the first time on Thursday. But the actual volleyball days were torture. We were in the gym from 9:30-11:30, 12:45-4:30, and 5:45-8:00..and we had to do tons of drills and laps and it was quite grueling. But I learned so much. It is currently aggravating me that I can’t play volleyball with anyone until the next youth activity that we play volleyball at..which is either the white elephant or the D.U. so. anyone wanna get together and hit the ball back to me? haha.

I started school on August 1st and that ended the summer..which is bittersweet. I’m so excited to finally move up to senior high. But I know by next summer I’ll have a job and this was probably the last summer where I won’t have a job and so except for this Christmas break…my childhood freedom is almost gone. 😦 *waves goodbye to childhood*

Alright. I shall talk to you guys later. Sorry again that I didn’t post for months. I’ll get back in the groove now that summer is officially over.

–the video is too big and isn’t in the right format for me to upload it. Just try to imagine me freaking out holding an explosive firework stick in one hand. hahaha.

Here’s a pic of my cabin at volleyball camp…

and here’s a pic of my volleyball team… (the girl on the very left of this picture is the girl I told some of y’all about. She’s hopefully gonna be on the tv show “The Voice” this season. 🙂 She’s the one 2 down from me.)

and here’s a pic of all of us volleyball girls 🙂

I’m really not good at thinking up titles for my posts.

It’s true.

Anyway.

Sorry for not posting a ton. I’m having a super busy summer. Things are gonna calm down in about a month from right now so I’ll be on then. And I’ve been taking lots of pictures and videos this summer so I’ll be posting a whole lot when the summer’s over. I just don’t have a lot of time right now. So just get ready for a ton of posts and stuff in a few weeks. haha. Thanks guys. 🙂

ANDREW’S COMING HOME FOR THE 4TH OF JULY!

WHO HAS 2 THUMBS AND GETS TO SEE HER BROTHER IN AN HOUR? THIS GIRL!!

I hate algebra. and science. and I’m not too thrilled about history, either.

“Everybody’s a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll live its life believing it’s stupid.” – Albert Einstein

I read this quote today and it put into words what I can never explain.

When I do algebra around people (like my brothers and other family members), they start the regular speeches like “It’s not THAT HARD.” and “Dude, it’s simple.” and “Why can’t you understand this!”. And to be completely honest, it’s not an act. I really don’t understand it. It usually takes me 1 week or 2 to catch on to a new concept, and if you’ve taken Algebra you know that there’s usually a new concept every day. So I’m usually behind the lessons. Like, I’m doing them but I struggle through each one. SO. Before I get on a random angry rant about Algebra and it’s tortures, I’ll move on. haha. I can really get going on this if I let myself.

And then there’s Science. Does any 9th grade girl really understand levers and pulleys? Andrew explained it to me once, and it all made perfect sense for like 5 minutes. And then when it came time to take the test I was completely lost again. So yeah. Science isn’t my strong point either.

I am pretty good at history, but I don’t really enjoy it. I love learning about American history and our forefathers and the civil war and all that stuff. It’s really interesting to me. But I can’t stand world history, with all the different countries and it just confuses me.

So the point of this post is, if someone read all of that about me, they’d probably be like “This girl is stupid.” and hey, I’m not saying I’m not stupid, but I have strong points. One of them is English. I love writing, I love grammar, I love learning new stuff about our language. So even though I’m not good at Math or Science, I’m good at writing. I love writing stories and poems (little known fact about me. haha.).

I’m not sure why I wrote a post about this, but I had to write about something and like I said, when I saw that quote it stuck out to me.

So if you’re bad at algebra like me, I’m sure you’re perfectly wonderful at something else. 🙂

Random facts.

I thought I’d start collecting random facts and then when I had a good amount, I’d post them. So here goes. I got these from different places. The internet, family members, billboards…so I take no credit for any of these.

I thought this one was kind of genius:

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

And I had to look up this one just to see if it was legit, and it is. But it makes you wonder, who on earth would even have the idea to look at this? I mean, maybe it was like by accident. But who would notice something like this by accident? There are a lot of strange people in the world. Here it is:

It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear.

And with this valuable piece of information, you can now go through life feeling very knowledgey:

On the new hundred dollar bill the time on the clock tower of Independence Hall is 4:10.

—- 1 in 5,000 north Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue. Proof:   

For all you other 12-12 birthday people out there… HI! *waves*:

About 9 million other people in the world have your birthday.

I’m not sure if this is real or not but if it is…DUDE THIS LADY IS BEEEEEAST:

The largest number of children born to one woman is recorded at 69. From 1725-1765, a Russian peasant woman gave birth to 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets.

Am I the only one who only asked their parents for this just so they could have the toy?:

40% of McDonald’s profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.

THIS. IS. NOT. TRUE. I promise you. We tested it. We didn’t test it on purpose, we actually found out later that this is “true” and we were like “…that’s not true.” okay here it is:

Chocolate kills dogs! True. Chocolate affects a dog’s heart and nervous system. A few ounces is enough to kill a small-sized dog.

See when we first got Snoopy from the pound when he was 6 weeks old he was TINY. And a few weeks later we had TONS of chocolate pudding that we didn’t know what to do with. (I don’t quite remember why. I just remember having tubs and tubs of chocolate pudding. I promise you this wasn’t some weird dream. It happened.) SO. We gave a huge tub to Snoopy. He was like 2 months old and still small. And that dog ate SO much chocolate pudding. He was SO hyper for like 2 days. hahahaha. he couldn’t stop jumping. But he didn’t die! And he ate lots of it. So. I just had to add that in so people could stop believing evil lies.

–If you leave Tokyo by plane at 7:00 a.m. you will arrive in Honolulu at approximately 4:30 p.m. the previous day.

I’ve tried this, they’re right. And it annoys me cuz I like to prove things like this wrong:

No piece of normal-size paper can be folded in half more than 7 times.

I always felt sorry for goldfish being stuck in small fish bowls until I read this:

A goldfish has a memory span of about 3 seconds.

Haha kay when I first read this I thought it said sleeping…like he slept for this long. and I was like “DUDE. He must’ve woken up and been like ‘..oh snap.'” hahaha. but I respect this guy. My brother Buddy tried to go w/o sleep for as long as possible and by the 4th day he was running into walls and he could barely see until he finally collapsed on the floor and fell asleep immediately. haha. I bet this is a lot more possible now that we have energy drinks:

The world record for time without sleep is 264 hours (11 days) by Randy Gardner in 1965.

Okay that’s all for this post. I’ll post more some other time. 🙂

New :)

I had no idea what to name this post so I just named it that. haha.

If you visit this blog at all you know I change themes like once every 2 weeks. I believe variety is the spice of life and there are like 250 themes to choose from so why would I wanna stay on just one?

So I was flipping through them all and I saw this one and I previewed it and fell in love with it. So. My tweets and links to older posts and pretty much my whole side bar is now at the bottom of the page. just press your space bar a few times and it’ll take you to the bottom and that’s where everything is.

bye!

FLORIIIDA.

Hi! I know I promised you a post about Florida like a week ago. I’m very sorry. I’ve actually had the time, I just haven’t felt like it. hee. But here it is.

SO on Sunday afternoon..the 15th of this month, we were supposed to leave for Florida. Everyone was doing different stuff on Sunday morning but we were all supposed to be at the house by 12:30 and in the car on the way to FL by 1:00. I don’t know if this is just a Willis thing or what, but do plans like that ever actually work? Ben was supposed to be in a meeting at church until 1:30 at the latest so he packed the night before and we just threw his stuff in the car and we were gonna pick him up on our way out of town. Dad and I left Mount Calvary a little bit before the sermon ended and we stopped by to get lunch on the way home at Wendy’s. We get home (mom was at home doing last minute details the whole morning.) and mom has everything in a neat stack by the door and we’re like “Whoa! This is actually gonna work!”. And then 12:30 came around and Andrew wasn’t home. So I call Andrew and he’s like “Oh I’ll be home by 1:10ish.” and I was like “you’ll be home by WHATISH?!” and yeah. Andrew got home at like 1:20 and so we finally got out of the house by 1:35 and we ran by my dad’s work for him to do some last minute stuff and we text Ben to tell him we’re on the way to pick him up and he texted back and was like “My meeting’s going late. I won’t be out until 2:45.” and we’re like “….of course.” So we finally pick Ben up and we’re on our way out of town and we realize Ben and Andrew haven’t eaten since the night before. (I ask an honest question here- Does ANYBODY really eat breakfast on Sunday mornings? {Excluding Mr. Jones, of course. ;)} But seriously. I don’t think I’ve *ever* eaten breakfast on a Sunday morning in my LIFE. Who has time for that?!) Anyway so we’re finally out of town on the highway heading south and by this time it’s like 3:45. So our plan was to make it to Jacksonville by the time we stopped for a hotel, but then we had that huge series of events and we ended up only making it to around Charleston.

So we stop at this town to find a hotel for the night and we get a hotel room and I kid you not, this was like those towns you see in those zombie movies. The quiet, ghetto towns small enough so you can see that they’re surrounded by woods. I’m not kidding when I tell you this is where zombies live if there was such a thing as zombies. It was FREEEEAKY. And we stopped by a restaurant to get some food for our hotel room and we walked in and all these creepy people were staring at us (more like glaring) and we were like “…we will not panic. we will not panic.” hahaha.

So the next day we still had about 8-9 hours of traveling to do. It wasn’t awful. We left at around 6:30-7 a.m.

We were on the road until about 10 a.m. and we decided to stop at this Burger King/gas station thing and THIS PLACE WAS FROM THE FUTURE. Okay, so the gas station just looked all cool and futurey (does that make sense at all?) and we walk in and the place is MASSIVE but it’s super clean and in front of us was this place called Planet Smoothie and to the left was Burger King but it had really cool architecture. I don’t quite know how to describe it. But the thing that made this place seem so futurey to me was the bathroom. haha. Typing that out made me laugh. Okay, so I walk into the bathroom and instead of there being like 4 or 5 stalls, there were like 10 separate rooms. And I was like “…wait…what?” and so I walked into one of the rooms and it was like a super-fancy-hotel-that-no-one-can-really-afford bathroom. Every stall had it’s own sink and a mirror with lights all around it and it was super clean and I know this makes me sound REALLY weird that I’m describing all of this to you but it was just so DIFFERENT. Especially because it was at a Burger King/gas station in southern Georgia. I’m just saying.

OH MY GOODNESS I ALMOST FORGOT. I was about to post this and then I saw a picture I wanted to add and it reminded me. So on the way down, we passed through Northern Florida and that place is the capital of bugs. I didn’t know it before. I was sleeping in the car and I woke up to what sounded like rain and I mumbled to Ben “whoa..it’s raining..?” and he was like “open your eyes.” so I did and I was like “OH GROSS EWWWWW!”. I’m not joking. It was like raining bugs. It was so gross. You know how I hate bugs and to have them pretty much exploding all around me was awful. I’m so glad they don’t have that problem in southern FL.

I drove after we stopped here and I had my iPod in and I was on cruise control and very much enjoying driving and was kind of tuning everyone else out so dad asked me something and I thought he asked me “Are you comfortable?” and I was like “Yep.” and then like 15 minutes later I started realizing the road was getting way busier and there were more and more lanes coming in and I was like “Whoa! Where’d the trillion cars come from?!” and dad was like “I just asked you if you were comfortable driving through Jacksonville and you said yes.” and in my head I was like “oh whoops.” and out loud I was like “Oh..yeah. Sorry. Kay. so……..” and he’s like “You can do it, right?” and I was like “Of course…heh…” so by the time we were in the middle of Jacksonville there were like 6 lanes on each side of the road and I had to be switching from one side to the other to make sure we stayed on the right road and it was the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. But I did it. And dad had me drive through Jacksonville on the way up because my brother Buddy told him it was harder to drive north through Jacksonville than it was to drive south through it and I needed practice driving through big cities. I kind of got to where I enjoyed it. But it taught me that my family is awful back seat drivers. I knew they were before this but driving through Jacksonville was like torture. “ABI GET IN THE RIGHT LANE! NOO NOT THE FAR RIGHT LANE THE OTHER ONE!”. While we’re on this subject, I lived through 4 years of being in the backseat while my 2 brothers were learning how to drive. I never said anything about the abrupt stops and jerky turns and going really slow. But since they are now the experts (said sarcastically) they now find the need to criticize EVERY single thing I do wrong. And it’s quite aggravating. rant over.

ANYWAY. Moving on. So we got to Florida at like 4:00 and we went to Buddy (my brother) and Robin’s (sis-in-law) house for a few minutes but we had all of our stuff in our car and Bud and Robin’s house is tiny and they just had a new baby a few months back so she made it more crowded so we stayed at their friend’s house about half a mile away. It was SUPER nice. And I got to have my own bed. and it wasn’t on the floor. Since I’m the youngest I always end up on the floor no matter where we go. But everyone got their own bed and I got the pull out couch. This wasn’t like a typical couch-bed. I slept on one with Heidi and Kaylene at the campout and (no offense to your prophet’s chamber pull-out couch, Tori) but it was like sinking into the couch and there was a big bump along where it folded back in and ANYWAY. This one was huge and it was super soft and comfortable. So that was really nice 🙂

We got to meet my niece Natalie back in March for a day but they were literally only here from Friday to Saturday and that one weekend I had Frontline, a super long play rehearsal on a Saturday (only Saturday rehearsal we had. figures, huh?) and a youth activity. I wasn’t too torn up about it because I knew we were making a trip down there sometime this summer. So I was super excited to spend more time with her. She is seriously the biggest sweetheart ever. She NEVER cries unless she has a legit reason and she ALWAYS smiles. You look at her and be like “Naaatttalliiiiieee!! hewwwwo!” and she bursts out laughing and giggling and smiling. I miss her smile. She smiled all the time. 🙂

On Tuesday my brother Buddy got off work so we went downtown and walked around. And we went into West Palm Beach’s old courthouse that’s been turned into a history museum. We made it through half of the museum (it was fairly small. would’ve taken us about 40 minutes to get through on our own.) and this tour guide lady found us and was like “HI! NICE TO SEE YOU!” and I guess it would throw off her whole tour lady groove to start in the middle of the museum because she took us ALL the way back to the beginning and walked us through everything we had already looked at. And she was very overeager. I know tour guides are supposed to be excited about what they’re telling you but she hardly let us get a word in edgewise. Thankfully the museum had wifi though.

Tuesday night we had my grandparents over for dinner at Bud’s house and we all just talked and caught up for a long time.

On Wednesday we went to the beach. Just my family, like the 5 of us. Mom and dad took a walk on the beach and we 3 kids went swimming. We went super far out and tried to catch all the waves. One time I was floating with my eyes closed and this huge white capped wave came and Andrew thought it’d be fun to watch it hit me w/o telling me it was coming so it like washed over me and I felt it at the last second so I opened my eyes (and mouth. stupidly opened my mouth.) and I swallowed like tons of salt water and my throat hurt for forever. If you’ve ever swallowed salt water in proportions like that, you know how much it burns. But besides that fun little episode the whole day rocked. On Wednesday night we went to Jason’s Deli with my aunt, grandparents, cousins, second cousins and Bud and his family. I don’t think that restaurant knew what hit them. haha.

On Wednesday night after we got home from dinner around 10, Bud brought out their Christmas tree that he’d been keeping in their shed and he put bottle rockets in it. Okay. I need to explain my brother before continuing with this story.

He’s pretty much the biggest prankster, class clown kind of guy you’d ever meet. At least he was in high school, and some of it has stuck with him even though he’s married. (You know how there’s always that little part of a guy that never fully grows up? Yeah.) So when he was in high school he did all kinds of crazy stuff. You know those super tall radio signal towers around town? When we lived in Florida and he was in high school (I wasn’t alive yet.) he went down to a car lot and stole one of those huge American flags they have outside of those things. It was in the middle of the night so he wore all black. Then he went to one of those radio towers and started climbing up it with the flag and when he made it to the top he just stuck the flag in it and climbed down. Dad was telling me this story and I was like “HOW HIGH WAS HE?!” and dad was like “I dunno..like 150 feet or so.” and I was like ….I wish I had the nerve to be up that high with no harness. That would scare me to death. Probably literally. Anyway. So that’s the kind of guy my brother is. haha. Or was. He has lessened up a little as the years have gone by and he’s had kids 😉

But last time we were in Florida, he took his bow and arrow outside and we played a game where he shot the arrows in the air and we had to run to avoid being hit in the head with an arrow. lol.

SO. Christmas tree story. He took out his christmas tree and put bottle rockets in it and he pointed them every which direction, even some towards us (which freaked me out.) and lit fire to it. I don’t know if you guys have ever lit a Christmas tree on fire before but if you haven’t, you’re missing out. We do it every year. They literally go up in less than 5 seconds. It’s like, Christmas tree is there, and then it’s gone. So the tree was gone immediately and then all of these bottle rockets started flying every where and one flew like inches above my dad’s head and he was totally oblivious. The rest of us were like “OHMYWORD” and he was like “what? what happened?” haha.

We left on Thursday and made it back by Thursday night. It was a super fun trip!! aaand here are the pics 🙂